Some of Las Vegas' most famous hotel/casinos are here...Binion's Gambling Hall, Golden Nugget, Fremont, Four Queens, Fitzgeralds, Lady Luck, California Hotel, Main Street Station, Plaza, Vegas Club, Golden Gate, and The El Cortez. These Downtown Las Vegas properties are modern, well-maintained, clean and safe. You'll find friendly and personable service at affordable prices. There are many restaurants for your dining enjoyment, in the various properties, serving delicious cuisine from eggs to lobster.
If you like to gamble, the slots are loose and many customers say the odds are better. Join your favorite casino's slot club for extra added bonuses and prizes. Many properties feature name entertainment from the past to the present. Years ago, a very well-entertained crowd would stand near the front entrance of the Fremont Hotel and Casino and enjoy the young and upcoming Newton Brothers, with Wayne as the lead singer.
Fast forward to the 1990's...The owners of the downtown properties, who formed the Fremont Street Experience LLC, wanted to upgrade their area to compete with all the razzle-dazzle of the Strip. They came up with the idea of the over-head light canopy. The Fremont Street Experience, and the pedestrian mall that runs from Main to Fifth Street, was financed in three ways: 1) by the owners of the downtown hotel/casinos 2) by bonds sold by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority (that is why the room tax rate is slightly higher) 3) by urban renewal funds from the City of Las Vegas. It has been designated as a park.
The initial cost was approximately $70 million, and the light and sound shows opened in 1995. The overhead canopy, which is 90 feet tall in the center, is longer than 5 foot ball fields. It originally had two million 500,000 computerized light bulbs, and 540,000 watts of sound. It took 34 computers to run one six minute overhead show.
In 2005, an additional $17 million was invested in the state-of-the-art Viva Vision system, which made the light and sound shows even more spectacular. The canopy is now filled with 12.5 million energy-efficient LED lamps and 550,000 watts of concert-quality sound. This brilliant technology can produce 16.7 million color combinations. The system is run with just ten high-tech machines.
The pedestrian mall under the light canopy is really fun. In the summer, the misters are running and there are beautiful trees and flowers throughout. Many shopping kiosks are situated throughout the mall along with artists and street entertainers. Two bandstands, one at Second Street and the other at Fourth Street, regularly offer name entertainment. Throughout the year during special events, various hotels will have food and beverage stands open in the mall. There is always a festive spirit in Downtown Las Vegas!
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