Las Vegas Sun

September 20, 2017

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Joe Downtown: Random bag searches halted at Downtown Container Park


Christopher DeVargas

A look at the downtown Container Park on 7th Street and Fremont Street, which had its soft opening Nov. 25, 2013.

Container Park Opening

A look at the downtown Container Park on 7th Street and Fremont Street, which had its soft opening today, Monday Nov. 25, 2013. Launch slideshow »

A policy of randomly checking the bags of people entering the Downtown Container Park is no more.

Michael Downs, executive vice president of operations for Downtown Project, which built the three-week-old outdoor mall, said the policy is being dropped. The only time personal bags or backpacks will be checked is if patron safety is at risk, he said.

A Las Vegas Sun article last week outlined complaints from numerous customers about the policy.

The Sun reported initially that the policy was implemented because city authorities demanded it, but a spokesman said today that the city was not behind the policy.

Some of the initial displeasure with the policy was written on a Facebook site devoted to a downtown neighborhood.

John S. Park neighborhood resident Billy Logan first wrote about his experience last week as he stepped into the mall.

He said that while asking a Downtown Ranger if the mall’s restaurants were yet open, “a security guard sprinted over from the security office and asked to search my bag (a small manpurse/messenger bag) and I politely answered, ‘No thank you.’ The guard gruffly responded that I would not be allowed in until he searched my bag. I chose to spend my cash elsewhere.”

Logan summed it up: “They’re permanently off my list until things change. Triple sadness as I was actually starting to like the place.”

After being told of the policy change, Logan said he will be returning.

“If it’s true, I’m quite happy,” Logan said. “There were some cool things I want to get in some of those art boutiques for Christmas.”

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

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