Joe Downtown: Special events create conundrum when they limit access for business customers

Runners are coated with special “elf-made magical color dust” during the Color Run in downtown Las Vegas, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012. Runners got dusted with a different color at each kilometer checkpoint. About 5,000 participants ran the 5K event, a benefit for Three Square Food Bank.

Click to enlarge photo

Downtown Color Run Map for the race taking place Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014.

5K Color Run

Packets of colored powder fly through the air at the color extravaganza finish line at the 5K Color Run, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, in downtown Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

First Las Vegas Color Run

Runners are shown at a dust party after the first Color Run in downtown Las Vegas, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012. About 5,000 participants ran a 5K event which benefits the Three Square charity. Launch slideshow »

The third annual Color Run on Saturday morning is a fun event for runners, who end the race covered in a rainbow of colored powder sprayed on them at different intervals over a course of about three miles.

But the run, one of at least a half dozen planned to wind their way through downtown over a few months, along with various parades also using downtown as staging area, aren’t always planned with local businesses in mind.

Businesses, then, are forced to deal with fairly frequent closures that make access difficult for customers. It’s not just that the roads are closed, says James Reza, general manager of Globe Salon, 900 Las Vegas Blvd. South. It’s that the city doesn’t have a hard-and-fast way of notifying businesses along the route that might be dealing with road closures.

“When we moved the salon downtown, we knew we would be part of an energetic, urban environment, and we do enjoy that,” he said. “It's the frequency and minimal notification lead time that are our biggest concerns when it comes to managing the impact it has on our business.”

For Saturday’s Color Run, for instance, Reza first got wind of it five days ahead of time. That’s not always enough leeway for a business whose customers sometimes make appointments several weeks ahead of time.

“It’s a typical situation,” says Reza, who with his wife, Staci Linklater, has operated the salon for six years at its current location. “Las Vegas Boulevard is closed so people have to access from Fourth Street. And tomorrow’s our busiest day of the week. So the first half of the day is tough.”

During the first three hours of the Globe’s business, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, the barricades will up at Las Vegas Boulevard.

Reza has met with city officials – none of whom were available Friday, since City Hall is open just four days a week – who he said have worked on alternate routes and have vowed to give more advanced warnings about upcoming road closures.

A calendar on the city’s website does, in fact, contain a link to the Color Run – and many more activities in the downtown/Fremont/Las Vegas Boulevard area.

There’s the Tap N Run 4K run on March 1; the Color Vibe 5K run on March 15; Run or Dye on April 12; Race for the Cure on May 3; and the Blondes Have More Fun Rock Run on May 31.

All of those take place Saturday mornings.

Not yet on the city calendar is the second Sprinkler Sprint, set for June 4.

Then there are parades, such as the Helldorado Days parade on Saturday, May 17, but it’s in the early evening not in the morning.

“We’re used to it, but having (the events) as frequently as they do is kind of frustrating,” Reza added.

Road closures will begin 7 a.m. and occur at Las Vegas Boulevard, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth streets.

The 5K race begins at 8:30 a.m. at the northeast corner of Fremont and Ninth streets; the event is scheduled to end at noon.

Business

Share