How not secure are Las Vegas hotels, resorts and casinos?
Hotels and casinos in Las Vegas are under tremendous pressure after last weeks mass shooting at an MGM managed hotel and resort. They are under pressure and urged to catch up with the rest of the world when it comes security. Giving $3 millions to grieving families is good and a responsible business decision by MGM, but it should not delay a debate and actions on long time overdue security issues MGM and other hotels, casinos, convention centers, and venues may have in Sin City.
There is no excuse for the Mandalay Bay hotel and MGM Hotel Security managers to allow a guest to enter a hotel room with 20 guns and hundreds of round of ammunition including three AR-15-style rifles, along with at least a dozen high-capacity magazines, which can hold up to 100 rounds. (A standard American infantry soldier’s magazine is 30 rounds.) 12 of the rifles found in the Mandalay Bay hotel suite were outfitted with bump stocks.
More visible and invisible security is needed not only in Las Vegas but other tourism hotspots in the United States. What had been standard in many parts of the world, including the Gulf Region, Kenya, many travel spots in Europe and Asia has not been found important enough to implement in the US where every citizen can easily obtain deadly weapons and use them.
Especially Las Vegas hotels are hesitating to install metal detectors at their doors, employ sniffing dogs. It’s all about keeping casinos accessible and making the Las Vegas strip a convenient destination for gamblers, tourists, and convention visitors.
With ten-thousands of visitors going into and out of hotels everyday metal detectors at hotel or casino entry doors would keep gamblers inside for a lot longer (what is good for casinos), but it will also make it an inconvenience for guests to enter hotels, for trade show visitors to enter their meetings and MICE venues.
After last weeks mass shooting in Las Vegas, hotels may no longer have a choice. Times for hotel tours to trust their guests and for hotel doors to be wide open is gone and not changing current policies may very well destroy a world-class travel destination.
Hotels cannot afford a consumer boycott for security fears. Hotels cannot afford insurance companies for some foreign tour operators excluding their establishments when covering visitors traveling to Las Vegas. Casinos realize Chinese travelers may prefer Macau over Las Vegas, and Chinese authorities could take the allowed destination status away from Las Vegas or the United States.
Hopefully sooner or later hotels in other tourism and business hotspots including Hawaii, New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle will have to follow an expected example Las Vegas may have to set for the hospitality industry.
It may take federal legislation to force this issue, but all of this takes time. Time is what the travel and tourism security world don’t have anymore, especially in the USA.