LAS VEGAS, Nev. (KOLO) Before the days of the glamorous Las Vegas strip casinos, it was downtown Las Vegas, and in particular, Fremont street, that got most of the attention in Nevada’s largest city.
Declining tourism in the early '90s resulted in five blocks of the street being closed to traffic and a canopy added as part of the “Fremont street experience. But it’s not just that light show that attracts visitors.
“The gambling is cheaper. The food is cheaper. I just got a buffet for like 5 bucks just now,” said Richard Garcia from California.
“You can come down here and spend a lot less money than on the strip,” said Elizabeth Boggs, who works on Fremont Street. “That’s because we at the Fremont street experience want to make this the best experience you can have in Vegas.”
And the landscape of Fremont continues to change. In addition to plenty of new restaurants and attractions, a new resort from the owners of the D and Golden Gate is replacing the old Las Vegas club.
“This thing is gonna be hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Scott Roeben. Founder of the Vital Vegas blog and host of the podcast of the same name.
“With the purchase of some of these grime joints it’s going to be a big transformation downtown,” Roeben described.
When you walk down Fremont, you’ll see your fair share of mimes, Elvis impersonators, and odd retail booths. And then there is Vegas Vic, still standing after his 1998 restoration, decades after the Pioneer Club Casino it was originally part of shut its doors.