Las Vegas restaurants react to extended curfew

Coronavirus New Mexico

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KRQE) – The small city of Las Vegas, New Mexico is extending its overnight curfew through at least April 1st. That marks nearly a year of residents not being allowed to be out from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. as a COVID-safe measure.

KRQE News 13 spoke with businesses in town that have mixed feelings about the extended curfew. They said come 10 o’clock at night these past several months, their town is a ghost town.

The city announced they were extending the overnight stay-at-home order earlier this week. It’s an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus and ensure no large gatherings are happening overnight. The city has had the curfew in place since last April. 

Restaurants in town told KRQE the pandemic has impacted their businesses tremendously with a couple of businesses closing permanently. They said the curfew doesn’t help either, considering a handful of them were usually open after 10 p.m.

“I’m kind of opposed to it because I have a bar and grill and most of my businesses go dancing, dances that would last past 10 pm.,” said Wanda Martinez, the owner of Tequilas Bar & Grill. “It’s kind of thrown my business in a downward spiral.”  

However, Karen Pettine, the owner of Hillcrest Restaurant and Trading Post Saloon said she’s in favor of the curfew and making public health a priority. “In order to stop the spread we need to go by science and we need to support what needs to happen to stop the spread of this pandemic,” said Pettine. 

Pettine believes the curfew is also put in place to reduce crime. She claims early on in the pandemic, businesses were being vandalized and broken into at night. This curfew does not apply to first responders, delivery drivers, and other essential workers.

San Miguel County’s positivity rate is at 5.6 percent.  That’s close to the 5 percent mark required to get into the yellow zone, which would allow for 25-percent capacity for indoor dining and 75-percent capacity outside. 

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