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Notable Las Vegans speak about the road to recovery

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From left, Chris Giunchigliani, Jerry Nadal and Bob Stoeckig.

Rossi Ralenkotter, President/CEO, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority: “I’ve lived in Las Vegas almost all of my life, and while we have always been a compassionate, caring community, I’ve never been more proud of this city than in the days since 1 October. That night and in the days that followed Las Vegas showed the world how wonderful our community is. The tremendous outpouring of love and support for the victims, their families and all of our heroes, and the generosity from around the city of donations of blood, as well as food, water and other supplies is inspiring. These tremendous acts of kindness from across our community touched the hearts of our friends around the world. The message our friends send back: ‘Vegas is going to come back stronger than ever, and we are going to help you do that.’ In the weeks and months ahead, as a community we need to support our friends at Mandalay Bay, and all of the hospitality industry, with our patronage. For all those from around the world who want to help, one of the most important things they can do now is keep or make plans to visit—that is how we will move forward. We are Vegas Strong, shining brighter than ever.”

Chris Giunchigliani, Clark County Commissioner: “I don’t know that we’re ‘moving on.’ I don’t even use that term in the loss of my husband. But you do move forward. And you do that by reconnecting—neighborhood by neighborhood, community by community, person by person. Let people tell their stories—it’s healing, and it also educates us.”

Jerry Nadal, Senior Vice President, Cirque du Soleil’s Resident Show Division: “For so many of us, Las Vegas is our home, not because we were born here, but because we chose to live here. We made a conscious decision to build a life, and by extension a community here, and you can see that demonstrated so clearly in the way the city has come together. While the aftermath of what happened last week will scar us, it won’t break us. I’m confident that this remarkable and resilient city will find a way to honor those who were lost, support those who were impacted and constructively move forward as a community.”

Fuilala Riley, President/CEO, HELP of Southern Nevada: “What I hope for our community is that we remember—remember the feeling that compelled us to stand in lines for hours to give blood; remember the feeling that made people show up to volunteer; remember the feeling that made us drive up to the Family Assistance Center and hospitals to give. My greatest hope is that together, we REMEMBER.”

Len Jessup, UNLV President: “Having a place where we come together and talk, in classes, during the (campus) vigil, and in gathering spaces across campus, gives us all an opportunity to begin to heal as a community.”

Father Bob Stoeckig, Vicar General, Diocese of Las Vegas: “As the media move on to other events in the world, we are still here. We can’t move around this unimaginable violence, but we can move through it together. People hurt differently and people heal differently. As healing begins, we have to remember all the good that brought us together and to more deliberately keep that sense of community. As time begins to pass, we need to bind ourselves together in unity and build deeper ties through compassion and understanding with each other, as that will make us a better and stronger community.”

Frank Marino, Star, Divas Las Vegas: “October 1st should not be a date that defines us but rather unites us. We are the Entertainment Capital of the World and for that I must say, nurses heal, teachers teach, and entertainers entertain. This is the way it is and always will be in our beautiful neon city.”

Dayvid Figler, Las Vegas attorney: “Let us honor, but not get frozen by the faces of those complex humans who lost their lives in a flash for nothing. Let us continue the pride and energy and movement towards the unique city of lights of happily & willfully caring not only for the millions who come, but the 2 million+ who call this place home.”

Patrick Hughes, President/CEO, Fremont Street Experience: “Aside from trying to comprehend what occurred last week, we immediately began considering how it would impact future events … A key aspect of our planning going forward is the visibility of all security personnel because this immediately assures our guests that their safety is our priority while maintaining a fun, entertaining environment at the same time.”

Bob Miller, Former Nevada Governor: “Having lived here over 60 years I have seen an evolution of the sense of community pride and unity. … Las Vegans demonstrated a unity and will no doubt continue to do so. We work as a team to help others enjoy their visit here, and we work as a team to respond to adversity. Home means Nevada.”

Chris White, Sr. Vice President, Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas: “Part of the attraction of moving to Las Vegas was it’s amazing “can-do” spirit. In addition, resilience and generosity have shone through consistently in my 13 years here making the outpouring of love and support this past week, tremendous as it has been, completely expected. Most Las Vegans know how special this community is. The rest of the country, and the world, has gotten a good look at it.”

Jordan Seager, General Manager, Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino “Sadly, there are cities across the world that understand all too well what we are going through right now. But just as they grew stronger, we will continue to grow too. I believe the world is now realizing Las Vegas’ true sense of community. We know that our doors, and our hearts, have been, and always will be, open to the world.”

Sean Dowdell, CEO/Founder, Club Tattoo: “It is imperative in times of tragedy for the Las Vegas community to remember how many great people live here. Let’s focus on the positivity within our Las Vegas community and make sure that we concentrate on being kind to each other and compassionate to those around us.”

Terry Fator, Mirage headliner: “Las Vegas may seem like a big city, but in a lot of ways, it has the values of a small, close-knit town. People here celebrate in good times, and pull together in tough times. This horrible tragedy is an example of the strong sense of community the people who live here have, and the crowds of visitors have been amazing and supportive. It’s almost as if they are coming here to our shows and hotels to make a statement; about the joy of being together and the wonder of American life.”

Geoconda Arguello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer, Culinary Union: “Nevada is a place where working men and women have a real opportunity to provide for their families and achieve the American Dream. … Nevada is our home, we are Vegas Strong, and we will not live in fear. Workers serve our country and our community everyday, and we stand united and together, today and always.”

Criss Angel, Luxor headliner: “We are one people, in one world, and must speak with one voice. The human spirit is resilient and tragedies only strengthen our unity; they make us rise to the occasion. We are stronger together, and when we put more love out into the world, we will always conquer.”

Don Giancursio, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Nevada Market: “The way in which our community came together in response to the tragedy, served as an example to the world of what Las Vegas really is. It’s a dynamic city that showed what compassion and unity look like in action. … this event will undoubtedly make us a stronger community going forward.”

Wendy Albert, Senior Director of Marketing, Miracle Mile Shops: To see the outpouring of love, camaraderie and compassion in the wake of such a horrific tragedy has been incredible, but not surprising. Las Vegas is an amazing city and the resilience and warmth that is permeating our community has always been a part of us, and now the world can see that as well.”

Derek Stevens, CEO/Owner, D Las Vegas and Golden Gate: “The outpouring of encouragement and love the Las Vegas community has experienced is what truly defines the character of this city. … I have no doubt that the city will continue to stand together to see Las Vegas persevere.”

Michael Dominguez, Senior VP/Chief Sales Officer, MGM Resorts: W”e don’t know what the new normal looks like. We don’t know when it’s appropriate to celebrate and come and have fun. …We’re saying it makes us feel better. It makes our employees feel better that there’s some sense of normalcy to our everyday experience here in Las Vegas. That has to be here.”

Chuck Bowling, President/COO, Mandalay Bay: “Just like the our predecessors in New York, Boston, Orlando, Paris and other communities struck by violence Las Vegas will rise up. We will do the hard work of healing and recovery. We will honor lives unfinished with actions that show hate and fear will never win.”

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