On behalf of the city of Las Vegas, I would like to welcome members of the Society of American Travel Writers to our fabulous destination. We are especially pleased your professional society has chosen to convene and mark your organization’s 60th anniversary in our downtown area, the original and authentic Las Vegas where it all began decades ago.
There are many parallels between downtown Las Vegas and the theme of your 2015 meeting – Reinvention Convention. Like your esteemed organization, Downtown Las Vegas is in the midst of a renaissance. This revitalization has been fueled by significant investment, new and landmark buildings, the birth of a new cultural epicenter for the entire city, renovation of major hotel properties, an emerging tech and small business sector, the repurposing of significant historical venues and stunning new and iconic architecture.
Downtown Las Vegas is where gaming first got its start in 1931, reaching the height of glamour in the 1950s. In the 1990s, downtown Las Vegas began its transformation with Fremont Street Experience, and today, the famed downtown street is enclosed by a five-block, 90-foot-high canopy onto which an elaborate sound and light show is projected each night – drawing millions to the area each year.
Today, downtown Las Vegas offers visitors and locals alike a fun, interesting and authentic experience not found on the Strip. This includes only-in-Vegas venues like the Mob and Neon museums, a burgeoning arts and design district, unique and one-of-a kind bars, eateries and restaurants, and intimate entertainment destinations like Downtown Container Park.
Along the way, downtown Las Vegas has also become a hot spot for business and innovation. Great cities are business-friendly, have great culture and top-flight medicine. Downtown Las Vegas has all those! We are the home of thriving companies like Zappos.com, progressive organizations like the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, the ever-expanding Premium Outlets North and World Market Center Las Vegas, where sales representing nearly 40 percent of the United States furniture economy are transacted at bi-annual markets. Downtown Las Vegas can also boast one of the world’s great performing arts venues with The Smith Center, right in the heart of Symphony Park.
We are thrilled that esteemed members of the Society of American Travel Writers will have the opportunity to experience Downtown Las Vegas for themselves. And we are confident you will find much to explore and enjoy in the heart of Las Vegas, a place of historic charm that ultimately gave birth to all that constitutes the Entertainment Capital of the World.
Have a fabulous time in our fabulous city!
Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman
City of Las Vegas