Late Tuesday afternoon, approximately 1,000 attendees of the 2018 ACFE Global Fraud Conference at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas were relocated to other areas of the hotel due to a water main break. Clark County Fire Department (CCFD) responded to the scene at 4:33 p.m. after a leak in the south convention center building was reported.
Dan Heenan, CFI, assistant fire chief for CCFD tells Smart Meetings that, upon investigation, water was discovered between the first and second level caused by a water main break in the loading dock area. Water showered down onto the first floor of the exhibition area. The fire department says that no injuries were reported and the building did not endure any structural damage.
— Las Vegas RJ (@reviewjournal) June 20, 2018
Luise Odenheimer, audit manager at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, is attending the Fraud Conference, and she credits the ACFE’s conference app for alerting her about the incident while she was in the final session of the day. “I did not see a Tweet, didn’t receive any e-mail, nor did I hear any loudspeaker or hear any alarm. The notification was very specific with what the issue was.”
Upon receiving notification of the flood, she opted to leave the session about 15 minutes early to avoid “a herd of people.” She was guided by staff and police officers to follow an alternate exit route that took her outside by the pool and around the hotel, until reaching a hotel entrance. As she exited, she witnessed “flood water flowing at the base of the escalator and water coming down from the ceiling lights” and the fire department outside.
She was impressed that, despite this slight hiccup in the afternoon, ACFE did not cancel their evening reception. Instead, she believes doors opened a bit early to accommodate guests that had left the conference center ahead of schedule. She also praised the hotel’s response on Twitter. “Even after a water main break occurs at a large luxury hotel, Mandalay Bay staff and support services were outstanding guiding conference attendees to safe walkways and exit areas. Kudos to the MGM brand!” she Tweeted from her handle @HardRockLuise.
Even after a water main break occurs at a large luxury hotel, Mandalay Bay staff and support services were outstanding guiding conference attendees to safe walkways and exit areas. Kudos to the MGM brand! @TheACFE #fraudconf #MandalayBay #DoTheRightThing
— Luise Odenheimer (@HardRockLuise) June 20, 2018
Odenheimer’s husband works at the same hotel as she does on the emergency and disaster recovery team. She told him “about the number of staff members and the support services outside…I think the key takeaway for me was, if possible, let the guest see the actual emergency so they don’t jump to any worse case scenario conclusions.
The hotel released the following statement regarding the incident: “Mandalay Bay’s South Convention Center was briefly affected by a water line leak Tuesday evening. There were no injuries or disruption to overall operations. The Convention Center will proceed with its normal events and operations schedule Wednesday morning.”
Despite jokes on social media of sharks being let free, there was never any danger of a real-life Sharknado. Mandalay Bay confirms that the water main break in no way impacted the aquarium exhibit and the shark reef continued normal operation throughout the evening and night.