No one who knows Las Vegas has been surprised by the outpouring of support from its business community in the wake of the Oct. 1 mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on the Strip.
Generous donations of money, supplies and resources, volunteer efforts and messages of solidarity were ways in which Southern Nevada businesses distinguished themselves as the beating heart of what many nonresidents view only as Sin City.
Here is a brief sampling of the ways in which Las Vegas’ business community stepped up and pitched in following the city’s darkest hour:
• A GoFundMe page set up by Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak and Las Vegas police to aid the victims and families of the mass shooting raised $9.4 million as of press time.
• Cox Communications provided Las Vegas Valley residents and visitors free access to its nearly 500 outdoor cable Wi-Fi hotspots in Southern Nevada through Oct. 10.
“The horrific tragedy … at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival has required our community to come together,” said Juergen Barbusca, manager of communications, public and government affairs. “Cox is doing what it can to keep people in touch with family and to get access to information resources.”
• Lyft Las Vegas offered free round-trip car rides for those traveling to blood donation centers, hospitals and relief centers.
• UFC president Dana White, who attended high school in Las Vegas, said his organization would donate $1 million to families affected by the tragedy.
“Right now, the only thing we care about are these families and this situation. This is our hometown, and we love this town. This town has been so good to this company and this sport since the day we started it.”
• Working through his public relations firm, Lippman Media, Larry Monkarsh, founder and principal of LM Construction Co., coordinated the efforts of two of his clients — Pink Box Doughnuts and Domino’s Pizza (through their construction division) to provide food and drink for the crime scene investigators and first responders. The firm also encouraged its employees to donate blood.
• Red Rock Psychological Health offered free group therapy for those struggling to cope with the tragedy.
• Dr. Alexandra Lourdes, a partner in the Refined Agency, and her people assisted with the delivery of food to the convention center, as well as to all the officers on the Strip working around the clock. The local restaurants that contributed included Pinches Tacos, Portion Control, A Town Coffee, Urban Seed, District One Kitchen & Bar “and many more incredible local businesses offering food to feed everyone. It’s amazing.”
• Ori’Zaba’s Scratch Mexican Grill prepared 500 chicken wraps and 250 bags of chips and salsa from its North Durango and Summerlin locations and delivered them to Las Vegas Metro Police Department to feed police and firefighters.
• Station Casinos committed $1 million to support those affected by the shooting. “We were deeply saddened by the news,” said Chairman and CEO Frank J. Fertitta III. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, as well as the countless others inside and outside of our community whose lives were affected by this horrific and senseless act.”
• The Israeli American Council Las Vegas, together with community members and donors, launched a food drive for hospitals with victims in the area of the Thomas & Mack Center and blood-donation locations. They were aided by Triple 7 Movers in North Las Vegas, which donated the use of its trucks, said Regional Director Noa Peri-Jensch. Executive Home Builders Inc. donated funds to help cover the cost of these efforts. In addition, free mental and psychological support in English and Hebrew was offered by community members and mental health professionals, including clinical psychologist Liat Zano; Danielle Pokroy Mizrachi, MA, MFTI; Dr. Carmit Boldur, a psychiatrist who specializes in combat post-traumatic stress disorder; and Dr. Nilli Sachs, Ph.D.
• Allegiant Air provided free flights to family members of people who were fatally shot or wounded during the mass shooting. Additionally, the Las Vegas-based carrier said it would not charge extra fees to Las Vegas travelers wanting to change their flight plans that week. The company also reached out to travelers staying at Mandalay Bay and nearby hotels to assist with booking elsewhere.
In addition, its maintenance staff at McCarran International Airport provided shelter and safe space overnight for about 30 people who fled the concert site. There, they could clean up, get clothes, charge phones and contact loved ones.
“Las Vegas is Allegiant’s hometown, and on this tragic day we are heartbroken but gratified to see the world rally around our community with so much support and love,” executives posted on the company’s Facebook page.
• All three Nacho Daddy locations gave first responders and their families a free meal until the following Friday. With the help of professional poker player Dan Bilzerian, they also delivered meals to local hospitals and command centers.
• Airbnb offered free lodging for those affected directly by the shooting, those visiting loved ones and emergency responders.
• El Cortez offered a free meal through Oct. 8 at Siegel’s 1941 to first responders and hospital workers.
• Burgerim Gourmet Burgers offered 50 percent off for on-duty police officers, firefighters and paramedics.
• Hash House A Go Go’s West Sahara location offered 15 percent off to anyone who showed their blood donation sticker.
• The Golden Nugget supported Metro Police with a free coffee station at the Stage Bar, and boxed lunches, refreshment and coffee stations at Gold Diggers.
• Las Vegas-based medical flight charity Miracle Flights provided free commercial airline flights to the families of those who were lost or injured in the shooting. CEO Mark E. Brown said, “This senseless loss of life happened in our own backyard. As residents of Las Vegas, our families and our friends are personally affected by yesterday’s tragedy, but we know that so many of the victims were here in Las Vegas from out of town. Though we typically fly patients for medical reasons, our overall goal as an organization is to alleviate the financial burden of travel for families in crisis, and this fits within that mission. If you’ve had a loved one impacted by Sunday’s tragedy and need financial assistance to fly to Las Vegas, please call us.”