Roughly Half of Las Vegas Strip Escalators Are Out of Service

In an informal audit of escalators on the Las Vegas Strip, about half are currently out of service.

The reaction of most Las Vegas visitors to this shocking news is, “You’re using ‘shocking’ wrong.”

In other words, it’s par for the course. But worse. So, under par. Significantly subpar.

Strip broken escalator

At one intersection, Tropicana and Las Vegas Blvd., we found virtually all the escalators down.

A friend of our blog, @JamesinLasVegas, wanders The Strip a lot and gives us tons of updates on the state of, well, everything.

On a recent evening, he visited 60 elevators attached to 13 pedestrian bridges on The Strip.

Of the 60 elevators monitored, 27 were broken or not functioning.

That’s a 45 percent disappointment rate, exceeding even sexual intercourse with this blog, and that’s saying something.

Private escalators (those maintained by casinos) weren’t included in these unscientific, but reliable, results.

Vegas escalators out of service

Please keep the “We all need more exercise!” nonsense to a minimum, thanks.

Responsibility for maintaining these escalators falls to Clark County, wherein Las Vegas resides.

While the large number of broken elevators on The Strip has been a running gag for some time, the current escalator situation seems even worse.

There are lots of reasons escalators can be out of order, including vandalism and routine maintenance. We couldn’t find any evidence of those during a recent excursion.

Another reason officials give for escalator downtime is “exposure to the elements.” We trust “elements” refers to rain, which Las Vegas gets one afternoon a year or whatever.

Broken escalators are a downer.

It’s unclear why so many escalators are down right now, but we trust the pandemic provides a convenient excuse.

If anything, you’d think the dip in tourism over the past year would’ve resulted in escalators  getting much less wear and tear, so they’d be in better working order. That’s a nope.

While the Mitch Hedberg observation, “An escalator can never break, it can only become stairs,” is amusing, it’s less funny to visitors who get to schlep up the stairs of shame between the broken escalators.

Vegas broken escalators

You know the Schlep of Shame of which we speak.

The situation is even worse for those with physical challenges who encounter both a broken escalator and its accompanying elevator.

We get it. There are never enough resources, but broken escalators degrade the Las Vegas experience.

Army of the Dead Vegas

Fun fact: Las Vegas Strip escalators are currently in the same state of disrepair as depicted in a new Netflix movie, “Army of the Dead.” During a zombie apocalypse.

We’re hopeful Clark County can up its escalator repair game as visitors flood back to Las Vegas.

Our town has a long way to go in recovering from the effects of the pandemic. Getting our Strip escalators up and running would be a step in the right direction.

Update (4/26/21): It gets worse. Today, of 60 escalators on The Strip, 11 are functioning. We are not kidding.

18 thoughts on “Roughly Half of Las Vegas Strip Escalators Are Out of Service

  1. Michael Alexakis

    Come to Las Vegas, expect to walk a lot… Much more of an issue to me about walking on the Strip is safety, especially late in the evening or early in the morning, I just won’t do it anymore, I miss the days of walking around feeling safe, perhaps its improved since the spate of incidents last year, but unfortunately some people are desperate.

  2. Toad

    As a mobility scooter rider it really does mess with the vibe while visiting. I once had to go I think from the ones by MGM to the crosswalk by the fountains then south again to get to NYNY. They could have at least put up signs saying cross there and not MGM if needing the elevators.

    It’s not a big issue, but it is a pain.

  3. Boulder Steve

    I remember when escalators were not necessary. There were no bridges and casinos entrances were on ground level next to the sidewalk. The good old days

  4. MrBuzzkill

    One would think that Clark Co would keep its cash cow in show ring condition. Another pedestrian peeve is when LV Paving closes an LV Blvd sidewalk and then a business under construction or county mtc closes the sidewalk on the opposite side. So, tourists must walk in the street with the already crippled traffic. It’s bad now between Spring Mtn and Sahara, but in July this mess starts further down the strip… for the next 2 years.

  5. Mike H

    Thank you for bringing this up. Keep it up! It is pitiful…Whom ever is charge of the repair IS costing Las Vegas money. We used to go with a group and some of the folks older than us and they have quit coming to Las Vegas because of that and the resort fees. Las Vegas is shooting themselves in the foot…..I get it, those things are tall, commemorate to climbing a hill. The older folks are the ones with the cash to sit and gamble too….

    1. Jackson

      Sorry, but I don’t believe anyone is canceling a trip to Las Vegas soley because escalators are out of order.

      Resort fees? Sure. Escalators? No.

      1. Mike H

        Evidentially you are young….climbing those for the older crowd is difficult. Its ok if the elevator is working, but if it is not someone that is not in good shape or in their 70’s that is a long climb. And that COMBINED with the resort fees and higher prices, turned them off. I still go twice a year, but it is aggravating. If “you don’t believe” me that is your issue……It’s difficult for that crowd to “miracle” themselves to the other side of the street and these are the folks that remember 1.99 all you can eat breakfasts.

        1. BST

          Exactly ! I can’t remember those breakfasts but my Aunt sure does ! I don’t think they must care about older folks, but I have to say my Aunt dropped a lot in their slots when she was able to !

      2. Darren

        It’s not that hard to believe at all. Combine all the stair climbing, with all the walking and add the Vegas heat to the mix? I’m 26 and even I get tired when a couple escalators are down, I can only imagine someone 50s-70s experiencing the same thing. It’s a huge issue.

  6. Ted Newkirk

    I tried. Man did I try. I lobbied Bailey Schulz of the R-J to do a story, and she did. It got picked up by the AP, and was in a number of minor and major websites like US News and World Report:

    Unfortunately, visitors are not voters. And, locals don’t care. And, the county commissioners don’t see it as the priority it needs to be.

  7. Phil

    I was in Vegas last week, stayed at The Paris. What a frickin’ sh*tshow on the strip. Pot, bums, 600 pounders on mobility scooters, and DO PEOPLE NOT HAVE MIRRORS ANYMORE? Sheesh….

  8. Boulder Stevr

    Many of my older friends who have mobility issues have traded in Vegas for Laughlin. If you’re not interested in the Vegas shows it’a a good alternative

    1. William Wingo

      Laughlin is pretty spread-out, somewhat like the strip. There are no escalators or overpasses; but many of the elevators in the hotels and the parking decks are in pretty sad shape, Colorado Belle was especially bad, but it’s closed now. Still, I agree that Laughlin can be a reasonable alternative to Las Vegas–depending on what you’re looking for.
      I actually used one of the Las Vegas overpasses once, from Tropicana to MGM Grand. That was years ago when MGM still had the lion habitat and maybe even the original “lion’s mouth” entrance. IIRC, the escalators were working fine then.


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