Facility Evacuation Interrupts Vegas Nats

July 18, 2017 by  

Secutiry threat prompts South Point Evacuation
Just before the main events on Saturday of last weekend’s Las Vegas Nationals, law enforcement and South Point Hotel officials declared an evacuation of the facility.

Here’s what Tiffany Choat told NEWS about the incident:

We saw the police coming up to Erick Grindle, the announcer, while he was announcing and you could see the urgency in the officer’s face telling him to shut everything down immediately. Grindle did just-that and did a great job–calmly and professionally.

Everyone was scared. We all got up and moved to the exit. Police and hotel security helped move everyone out. We went out very fast, and everyone was very concerned for one another— you could see the look of panic on everyone’s face. Kids were crying because they didn’t understand what was going on.

The scariest thing of all is that a lot of us did not have our younger children with us; they had some people exit out one side of the facility and others on the other, so children were scattered all over the place. My daughter, only eight years old, was downstairs with her friend in the stalls, when the evacuation was started. The security guards ushered them out, they were very scared and crying.

There were a lot of kids that did not know where their parents were. Even the older kids were scared, and looking, frantically, for their parents.

Everyone worked together and helped each other find their kids. Even people who did not know each other helped to find one-another’s children. I have never seen so many people work together in my life.

When the evacuation was announced, many parents were upstairs, and their kids were in staging, or not able to get to their children for a little while— but like I said, everyone came together and were bringing children left and right to their parents, while we were all outside.

After everyone got their children, we all stood around and it was pretty chill. We just talked about the different things they were hearing: maybe a gun-incident, maybe a bomb-threat, everyone was hearing different stories, but no one knew exactly-what was going on.

It felt like forever, because it was 114 degrees out there, but it might’ve only been 30 minutes.

After that, we all went inside and were still very shook-up; nobody told us what had happened, or why we were outside, so a lot of gossiping was happening, trying to figure out what happened.

Everyone kept their little ones close from that point on. The stands were very-full and not a lot of kids running around the rest of the day.

Races started fairly-quickly–within 20 minutes, maybe less.

I was very surprised, I don’t think anyone missed their main, at least I didn’t hear of any.

The bartender upstairs in the arena said he had worked there for many years and never had anything like this happen. He was surprised that everyone came back in so quickly, and actually stayed.

The bar was packed-full of BMX parents not-long after we all came back into the arena (LOL).

I said “well, we have a BMX race to finish!” And he laughed.

This is something none of us will ever forget, what with the way the world is today, you never know what can happen. I think it woke us all up a bit.

BMX News 2017 race coverage sponsored by Dan’s Comp
BMX News Race Coverage is Sponsored by Dan's Comp

BMX News contributor, Clive Christopher, gave his report of the incident, saying:

Day two of the USA BMX Las Vegas Nationals started off like any other National event this year. The sounds of gates dropping, wheels spinning, and spectators cheering on their loved ones came to a screeching midway through the races. And then…

“Everybody needs to exit the arena!” No reason was given as to why the riders and fans were abruptly asked to exit the South Point Hotel arena around 4PM on Saturday afternoon.

What was even more shocking, moments later, everyone from the casino and hotel were asked to vacate the premises as well.

Crowds of people from all over the world filled the parking lots asking one question! “What Happened?”

Making my way through the chaos, I spotted four employees of the casino sitting under a tree. It was 115 degrees outside and everyone was forced out of the building.

I approached the group and asked, “What’s going on?” Three of the four were hesitant to answer, but one employee spoke up and said “There was a bomb threat inside the Saloon in the Arena.” That later proved to be false.

We later heard that a disgruntled patron of the establishment had a firearm, and attempted to use it inside the saloon. (Editor’s note: no official corroboration of this has been obtained; it is still listed as a “security concern” in official reports).

The races quickly resumed after a 30-45 minute delay, with chatter that this was the first ABA/USA BMX National event that was ever evacuated.

Official news reports of the incident stated the reason for the evacuation as a “security concern.”

A *BIG* BMX News thanks to Tiffany and Clive for telling their stories, as they happened.

BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Secutiry threat prompts South Point Evacuation