Las Vegas Sun

July 17, 2019

Currently: 83° — Complete forecast

Q+A: Sandoval on how Las Vegas bounced back after Oct. 1 shooting

The Park Grand Opening

Steve Marcus

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval attends the grand opening of The Park Monday, April 4, 2016.

One of the first phone calls of support received by Gov. Brian Sandoval in the hours after the Oct. 1 mass shooting came from the prime minister of Canada.

In the months since the tragedy on the Strip, the messages to Nevada’s leader have been numerous — and they’ve come from all walks of life. Sunday is the six-month anniversary of the tragedy, which claimed the lives of 58 and left hundreds of others injured.

“The outpouring of support nationally and internationally has been unprecedented,” Sandoval said early last month. “In time, it has demonstrated how resilient this community and state is. We are going to come back stronger than before.”

Here are some highlights from of our interview:

Despite the specter of a decline in visitor numbers following the shooting, people are still coming to Las Vegas at rates similar to years past. What was key to keeping people traveling to the city?

“There were many conventions that have doubled down on their support,” he said. “That was very meaningful to me. The executives from the big trade shows, like CES, it was important for them to show their commitment to Nevada.”

While you helped the community grieve and carried on with your daily duties, you also had to deal with the shooting personally. How has the aftermath been on you?

“That’s one of the hard parts. Seeing people who are suffering so much, seeing people that have lost so much,” he said. “It just makes me want to do everything I can for them and provide them the support that they need. Not only now, but for whenever they don’t need it anymore, which may be forever.”

You see Vegas Strong all over the city and residents continuing to support each other post-shooting. What does that mean to you to see that the outpouring of help wasn’t just a brief thing?

“There’s a lot of money out there and we want to make sure people get the services they need and that’s something that I watch very carefully,” he said. “It’s very important in terms of the grieving process to have the chance to come together and show each other that type of support. None of us could imagine what it’s like to go through an event like that.”

What has the city and state learned from the tragic events of Oct. 1?

“At the Homeland Security Commission, we’ve touched on ways to enhance security presence, including at large events. We want to ensure that this never happens again,” he said. “I know that the industry is doing that.”