Mayor Carolyn Goodman recently proposed a change to the Las Vegas Municipal Code—one that would move the curfew for those 18 and under from midnight on Friday and Saturday to 9 p.m. The proposal is aimed at curbing underage drinking in the Fremont East Entertainment District. What it will probably do instead is scare away underage visitors from Fremont—hobbling Fremont East’s legal all-ages events such as Vegas StrEATs while having no effect on drinkers aged 18 to 20.
If the flaws in the City’s plan are readily apparent, the solution to the problem is even more so. What Las Vegas needs is a prominent all-ages venue like Seattle’s Vera Project: a volunteer-run, all-ages venue that features weekly concerts and educational programming related to the arts, such as classes in audio engineering and silk-screen poster making.
Las Vegas and the Downtown Project should collaborate on something like Vera—and soon. We’ve been so intent on building a major league district of 21-and-over distractions that we’ve neglected the farm team, once again.