MGM Donates Land for October 1 Memorial

It’s one of those things. When I am on a tour, and we drive down the Strip. As we get close to where it happened. Close to Luxor or to Mandalay Bay Resort.

Most times, nobody will say anything, but you can still almost hear them ask the question as they look out the van window, over the now fenced and shielded off empty parking lot. Occasionally I will hear a soft voice from a guest ask “Is that where…..??” and they end it there


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We all remember that horrible night on October 1, 2017, when a lone gunman opened fire into the crowd attending the open-air Route 91 Harvest Festival as Jason Aldean took the stage.

58 people passed away at the Route 91 Harvest Festival and 867 were injured.
(58 Officially Died. 60 Unofficial)

October 1 Memorial

Now, MGM Resorts International is honoring those who lost their lives by donating part of the property as a proper memorial to those individuals.
MGM Resorts said that two acres of the 15-acre concert site will be used for the memorial, next to the Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer.

No construction start date has been mentioned.

I thank MGM for finally doing the right thing and look forward to learning more about what is planned for the memorial.

Three Years and We Remember

Las Vegas Stron

Where Did It Happen?

Often times when on a tour and we are heading down the Strip, I would be asked by a guest to show them where “It” happened.  They would never say the words, but just asking for a special place, I knew what they wanted to see.

They wanted to see the site of the worst mass killing in modern American history.  The October 1, Route 91 Harvest Festival massacre. In the “festival” lot across from the Luxor resort.

When they get to actually see where it happened, it seems to give them a better understanding of the entire event.  That is usually followed by another question: “what was it like being here” or a similarly worded question.

And my answer is very simple and very direct.  A) It could have been worse.  B) I have never seen the people of Las Vegas, a town know to be unfriendly and its people distant to strangers, come together and offer to help wherever they were needed.  People came out from every segment of our society to offer whatever help in every possible way one could imagine.

People Helping People
From commandeering a city bus to get people away from the scene to high rollers offering their private jets to take stranded tourists home or to fly victims to specialty hospitals or clinics.  People going into their local Walmart and buying every case of water, snacks, and baby formula so they could pass it out to the people standing in long lines in the summer heat to give blood, or needing supplies while waiting to hear from friends and relatives that were lost in all the chaos. We, the people of Las Vegas, came together and came to help wherever it was needed.

Then the conversation would shift.  Maybe politically, maybe socially to the reasons and the cause. This is where the fear factor needed to be changed to the survival factor. Las Vegas is Safe!

I always stress the fact that Las Vegas is indeed one of the safest and yes, best-protected tourist centers in the world.

When you look at how fast the security professional from both the Mandalay Bay hotel and from Metro ( Las Vegas Metropolitan Police), in all the chaos, found, isolated, and eliminated the cause of the shooting, you realize that we are actually pretty well protected here.

Why?

Unfortunately, people want answers. They want closure.  They don’t want to hear or accept that there are things that happen in this world that you can not plan for, you can not legislate and you can not explain. They just happen and we, as humans, need to deal with it.  This was one of those things we could not plan for or prepare for.  It Just Happened.

One lone man, staying in a suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort,  who just wanted to see how much carnage he could cause for no reasonable explanation. One man who had money, had a stable life, no outstanding issues that the professionals would look at and go “that’s what caused him to snap”.  There was none of that here.  He just did it. 

We learned afterward, that he looked at other sites and events before this one.  So why did he not do it there?  What made him choose this one?  The question we will never know the answer to.

Although Las Vegas needed to move on and we did, we never forgot and we never will forget.

Death Toll Climbs

Clark County Sherrif Joe Lombardo revealed on Thursday that he officially increased the number of people killed in America’s deadliest mass shooting from 58 to 60. The change came after two women who died in the past year from injuries they suffered during the 2017 Las Vegas massacre were added to the official death toll.

The Sheriff’s announcement came one day after MGM International and its insurers were ordered to pay $800 million in settlements to more than 4,400 relatives and victims of the shooting.
The lone gunman, Stephen Paddock, killed 60 and wounded some 850 in the shooting before law enforcement brought it to an end. Some claim he committed suicide as they broke down the door to his suite and others say he was shot by the officers as they entered. Either way, he was no longer a threat to anyone anymore.

Crosses for Mass Shooting Victims Moved to County Museum

The white crosses memorial that sat behind the Welcome to Las Vegas sign after the October 1st massacre, have been moved to a better place along with all the trinkets, photos and other memorabilia visitors left alongside them.


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All of the items have been carefully boxed and moved to the Clark County Museum to await further news.  The artifacts are now being separated, cataloged, and photographed out of the public eye. The crosses are on display until December 21. After that date, they will also be taken into the back offices for cataloging and preservation.  All of this could take months to complete.  All of it will be off-limits to the general public, but available to the families of the victims.

For now, the public will need to wait until the powers that be, decide what to do with it all.  Do they build a new memorial for the victims and include the crosses?  Do they merge this collection with the Remembrance Wall that has been built in the Arts District?  Will MGM want to do anything to honor the victims and recognize the tragedy? Or do what MGM did with the artifacts left at the base of New York – New York’s Statue of liberty after the 9/11 attacks and bury them away in the University of Nevada’s special collections vault, never to see the light of day again?

Las Vegas Massacre White Crosses moved to county museum

Although the white crosses were an impromptu response by an Illinois carpenter, it was never an “official” memorial and was making the area around the sign a magnet for mourners, the usual tourists as well as problem seekers. Add to it the trinkets on the crosses or around the base of the sign not being held firmly in place, they were being blown around by the bursts of jet exhaust from the neighboring executive terminal, creating a safety hazard.

After six weeks, the county finally had decided it needed to go and the Clark County Museum was the obvious choice to start the preservation process while other matters were worked out. This, like almost every other aspect of the shooting, has been argued and debated by just about everyone who has an opinion on anything. So time will have to tell as to what happens next to these famous wooden crosses and the momentoes that they were adorned with.

You have only a few more weeks to at least see them on display.  Just not an easy jaunt for the average Vegas tourist.  Unless you use Uber, or you have a desire to try the public transportation system and spend all day on a bus or another way to get off the Strip.

Clark County Museum Options