DOWNTOWN LAS VEGAS AT A GLANCE
Downtown Las Vegas was the center of the Las Vegas tourism industry and the heart of the city’s entertainment district from its incorporation in 1905 until the late 1950s, when it was supplanted by the booming mega-resorts along the Las Vegas Strip just a few miles south. During its historic peak, it was known as Glitter Gulch due to many neon-bright resorts and hotels, including the El Cortez, The Fremont, Golden Gate, The Mint, The Horseshoe Club, Pioneer Club, Golden Nugget and Four Queens.
Fremont Street was the center of Las Vegas tourism industry and the heart of the city’s entertainment district from its incorporation in 1905 until the early 1950s, when it was supplanted by the booming resorts along the Las Vegas Strip.
The first step to downtown’s transformation occurred in 1995 when the Fremont Street Experience converted five blocks of road into a pedestrian-only plaza, offering visitors a spectacular light and sound show under a $70 million canopy. The attraction is now also home to Slotzilla, a zip line that is 77 feet high and 850 feet long and a zoom line that’s 114 feet high and launches riders in a horizontal position, as if they are Superman, the entire length of the canopy—at speeds faster than 35 miles per hour.
From 2010 to 2014, more than $1.55 billion in public and private development unfolded in downtown Las Vegas. The year 2012, known as the “Year of Downtown,” was especially pivotal with the completion of iconic projects that forever changed the downtown skyline and experience: The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Mob Museum, Neon Museum and a new City Hall.
Over the past few years, many major developments have significantly advanced the revitalization of several neighborhoods in downtown Las Vegas. Read more >>
Las Vegas Strip at a Glance
Located a few miles south of Downtown Las Vegas, the 4.2 mile long Las Vegas Strip is nothing less than the glamorous, luminous, and entertaining destination it is classically portrayed as in movies and media. While “The Strip” technically refers to the length of the Las Vegas Boulevard running between Sahara Avenue and Russell Road, the term encompasses the famous hotels and casinos running along it, and also refers to the greater surrounding geographic area. The first casino built on the Strip was the 63 room El Rancho Vegas, which opened on April 3, 1941. While El Rancho unfortunately fell to a fire in 1960, its initial success sparked a profusion of investment into this lucrative gambling location by entrepreneurs, businessmen, and even criminals. The Flamingo, a hotel garnished with flamboyant pink lights and considered emblematic of Las Vegas by many, was heavily invested in by the infamous New York City mobster Bugsy Siegel in the 1940s. Although inaugurated perhaps as a place of vice and crime, the Las Vegas Strip has transformed into a domain of elegance and fashion, and was designated as an All-American Road in 2000.
The immense cash-flow into the Las Vegas Strip over more than seven decades has forged a contemporary mega-complex of luxurious hotels and high-end resorts. The Strip is home to fifteen of the world’s 25 largest hotels by room count, including the MGM Grand, which, with over 6,800 rooms, is the largest hotel in the United States and the second largest one in the world. Each hotel along the Strip also offers its own unique and exemplary structural design, and many are even modeled after world architectural icons, such as the pyramid-shaped Luxor, the Classical Roman-style Caesars Palace, and the downsized Eiffel Tower of Paris Hotel and Casino. At nightfall, these buildings put on an illuminating display of colorful lights, creating a dazzling skyline that exemplifies the magnificence of human spirit and innovation.
In recent years, the Strip has began to expand beyond gambling into other modes of attraction. Shopping enthusiasts are offered a myriad of shopping areas to choose from, including the LINQ, which hosts the 550-foot tall High Roller, the world’s largest Ferris wheel. The resorts also offer endless options of restaurants and cuisines, and maintain a splendid queue of entertainment shows and programs for all age-groups and interests.
Transportation between Downtown Las Vegas and the Strip is extremely convenient. Please click here for more information.