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December 20, 2014

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LV council sees red flag in adding new liquor stores downtown, tables decision

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Leila Navidi / Las Vegas Sun

Team Blackout Drunk Busters Tiger Hunter of San Diego, Jonny G from Los Angeles, and Chris Lawton of San Diego drink whiskey and soda from their backpack canisters during New Year’s 2010 TributePalooza at the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas Thursday, December 31, 2009.

Las Vegas is taking a step back and looking at its current laws for bars, restaurants and liquor stores downtown, leading the city council to delay four liquor-related permits scheduled for discussion at its meeting today.

The issue: The council was scheduled to consider three separate applications for hard liquor outlets and another for beer and wine sales at stores along the Fremont Street Experience.

The vote: The council unanimously voted to table the items until its Nov. 6 meeting.

What it means: City staff will have the next two months to examine liquor laws and figure out whether there is an “oversaturation” of alcohol retailers in the downtown area.

The issue came into focus in July when the four applications scheduled for discussion Wednesday were first presented to the planning commission.

A cadre of downtown representatives from casinos and other businesses fiercely opposed the applications, arguing that there were already enough liquor stores under the canopy at Fremont Street and that adding more could exacerbate issues with underage drinking and unruly visitors.

The planning commission split evenly on the issue, resulting in a de facto denial and the applications being forwarded for consideration by the council.

Although the council was scheduled to vote on the four applications today, the item was held and no discussion occurred.

City spokesman Jace Radke said the delay stemmed from a desire to re-examine all of its existing ordinances governing alcohol sales at bars, restaurants and liquor stores.

“They wanted to abey those items because they’re trying to make sure that all those ordinances are in sync with each other,” he said.

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