Updated: Oct 7, 2019
This past weekend, I was discriminated against for having life-threatening food allergies for the first time in my life.
I went to Vegas over the weekend to celebrate my 24th birthday with all my friends. This was probably my 5th or 6th time in Vegas, and I have always had such a great time! Even with my multiple life-threatening food allergies, I still am able to have just as much fun as everyone I'm with!
Until this past weekend. You see, one of my favorite hotels WAS the Wynn/Encore. I usually stayed there, and if I wasn't staying there I would at least go to Encore Beach Club at some point during each visit.
This time, we decided to go on Friday night. I had planned it with my promoter, was on the guest list, got my whole group in for free, everything was going smoothly. Until we reached security. The security guard looked into my bag and took out my EpiPens and my little plastic bag that contained my medications for anaphylaxis. My anaphylaxis plan consists very specifically of using the EpiPen, followed by 25mg of Benadryl, 3 tabs of prednisone, and 1 tab of pepcid. I always have all the meds ready in one little ziploc bag.
He told me I couldn't enter with this but he would call the manager over to check it out. I said sure no problem. This happens often. I was sure it would be sorted out, was not even worried. Encore Beach Club is one of the smaller clubs, it was pretty empty that night, they are not very well known. I usually go to the most popular largest clubs on the strip such as Wet Republic or Hakkasan. These are the "serious" clubs on the strip, and every time I go, they do the same thing. Take it out of my bag, call the manager over, I explain that I have life-threatening food allergies, and they let me take all my meds inside with me. So I wasn't worried.
Until the manager came out and told me I can't enter with my medications. My meds are clearly labeled, they are still in their packaging. The Benadryl was clearly labeled, and there were only two tabs. He said he would "let the EpiPens go" but I had to throw away the other medications. I told him that my anaphylaxis plan is very specific and I need these meds right after using the EpiPen or I could potentially not survive my reaction. He said that is why they have medics in the club. I told him that medics will not give me this medications. I told him that if I go into anaphylaxis in the club he would be liable for taking away my meds. He said that's fine..
I understand that Vegas tries to control drugs from entering their clubs. This was very clearly not cocaine or molly etc. It was Benadryl labeled. It was an EpiPen. He said he understands that these aren't drugs, but he still can't let me in regardless. He said what if you lose the pills and someone decides to take them? I said they might feel drowsy from my two tabs of Benadryl and have no acid reflux symptoms for 24 hours from my Pepcid.
I then asked him if he could just keep it outside at security and I would pick it up on my way out or come get it if I have a problem. He told me no. He then proceeded to tell me that it is illegal for me to carry these drugs without my prescription label.
I asked him if this is how they handle everyone with disabilities. Do they not let diabetics into their club with their insulin? One of the guards then proceeded to tell me that anaphylaxis is not a disability.
I started crying, I couldn't help myself. My fiance took over the argument. They then almost tackled him down and arrested him because he was trying to explain to them why I require those medications. The guard then proceeded to tell me that I am not welcome in their club ever again due to my food allergies.
Who do you think you are Encore Beach Club? You're a small club in a five star resort with uneducated staff. The most well-known clubs on the strip understand anaphylaxis, and have no problem with my medications. It's time you educate yourself and stop discriminating against those with disabilities. Some people require medications with them at all times. Does that mean we shouldn't be allowed to party just like everyone else? Food allergies isn't the only condition that requires medications to be carried around everywhere. Those with food allergies, with asthma, with diabetes, etc. should be allowed to party just like everyone else. To dance like everyone else. Drink like everyone else. And be able to do it safely like everyone else.
Thank you to Wet Republic and Hakkasan for ensuring that I had an AMAZING time while making sure I am safe with all my medications on hand!
And thanks Encore legal team for not returning my call. You will be hearing from my lawyers. I'm not asking you to get rid of nuts in your club. I'm not expecting your bartenders to check labels for drinks. I'm just asking to keep my meds so I can keep myself safe.
If you want to stand up against discrimination of food allergies, make sure to comment all over Encore Beach Club's Instagram at: @encorebeachclub and tag @nonuts4me as well!