LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – After months of F1-related detours, the intersection of Flamingo and Koval reopened early Wednesday morning.
FOX5′s Ken Smith was the first to spot the obvious change to the long-blocked intersection:
The temporary bridge went up in October, and for the next five months, it did more than block traffic. Arco Manager John Heatley says it practically put his store out of business.
“While the bridge was up, we might as well been closed. We ended up needing to lay people off, a substantial loss in sales, if this was our only gas station, we would have been out of business, so it was tough while the bridge was up, so hopefully everything goes back to normal, sales go up, we start to get the traffic back through here.”
Heatley tells FOX5 he made some tough choices that now cannot be unmade.
“When you lay someone off they still need money, so they might be somewhere else, it’s one of those things, we’d love to get them back but you have responsibilities, family, kids and those types of things, so it’s hard on us, especially me being the manager and having a relationship with your employees and watching them have to go through that, there’s nothing you can really do about it.”
He’s very happy to see the bridge gone and the traffic flowing again.
“With the Super Bowl, we’re anticipating a lot of foot traffic, a lot of people in town, we’re anticipating a great jump in sales, hopefully, we can see some things happen,” he says. “Great things, just bringing people back, sales increasing, just hiring and increasing in sales for the most part, that’s our main thing right now, get things back to normal.”
Even tourists noticed the change Wednesday morning.
“We stay at the Flamingo and we walk over to Ellis Island for breakfast and we got in on Sunday and noticed that these streets were blocked, and the cab drivers and Uber drivers, the problems they had getting around town, so when I walked down this morning I noticed these streets were open which makes a lot of people happy I’m sure,” shares Tim who’s visiting from Ohio.
“Just seeing the traffic flow and people not having to make U-turns to get to where they’re going, we took an Uber yesterday from Flamingo to downtown, and the poor Uber driver, we sat at the corner to take a left on Flamingo and it had to be 20 minutes, so I know he wasn’t making any money and uber wasn’t making any money just sitting in traffic.”
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