Jane Ann Morrison of the Las Vegas Review Journal doesn’t really like pirates, or least pirates in Vegas. She’s written a pretty upset column that heavily criticizes the PirateFest as being a drain on tax payers since they’ve asked for three years for a cultural event waiver to use Las Vegas City Land. According to Ms. Morrison, that comes to a Grand Total of $31,000 or so over the last three years that they aren’t having to pay, and she isn’t happy about that and wants to raid their treasure chest and get some serious booty.
While I understand her concern that a For-Profit company is not being charged for use of the City Land, her desire to raid the PirateFest seems a little bit overboard considering the alternative rght now.
The City of Las Vegas, as many locals know, but very few tourists do, isn’t most of the Las Vegas as we know it. It’s not the Strip, which most people think of Las Vegas, but instead Downtown and then mainly seemingly random residential land over the valley. Downtown, while it has a new resurgence of restaurants and life, is still considered for many a financial loss for investments.
Thanks to Zappos for example, much of the downtown has been re-energized and made family friendly.
However, it’s not close to being done as most know. Just feet away from the Container Park (which is amazing) still hangs homeless people and just a block away is a known drug and hooker den.
These establishments will slowly be cut from the neighborhood over time. Still, despite all the work, some people don’t see Downtown and the “City of Las Vegas” as a safe place to hold festivals without a lot of work and money.
Until there is a HUGE demand of using the downtown space on a weekly basis we still need to give incentivizes to use that space. With tons of empty land around the Valley, places like Downtown Summerlin popping up with public spaces, there are much cheaper alternatives for almost every place to have a festival elsewhere. If the City of Las Vegas refused to give a permit, they could go even a mile way and rent a parking lot for a lot cheaper, and probably still get the same amount of people. Pirates don’t need parks.
I get it, Ms. Morrison probably isn’t a huge pirate fan, nor a big lover of booty. However, I invite her to come downtown to Pirate Fest and say “Arrrrggghhh!!”
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