Monday, Oct. 2, 2017 | 6:30 p.m.
For the most part, the Las Vegas Strip seemed normal Monday afternoon, nearly a day after the nation’s worst mass shooting killed at least 59 and wounded at least 527 people on the Southern end of Las Vegas Boulevard.
The west side of one of the world’s most famous pieces of blacktop was shut down from Tropicana Avenue to Russell Road. But the rest of the Strip was open to vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
And while not as busy as a Friday or Saturday night, the rest of the Strip was far from deserted or even somber, although the bodies of those shot dead had only recently been removed just a few long blocks and a few short hours away.
A walk down the Strip from MGM Grand to the Wynn revealed a police presence, possibly stronger than usual for a Monday night but not out of the norm at other times, like weekends or when the city hosts a prize fight or other major event.
One unusual presence: at least two large groups of Metro motorcycle cops, one in front of Aria at CityCenter, the other on the north corner of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
In addition, several other groups of Metro officers could be seen along the road beside The Park, the MGM outdoor esplanade between the Monte Carlo, the New York-New York, in front of Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, and also the Bellagio.
The Bellagio fountains were shut down — an announcement blamed technical difficulties — but music still blared beside the faux lake and tourists were still stopping for selfies in front of the water and also the Paris’ Eiffel Tower across the street.
Farther down the Strip, security guards at the Wynn were looking through bags and using metal-detecting wands to search tourists wanting to enter the high-end casino. One guard conducting searches said he hoped it was a temporary measure.
Officially, casino companies were reluctant to say if they had or hadn’t made any security changes in the shadow of Sunday night’s tragedy.
MGM spokespeople did not address the topic, although CEO Jim Murren did say in a statement that the company is “working with law enforcement in every way possible.”
While Wynn Resorts may have taken obvious extra security measures, the company’s spokespeople had nothing to say about about the subject.
Jennifer Forkish, vice president of corporate communications for Caesars Entertainment, said her company is “constantly reviewing our security policies and practices to keep our guests and employees safe. We are also working very closely with law enforcement, especially Las Vegas Metro, to continue to keep our properties secure.”
A spokeswoman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority did not address security and would only say that the LVCVA is focused on doing what it can to assist the victims, their families and emergency responders.
A spokeswoman for the downtown casino The D said her company was not making any statements regarding the shooting.
Station Casinos Vice President of Corporate Communications Lori Nelson also did not discuss security, saying her company is currently focused now on ensuring employees and their families are OK.
However, David Strow, spokesman for Boyd Gaming, did say his company would be reviewing security in light of the tragic events.
“What I can tell you is that as you might expect we already have some pretty robust security measures in place at our properties. But after events last night, we’ll be taking a look at our measures and if needed we will heighten measures as necessary. We won’t talk specifics though because we don’t want to compromise the effectiveness of anything we do.”