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City Council Prepares to Vote on Downtown Curfew | News

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City Council Prepares to Vote on Downtown Curfew
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LAS VEGAS -- Teens out after hours on Fremont Street could soon be slapped with a $300 fine. The Las Vegas City Council is set to vote Wednesday on a downtown curfew for kids under 18.

The proposed boundaries for the curfew has been shaved down to only include the Fremont Street Experience and the Arts District. If the curfew passes, teens would be banned from those areas after 9 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

A curfew on Fremont Street could mean big changes for this area and business owners have differing opinions on how it could impact their bottom line.

Making pizza is a way of life for Bush Gindi, the owner of Uncle Joe's Pizza. With few other low-priced food options on Fremont Street, teens make up nearly 10 percent of his business.

"So what are they going to do? They are going to come here and buy pizza," Gindi said.

He's troubled by the thought teens may not be allowed to hang out after 9 p.m. which is his prime pizza selling time.

"I don't see any reason to stop the children from coming in this area," he said.

Fremont street businesses like The Beat, a downtown restaurant and bar, are unsure of the curfew's impact on sales. 

"The way that I look at it, it's probably a good idea in an adult bar hopping type district to have a curfew," said Michael Cornthwaite, The Beat.

City council members have been working on narrowing the curfew's parameters for more than a month.

"It was too restrictive in the beginning. The map was too big which meant you had 25,000 people living in the area. I think 7 or 8,000 of them were under the age of 18," city councilman Bob Coffin said.

Downtown, Metro Police officers say they are still dealing with fights and drug dealing. While the atmosphere has improved slightly, they don't think it is an area for teens at night.

"Those are some of the things that continue to plague downtown. It's still an urban core. But it's much improved over what it was," Metro Capt. Shawn Anderson said.

Teens will be allowed with parental supervision, but without it, face hundreds in fines if caught out on weekend nights.

For Gindi, he's says, Uncle Joe's is a safe and inexpensive place for teens to hang out.

"It's affordable for teenagers. That's why they come to the pizzerias. It's fast food."

But Metro Police say Fremont Street is simply not safe enough for teens to roam free. If passed, the curfew could take effect as soon as Friday. City council members are set to vote on the issue Wednesday.

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