There was a time when the Las Vegas downtown district was blighted, unsafe and by no means a desirable place to live or work. But that was then, not now. Today, our downtown is filled with small businesses, tech start-ups and a vibrant entertainment district that includes some of the city’s most popular nightclubs and restaurants. It’s nighttime economy is booming.
Cities throughout the United States know that a vibrant nightlife is critical to generating economic activity, new jobs and housing, and expanding a community’s tax base. But the reality is that nightlife activity can also invite unintended consequences, often associated with excessive alcohol consumption.
When extraordinary incidents of violent behavior occur, it can tarnish the reputation of a business and its entertainment district, often with lasting consequences for a community’s nighttime economy. This is why cities who have made significant investments in revitalizing their downtown entertainment districts promote security measures and best management practices that can assure visitors a nightlife experience that is both safe and inviting.
Unfortunately, the reality is that 95% of violence that occurs at nightclubs is perpetrated by 1% of the patrons and excessive alcohol consumption is the leading contributor -- and women and members of the LGBTQ community are the most common victims of related violence. The key to making sure nightclubs are safe is keeping the “one-percenters” out.
It is with this goal in mind that I.D. technology was developed to protect patrons, their employees and a community’s nighttime economy. One of the leading manufacturers of this technology is Patronscan. It functions like an “electronic bouncer” by identifying fake I.D.s, underaged drinkers and patrons who have exhibited violent behavior in the past. When management determines that a person is a threat to patrons and employees, they are flagged in the system and can be denied entrance for up to 5-years. If the person’s behavior is particularly egregious, such as life-threatening violence or known to use date-rape drugs, their information can be shared on Patronscan’s network for up to 1 year, which alerts other entertainment venues connected to the security system’s network. This network prevents predators from trolling for victims from one club to the next, whether it is from one city block to another, or most anywhere in the world where the technology is used.
The need for this I.D. technology takes on added importance in Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world. When a city serves over 40 million visitors a year it can be extremely difficult to correctly identify fake I.D.s from all 50-states and many more countries. But, if an underaged drinker or perpetrator of violent behavior thinks they can enter a Las Vegas establishment protected by I.D. scanners, they should think again, move on and they do.
I.D. scanners are keeping my establishment safe and this is good for my bottom-line. It is having a profound impact on the public’s sense of security and desire to spend money after dark, all the while helping cities like Las Vegas grow their nighttime economy, revitalize their urban core and create jobs.
The need for this technology was long overdue and it is here to stay.
Jennifer Metzger, Owner of Vanguard Lounge, Las Vegas, NV Twitter: @patronscan