Over this past weekend, Scottsdale made the national news in the form of a TMZ show segment showing the celebrity boxer Floyd Mayweather partying at the International Club in Old Town Scottsdale.
In case you have not heard of them, TMZ is a tabloid website as well as a syndicated television show on Fox Television. The web page has nearly 4 million subscribers and a TV show with nearly 3 million daily viewers.
Over the holiday weekend, TMZ ran a story complete with a video showing Floyd Mayweather an undefeated professional boxer partying at the nightclub, The TMZ piece was titled “Floyd Mayweather hits packed nightclub in Arizona… No Masks Anywhere!!!”
This is not exactly the kind of publicity that the folks at Experience Scottsdale or the mayor’s office want to see as they lay out plans to get Scottsdale tourism back on track. Like all of us, tourists want to know that Scottsdale is a safe place to be during the worldwide pandemic.
According to a local club owner, between 20,000 and 30,000 people packed all of the nightclubs in town nightly during the holiday weekend. Clubs such as Bottle Blond and El Hefe were shoulder to shoulder every night.
In their defense, clubs such as Maya prepared their properties for business reopening with signage; plexiglass barriers and special cleaning crews. As well as special instructions to staff to keep people separated.
The problem is that if you mix a large crowd with alcohol, it is nearly impossible to enforce any sort of CDC guidelines, especially with a crowd that included large numbers of people from Los Angeles and Las Vegas who traveled to Scottsdale to party and enjoy all of the other conveniences that are currently not available in their home town.
Reports are that security staffs were actually threatened when large groups were asked to disperse. Not only do these party attendees risk catching COVID-19, but they also put all of the residents of Scottsdale at added risk as they visit local restaurants and businesses after partying the night away.
The Scottsdale Club district has become important to Scottsdale’s economy and tourism; however, it is unfair to all of the local businesses and citizens that are making sacrifices to have to watch these clubs violate the governor's executive orders.
Editor’s note: Mr. Kush is a long-time Scottsdale resident and serves on the Scottsdale Planning Commission