Permanent Memorial Planned for Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting in Las Vegas

by Clayton Edwards

The Route 91 Harvest Festival was an annual country music festival that took place on the Las Vegas strip. It started in 2014. However, the event ended in tragedy in its fourth year. On October 1, 2017, a 64-year-old Nevada native brought the festival as well as dozens of lives to an end.

At about five minutes after ten that night, he opened fire on the crowd from the window of his Mandalay Bay suite. The shooter fired over 1,000 rounds into the crowd and killed 60 people. When the smoke cleared, there were over 800 wounded survivors. Law enforcement officials found the gunman in his suite later that evening. He was dead from a single self-inflicted gunshot wound. His motive remains a mystery.

The Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting was the deadliest mass shooting with only one gunman in American history. At the same time, it is the biggest tragedy to ever directly touch the country music community. It led to the end of the festival as well as a nationwide ban on bump stocks.

MGM Resorts owns both the Mandalay Bay and the Las Vegas Village, the land on which the Route 91 Harvest Festival took place. MGM has recently announced that they are donating two acres of land to erect a permanent memorial to honor the victims and survivors of the tragedy. The land is located in the northeastern corner of the space, according to All Access.

In a recent statement, MGM Resorts said that having a permanent memorial to those who lost their lives at the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival is vital to the continued healing of the community. They went on to say that it is an honor to donate the land and work with the committee that is planning the memorial.

The Route 91 Harvest Festival Memorial Has Been in the Works for 2 Years

Placing a permanent memorial for those affected by the Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting is not a new decision. In fact, MGM Resorts started discussing plans to erect a memorial back two years ago.

In 2019, MGM issued a statement. It read, in part, “We know that for many, the Village property will forever be linked to the tragic loss of life that took place on October 1st. We will never forget the victims and all of those impacted by that evening.”

The statement went on to say that they want to repurpose the land in ways that will help the community. MGM planned to use the northern portion of the Village for a community athletic center. They added that they, “Plan to create a space on the property to remember the victims of [the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting],” according to Las Vegas Review-Journal.