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Street performers peeved over downtown bathroom ban | News

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Street performers peeved over downtown bathroom ban

LAS VEGAS -- Street performers bring a lot of entertainment to the Fremont Street Experience, but some of them say they are being forced out of the area when it comes to taking a bathroom break.

Numerous downtown street performers told 8 News NOW that the casinos aren't letting them use the restrooms and they feel they are being unfairly targeted.

Street performer might be a loose term for some of the people on Fremont Street, especially those who throw on a quick costume to make some quick money.

"Basically, I just go around taking pictures, making tips, making money," said Junior Victor who dresses as SpongeBob.

For others, it's a way to make a living.

"I put in 12 to 14 hours a day out here as a statue," said Billy Hersh who dresses as a silver statue.

One of the street performers, Scarlet Ray Watt, has been on late night television talk shows showcasing his ventriloquism. He brought his act, and puppet Maximillion, to Fremont Street to be closer to the people.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I want to involve you in this certain debate," Watt tells the crowd gathered around him.
The debate, he is referring to, is that the D Hotel, which changed ownership a few years ago, won't let him or other street performers use the restrooms. Watt and other performers say nearly every other downtown hotel has followed suit over the past six months. He believes the casinos are grouping the traditional Vegas street acts with panhandlers and people wearing cheap costumes.

"Now some of the performers ... have you seen some of the so-called performers? Guys dressed in diapers? No good," Watt says through his puppet Maximillion.

A Stevie Wonder impersonator said it takes him about 40 minutes to prepare for his act which is to stand in a pose resembling Wonder.

"My stand, my props, the chains I do in the car," said Zack Zachary, Stevie Wonder impersonator.

The downtown ventriloquist believes there is no resolution in sight. He hopes this bathroom ban isn't a way to remove the street performers from the downtown area. His puppet summed it up.

"I can hold it. But for my assistant, the guy next to me who's lips move, he needs to go."
8 News NOW contacted some of the Fremont Street casinos, but no one would comment. The casinos are considered private property so they can choose who to let in their establishments. The street performers say they are talking with lawyers.


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