Published Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012 | 1:52 p.m.
Updated Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012 | 3:37 p.m.
A 150-foot distance requirement between food trucks and restaurants is the new law of the land in the city of Las Vegas.
The distance requirement won the approval of the Las Vegas City in a 5-1 vote Wednesday, with Councilman Bob Beers abstaining because of his involvement in a downtown restaurant. Councilman Steve Ross voted no, saying he didn't think a distance requirement infringes on free enterprise.
The food truck debate was revisited during a hearing about distance requirements between food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants.
The owners of Bar + Bistro told council members they do the marketing for their business, then food trucks come and "poach" their customers by parking across the street. They wanted a distance requirement that forces a food truck further than 150 feet away.
One food truck owner told council members if the city were to institute a distance requirement greater than 150 feet, his truck would be "run out of business."
Insurance change touted for saving money for city, employees
City of Las Vegas employees will see hospital options decline, but the city will save an estimated $10 million in employee health care costs over the next two years.
The savings follow a City Council vote Wednesday to replace its self-insurance plan, which about 75 percent of city employees use, to a plan with Sierra Health and Life, and Health Plan of Nevada.
Employees will save about $1 million collectively over two years, city officials said.
Councilman Bob Coffin was miffed the change was happening “awfully quietly.” He pulled the insurance item off the City Council's consent agenda, which is made up of items generally not discussed individually at council meetings but instead approved in bulk.
City staff said the plan would give city employees the same benefits as the current self-insurance plan, but three hospitals – Sunrise, Sunrise-Mountain View, and Southern Hills –no longer would be available for elective use. They will be available for emergency services only.
Praise for Zappos, Downtown Project
The council gave a big shoutout to Zappos and the Downtown Project, which is founded by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and others.
City staff said the Downtown Project was “almost single-handedly investing in startups, in e-commerce, social media” and was driving businesses downtown.
Mayor Carolyn Goodman noted that New York Times magazine this Sunday is expected to have a story on Hsieh and downtown Vegas.
Indoor shooting range OK’d
The council approved a gun permit for a new indoor shooting range at 2233 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Coffin, who represents the nearby neighborhoods, told the business operators not to generate any complaints due to noise or anything else.
Cycle Pub coming downtown
"This gives cycling and drinking a whole new perspective."
That was Councilman Steve Ross talking about Cycle Pub Vegas, a new downtown attraction that will cart people around downtown Las Vegas from tavern to tavern.
About 10 people will sit in a contraption that allows them to pedal to make the four-wheeled device down the street. People won't drink on the tandem-like bicycle. They will drink at several different spots such as Bar & Bistro, Artifice, Lady Sylvia and the Bunkhouse.
If people are too inebriated, the business operator told the council, and can't pedal, the business would call a cab for them.
Customers will book the vehicle via the Internet. It is expected to start Nov. 1. Hours will be from noon to 2 a.m.
Redeveloped Lady Luck progresses
The redeveloped Lady Luck casino-hotel, to be known as Downtown Grand, will open in the fourth quarter of 2013, developers of the project told the council.
Seth Schorr, Lady Luck redeveloper, in recalling his 30-year history in Las Vegas, told the City Council when he first moved to Las Vegas, he lived in the Golden Nugget downtown. He rode a bus to the private Meadows School, founded by current Mayor Carolyn Goodman.
Pizza Rock, a restaurant now in Sacramento, will expand to Las Vegas and fill an empty building at Third and Ogden downtown. So say developers of the Downtown Grand, which is right across the street from what will be Pizza Rock.
Work card denials
There may be nothing as intrusive, potentially embarrassing and an old-school practice that perhaps should be tossed, as when people have to come and beg – make a case – for the Las Vegas City Council to overturn their denial of a work card. Especially when all the person wants to do is a get a job.
One case heard today: A 7-Eleven worker is appealing her denial of a work card by the city – despite already working at another 7-Eleven nearby in Clark County.
Police trying to make the case that she shouldn't be allowed to work due to years-old charges; or she needs a "site-specific" card that only allows her to work in one place. If she keeps a clean record for one year, she might be allowed to work at another place. Perhaps another 7-Eleven?