Solution providers attending an exclusive NetApp dinner were forced to evacuate the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Sunday night in the wake of the shooting that killed at least 58 people and injured hundreds.
The solution providers were in Las Vegas to attend NetApp's Insight 2017 user conference, which was scheduled to run Oct. 2 to Oct. 5 at the hotel. The company has canceled event activities scheduled for Monday but will proceed as scheduled starting Tuesday.
Several solution providers who are members of NetApp's "A-Team" of evangelizers were having dinner in the Mandalay Bay when the shooting started, said Glenn Dekhayser, field chief technology officer at Red8, a Costa Mesa, Calif.-based solution provider and NetApp partner.
Dekhayser, an A-Team member who was at the dinner, told CRN that he was about to leave the dinner early to meet a customer at the New York-New York hotel when the customer contacted him and told him to not go anywhere, which is how Dekhayser first learned of the shooting.
At that point the dinner was interrupted as word of the shooting began to spread.
"The restaurant staff told us to leave. We left the restaurant headed toward the [Mandalay Bay] convention center when we saw a group of heavily armed police walking our way," Dekhayser told CRN. "They had their guns pointed out and pushed us to move faster to leave the hotel."
Dekhayser never heard any gunshots and does not know whether the shooting was still going on as the group was evacuated.
"Police then walked us out of the conference center," he said. "The cops had us going south down Las Vegas Boulevard to the Town Square shopping center. A lot of people [were low on power] and couldn't use their cellphones. Dave Hitz walked part of the way with us," Dekhayser said, speaking of the NetApp founder and executive vice president, who was also among the evacuees.
Mandalay Bay and several other area hotels, including the MGM Grand and the Luxor, were on lockdown, leaving anyone not already in their hotel rooms to find new places to stay for the night.
Dekhayser and other A-Team solution providers had to book rooms at other Las Vegas hotels.