Stand by for security pat-downs just to enter your resort hotel.
It didn’t take long after Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas for resort hotels there to begin implementing new, far more strict security screenings simply to enter the building.
Hotel guests at Wynn’s resort stood in line with a 10-minute wait to be screened. That’s likely to become a new normal as the country’s worst mass shooting forces major tourist meccas to radically re-imagine potential threats and expand their thinking about security against a new range of threats.
As they did at any airport before boarding their flights to Vegas this week, patrons of Wynn’s now have their bags searched before entering and their bodies scanned by metal-detecting wands wielded by uniformed security guards. “We have to start thinking like the Secret Service, and start looking at tall buildings,” said one counter-terrorism expert.
That’s going to make for a lot of scanning — and waiting. Last year Las Vegas alone had nearly 43 million visitors.
Speaking of the Secret Service, its agents will be all over Las Vegas today as President and First Lady Trump visit shooting survivors in the hospital and meet with first-responders from the incident, which saw 58 victims and more than 500 injured.
There are a lot of tall buildings in Las Vegas that could provide dangerous places for possible shooters. And not just in Nevada. After the shooting, Macau regulators urged casino operators in that major gambling destination to tighten security, which already includes special security doors. You may recall last June’s terrorist assault in the Philippines where an arson attack on the Resorts World Manila casino killed 38 people.
Some large entertainment centers like Disneyland have for years enforced bag checks and metal detectors for park entry. But not yet to reach your room in adjacent hotels.
In my youth air travelers parked their car and walked straight to the airport gate. It’s gotten incrementally tighter ever since. The legacy of the Las Vegas shooting may also become just another piece of evidence that causes people to think twice about attending large gatherings, indoors or out.
But even the strictest entrance security at the outdoor Las Vegas concert would not have prevented Sunday’s carnage. Not when the shooter had high-powered weapons and was firing from a height more than a quarter-mile away.