Ask a Native

What’s all this about the city’s open-container laws? I thought Vegas didn’t have those.

Many are confused by a flier circulating around Fremont Street depicting an open beer can and stating, “Having an open container of alcohol within the city of Las Vegas is illegal, including East Fremont Street. Even if you are 21.” So, what does that mean to all the yard-long margaritas we see? Absolutely nothing.

“Like most laws regulating ‘sin’ in Sin City, the ‘where and how’ is both straightforward and confusing,” says local attorney Dayvid Figler. His analysis of city code 10.76.010 revealed “a number of puzzling exceptions” to the open-container regulation, but what’s important is that it’s nothing new. The key is what defines an “open container”; beer-footballs and plastic cups served to you by a legal establishment do not count; pulling a beer from your pocket and opening it does. Figler clarifies: “Generally, people 21 and over can drink any alcoholic beverage on any city sidewalk so long as it was originally purchased in an open container, made of neither glass nor metal, from a licensed vendor who allows the open container to go off-premises. Bottom-line: If you or your friend pulled, popped or unscrewed it, you’ll get pulled, popped and screwed.”

When I talk about how awesome Downtown is getting, or that I want to move there, I get hit with, “That’s so hipster of you.” Not only do they make that sound like a bad thing, but I also don’t think I’m a “hipster.” Am I missing something?

If you’re missing anything, it’s stereotyping and provincialism—both worth missing. Originating in 1940s jazz culture, “hipster” was until recently a generic reference to those on the edge of music, film, art and style. Now it’s devolved into derisive shorthand for a brand of young Brooklynite with a global presence. Whereas one might once visit London, Buenos Aires, or San Francisco and have to search for folks into “the scene,” now they can just scout the streets for skinny jeans and fixies. After all, that’s where you’ll find the best microbrews, right?
While the rebirth of our downtown (and many others) has been placed in the laps of these new hipsters—and although they played a vital role in filling barstools where nobody else would dare venture—Downtown is evolving to be more democratic. Stereotyping Downtown is much like stereotyping the suburbs; each has roots in reality, but the real truth is pleasantly more complex.

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