In Las Vegas for conference, Vail’s Joanne Moore watches tragedy unfold
EAGLE COUNTY — From her hotel window on the 15th floor of a Marriott hotel near the Las Vegas Convention Center, Edwards resident Joanne Moore has a clear view of another hotel window — the one on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay resort and casino from which Stephen Paddock shot and killed 59 people.
Moore didn’t attend Sunday night’s Route 91 Harvest Festival, noting that country music is not her thing. But as the night progressed she began to suspect something was wrong given the sudden onset of blaring sirens. “The sirens just kept going and going and going,” she said.
As a distraction, she turned on the television, and that was how she learned about Sunday’s mass shooting.
Moore, together with her husband, Charlie Moore, was in Las Vegas this week to attend the Wedding MBA conference. As a local wedding planner, she said the event is traditionally a great industry gathering where planners share ideas and learn trends.
“It’s this event of people coming together in love, and then this tragedy happens,” she said.
Moore said the city of Las Vegas is obviously, and understandably, shaken by Sunday’s violence.
“You see it and you feel it,” she said. “The police presence is very obvious, everywhere we go.”
At the same time, she said the city’s resiliency is also on display.
“The good news is everyone is coming together,” Moore said. “We set out to try to donate blood, but the line was eight hours long so we decided to wait and donate when we get back home.”
Moore said there is a groundswell of support for the victims and the community. At the Wedding MBA conference, for example, two web-based competitors teamed up for a special reception and pledged to match every dollar raised to support the victims and the community.
“As wedding planners we are all about coming together. We are all about the happily ever after. This is just such a sad time,” she said.
Moore noted that when the conference is over, her husband will deal directly with some of the shooting’s aftermath. Charlie Moore is the fire chief for the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District — a 600-square-mile jurisdiction that includes a northern Nevada property owned by Paddock, the Las Vegas shooter who turned one of his guns on himself when police closed in on his location. That property, as well as all other properties Paddock owned, are being extensively searched by law enforcement agencies.
After the shootings unfolded Sunday night, Moore said she turned to social media to assure friends and family that she and her husband were safe. The Moores planned to depart from Las Vegas on Wednesday, Oct. 4.
As the shooting commenced, Moore stressed that she and her husband were far enough removed from the incident that they were never in danger. But being in the same city were the violence erupted was a jarring experience.
“It is scary. It is just very frightening,” she said.
Any Vail Valley community members with personal stories to share about the Las Vegas shooting are welcome to contact Pam Boyd at email@example.com.
The greater community is invited to join a Celebration of Pepi’s Life on Friday, Sept. 20, at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.