LAS VEGAS (AP) – The owner of a Las Vegas hotel who was fined a year ago for defying state restrictions on the coronavirus pandemic and hosting a beauty pageant and a Donald Trump’s denominational campaign rally lost a court challenge to governor’s guidelines that limited meeting sizes.
State Attorney General Aaron Ford said Friday’s ruling against the Ahern Hotel and Convention Center amounted to a court finding that emergency orders issued by Governor Steve Sisolak after the emergence of COVID-19 in March 2020 balanced the rights and safety of state residents.
âToday the court recognized what we already knew – the state has a responsibility to protect the lives of Nevadans,â Ford said.
Attorney Sigal Chattah, representing the hotel owned by construction equipment business mogul Don Ahern, was traveling on Friday and was not available for immediate comment if they would appeal.
In an oral decision, Clark County District Court Judge Nancy Allf ruled that the August 2020 lawsuit was moot because there were no longer state-imposed occupancy limits, a said Ford. The city of Las Vegas and its director of planning were also named as defendants.
Ahern acquired the hotel in 2019 after it opened in 2016 as Lucky Dragon and quickly closed.
The property, doing business as 300 West Sahara LLC, was fined nearly $ 11,000 after hosting an âEvangelicals for Trumpâ event in which a town employee counted over 1,100 attendees – far more than the 50-person limit Sisolak ordered for public and private events at the time.
The organizers of the Mrs. Nevada America held a few days later withdrew spectators to comply with crowd limits.
The lawsuit said there was no rational basis for a hotel or convention center to be treated any differently from restaurants and casinos, which at the time were allowed to operate at 50% capacity.