With casinos launching fireworks throughout the Independence Day weekend, Las Vegas police are out in “full force” patrolling the streets, according to Capt. Dori Koren.
In a post on his Twitter account, the police captain said the Fourth of July weekend is “Captain America’s favorite weekend.” On his Twitter feed, Koren identifies himself as the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s “Captain for the Las Vegas Strip.”
One recent tweet features a brief video of several officers on the Strip, with Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” accompanying the video.
We’re expecting another sold out weekend for July 4th,” Koren recently tweeted. “And we’ll be out in full force to help keep things safe.”
Based on pre-pandemic Fourth of July visitor volume, at least 300,000 tourists were expected in the Las Vegas Valley for Independence Day this year. In 2018 and 2019, an estimated 330,000 visitors attended July 4 celebrations in the valley, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. These visitors spent $235 million each year, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Amanda Belarmino, a UNLV hospitality professor, told the newspaper the US is experiencing a “surge of traveling and spending.” The July 4 weekend is expected to be big across the country, including Las Vegas, she said.
“In a way, it’s really New Year’s Eve as it’s the beginning of the post-COVID-19 world,” she said.
At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year, casinos were closed across Nevada for 11 weeks until early June 2020. For a year, the hotel-casinos were required to follow state COVID-19 restrictions, including capacity limitations. The resorts were allowed last month to begin operating again at full capacity.
With the national rollout of vaccines and stimulus checks, tourists have returned to Las Vegas in increasingly larger numbers. In May, almost 2.9 million tourists visited the city, the third straight month with more than 2 million visitors.
In welcoming tourists for July 4 celebrations, Koren said on Twitter, “We’ll have a lot of cops out this weekend, so have fun but remember the ‘no limit’ thing is just a poker term.”
During most weeks, Koren is active on Twitter, showing photographs of firearms and illegal narcotics that police have confiscated on the Strip and nearby tourists areas. One recent tweet showed a gold-plated AK-47 that police retrieved from a criminal suspect.
Two casinos celebrating anniversaries already have staged fireworks shows leading up to July 4. The off-Strip Palace Station and the Plaza Hotel and Casino in downtown Las Vegas began the celebrations with fireworks on July 1.
The Palace Station is celebrating its 45th anniversary. It originally opened as The Casino before changing its name to the Bingo Palace and finally the Palace Station.
Known as the Union Plaza at first, the Plaza opened 50 years ago on Main Street where the passenger train station was located for decades.
The Palace Station and Plaza are set to conduct fireworks shows on July 4.
Also on July 4, seven resorts on the Strip are scheduled to participate in fireworks shows beginning at 11 pm. These casinos are The Strat, Resorts World Las Vegas, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Aria, The Venetian, and Planet Hollywood. Other resorts in the Las Vegas Valley also are planning to celebrate with fireworks on July 4.
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