The Fremont Street Experience and Downtown Las Vegas

If you’ve got a hankering for the Vegas of the 50’s and 60’s, you will find it just as you left it on Fremont Street, plus or minus a few details. Before there was the Las Vegas Strip, there was Fremont Street which is still host to some thirteen of the original hotels and then some. Covering five blocks of Fremont Street between Main Street and Las Vegas Boulevard, is what is referred to as the Fremont Street Experience. The area hotels have been restored, and the entire five-block span covered by a massive canopy. The 1,400-foot light canopy consists of twelve and a half million synchronized LED modules, including 180 strobe lights and eight robotic mirrors on every block.

The $70 million project has since had $17 million in upgrades including a 550,000 watt sound system that was designed by LG Electronics. Guests are entertained every hour on the hour by a spectacular display that covers all five blocks of the Experience. In addition the canopy is capable of producing animations and video feeds allowing it to switch from an amazing show of lights to a television broadcast in minutes.

Fremont Street is lined down each side with the small, stuffy casinos belonging to famed hotels such as Binion’s Horseshoe, the Golden Nugget, the Four Queens, and more. There are many vendors covering the wide thoroughfare selling their wares. Shoppers will find a large array of unique gifts including the normal sampling of tourist souvenirs like spray paint art and your name on rice. Among the array of vendors and retail shops, visitors will find two permanent stages that host a variety of free shows and attractions. If that’s not enough for you, there are more than 60 restaurants and thousands of loose slot machines for the hungry gambler in you.

Downtown Las Vegas also hosts a number of street performers and traditional Las Vegas showmen. Two very worthy of mention are Carl Ferris with his Safe Sax show and Ryan Ahern a local concert pianist and native Las Vegan. Carl demonstrates a variety of saxophone music. He plays every type of saxophone imaginable and his sounds emanate from a custom sound system. It’s an atmosphere that can’t be beat. Ryan is a marvel that you don’t want to miss. You can’t miss his Piano Rig which he designed himself. It is a grand piano mounted on the flatbed of a Freightliner truck with 800 watts of custom sound. Ryan’s wonderful talent for the piano is astounding. His CD’s make great gifts.

Other attractions include the real Vegas feel complete with Vegas’ oldest and most well known neon signs including Glitter Gulch’s Vegas Vickie. If this isn’t enough for you, visit the Neon Museum that is open 24 hours a day. Here you can see the original Aladdin’s lamp from none other than the Aladdin Hotel and Casino located on the modern day Strip.

Fremont Street and Downtown Las Vegas are a truly enjoyable taste of what Las Vegas has always been. It is definitely worth a few hours of your time to take in the sights and sounds of this historic area.

Ava Fails

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