Las Vegas Cracking Down on Street Performers

KTNV: These days you don't even have to go inside a casino to see a show on a the Las Vegas Strip. The sidewalks along Las Vegas Boulevard are filled with street performers, along with costumed characters, people selling water bottles and people passing out adult pamphlets.

But these entertainers, peddlers and pan handlers aren't amusing to Clark County officials. In fact, officials say the Strip is getting dirty, crowded and out of control.

So the county has decided to clean up the part of the city that has been Las Vegas' bread and butter for years. And that means cracking down on the pesky peddlers and dozens of performers who have turned Las Vegas Boulevard into their own stage. One Elvis impersonator said that on a good day he makes between $9 and $10 an hour.

None of the performers have permits to be making that money outside of hotels and casinos. Many properties have started to complain. But it's not just the performers that are becoming a nuisance. "I've had people complain about the water bottles. They are not sealed and even filled in the restroom," said County Commissioner Steve Sisolak.

If spotted by police, people peddling water bottles will usually get cited. But then they will just move to a different location.

The biggest problem is the adult pamphlets. "You see them trying to hand them out to families with kids and young boys," said tourist Kimberly Adams.

Commissioner Sisolak said getting the Strip under control is at the top of his list. He knows tourists get hassled and he says that's unacceptable, and could end up hurting the Las Vegas economy. "That five mile stretch is important to our economy and we need to protect it," said Sisolak.

The clean up of the Strip corridor is one of the items being discussed at Tuesday's County Commission meeting. Commissioner Sisolak mentioned the possibility of forming some sort committee with representatives from hotels and casinos, along with people from the District Attorney's office and the Department of Labor, to see what solutions they can come up with.


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