We like to visit nice places and take interesting photos of enjoyable things to share on our site. Sometimes, that doesn’t work out.
We booked a trip to Las Vegas in July for a trip in late October to photograph the retired iconic neon signs in the Neon Museum Boneyard. In the time between the booking and the trip, the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Concert massacre occurred. We thought about skipping the trip, but we went anyway. We wondered how the shooting would change Las Vegas. It hasn’t, as far as we can tell: they have hidden almost any reference to it except for selling #VegasStrong t-shirts and wristbands on Fremont street. Since this is (currently) the largest mass shooting in American history, we decided to document what we could before all traces vanish.
The shooter was a terrorist who attacked 22,000 concert goers as well as the fuel tanks at the Las Vegas airport. This map shows the shooter’s location in the Mandalay Bay Hotel and the sites he attacked.
We rode to the north end of Las Vegas Boulevard on the bus (the Deuce). Las Vegas cab drivers often take tourists on long, out-of-the way routes to increase the fare (this happened to us one day earlier and we didn’t want to repeat the experience). Except for the requisite #VegasStrong sign, the hotel didn’t seem to be very different. The only thing we noticed was that the reflective glass on one of the windows the shooter used seemed to have a different tint than surrounding windows. This is shown in the following photo.
Outside the hotel, there was a small ad hoc tribute site. Given the number of victims, it seemed too small. It is shown in the following photos.
The concert site where 58 people were killed and 546 injured is nearly invisible from the street. When we were there, it was surrounded by tall chain-link fencing covered with black plastic. We walked by it once without even noticing it. The following photo shows the best view we could get from an overpass over Las Vegas Boulevard.
If we tried, we could travel the U.S. and write several blogs a year like this. Since our trip, another horrific shooting occurred in a church in Texas. This has to stop.