by Benny Evangelista, San Francisco Chronicle
Las Vegas --
After waiting a half-hour, Rudy Vogel was irritated that he was still
stuck in line outside the giant Comdex computer show.
But like most of the 200 people behind him, Vogel understood the need for
metal detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks and
the latest air tragedy.
"This is terrible," said Vogel, an e-commerce consultant from Massachusetts.
"But with the plane going down this morning, you've got to do what you got to
Security was tight outside the Las Vegas Convention Center, with all
attendees required to pass through metal detectors while police with bomb-
sniffing dogs roamed the lines. Show organizers said there were no incidents
The line for exhibitors was particularly long and slow because most carried
boxes or bags filled with items for their booths, and each parcel was subject
to inspection. A no-nonsense Las Vegas Police K-9 officer barked orders for
everybody to have all bags opened, ready for sniffing by his tail-wagging
One man, who declined to give his name, was late delivering 100 T-shirts
for one booth. "I've tried four different lines and I've been out here for an
hour," he said.
But Kelly Hendricks, president of an Indiana public relations firm, said
waiting was a minor problem overall.
"It's comforting," he said as he stood at the back of the line. "I don't
mind the wait."
Ofer Tennenbaum, general manager of Electronics for Imaging Inc. of Foster
City, said the tightened security was nothing compared to what he experienced
in his native Israel, where each piece of airline baggage is scrutinized.
Here, "flying is like going to Vegas," Tennenbaum said, referring to
traveling to this desert gambling capital.