Recent stories in The Spokesman-Review have stressed the danger of building a 14-story hotel and casino tower 1.4 miles from Fairchild Air Force Base. Last month, I flew into Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport, also located near hotel and casino towers.
Driving up Las Vegas Boulevard (The Strip), I was surprised at just how near the Mandalay Bay resort is to McCarran. The Mandalay stands just eight-tenths of a mile offset from the main runway, with three connected towers and one solo tower, each rising to 44 stories. The Luxor Resort, with three 20-plus-story towers, is adjacent to the Mandalay, also within a mile of the runway. When fully occupied, these hotels together host more than 14,000 guests (twice the population of Airway Heights). Directly across The Strip, a 50-story Ferris wheel is currently being constructed, even closer to the runway.
In North Las Vegas, there is also an Air Force Base, Nellis, which lies adjacent to Sunrise Mountain, a peak 1,300 feet higher than its main runway. Munitions storage and dense population areas are located just off the respective ends of Nellis’ runway.
Risk tolerance must just be a bit higher for everyone in Nevada.
Nine Mile Falls