Power outage hits Paris Las Vegas, causes evacuation

Las Vegas Review Journal – by Lawren Linehan

A construction accident caused Paris Las Vegas to lose power Thursday morning, and the resort is being evacuated.

“An effort to restore temporary power at the Paris Hotel was not successful early this afternoon,” Clark County spokeswoman Stacey Welling said in a statement at 2 p.m. “Due to battery power running low on the building’s existing fire alarm systems, the Clark County Fire Department has ordered the evacuation of remaining guests and employees from the hotel, approximately 3,000 people, to ensure their safety.”  

Las Vegas police and county fire personnel are assisting the hotel with the evacuation.

The Strip hotel at 3655 Las Vegas Blvd. South lost power about 9:45 a.m.

Rich Broome, executive vice president of Caesars Entertainment Corp., addressed members of the news media during a noon briefing outside the resort.

“We expect full power today, but we’re not sure when,” Broome said.

He said a power line was cut during onsite construction, so the hotel’s generator power needs to be rerouted before temporary power can be restored.

“We’re trying to keep people out of the casinos because it’s pitch black in there,” Broome said.

The Clark County Fire Department also assisted with clearing elevator shafts. Firefighters rescued 11 people from five elevators.

Hotel guests have been sent to both Bally’s Las Vegas and Planet Hollywood Resort, according to Welling.

“We are working closely with NV Energy to immediately restore power,” the hotel tweeted at 11:35 a.m.

The Fire Department said no injuries were reported other than anxiety issues among the hotel guests.

Broome said several people were waiting near gaming machines inside the resort.

“We want to make sure that they are treated fairly,” he said.

Tim Deceuster from Amarillo, Texas, lost his right leg to cancer when he was 10. He said none of the hotel staff helped him climb down 28 flights of stairs with his luggage.

“I couldn’t hang on to the rail because I was holding on to my crutches,” he said. “They don’t care.”

Deceuster said he saw elderly guests also struggling to make their way down through the dark without assistance.

“Phones went out so there was no way to communicate,” Broome later told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We certainly would have helped and assisted guests, but we couldn’t find them, and they couldn’t find us.”

Jay Sarno from Santa Fe Springs, California, won more than $1,000 on a Keno machine just before the power went out. The hotel gave him a voucher to claim his money once power is restored.

“We walked up 18 flights in the dark,” Sarno said.

He said he has no known relationship to the Caesars Palace founder by the same name. “But it’s cool I have a street named after me,” he joked.

Members of Sarno’s group successfully retrieved their belongings from their room before the Fire Department restricted hotel guests from returning to their rooms for safety reasons. Sarno and his friends hoped they could claim their winnings before heading to McCarran International Airport for a 5 p.m. flight.

The hotel’s Twitter account has been responding to complaints about the outage since 10:41 a.m., when the hotel tweeted: “We are awaiting generators and power should be up soon!”

The hotel has 2,916 rooms.


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