A must do when in Vegas is an evening trip to Freemont Street Downtown. The area houses some of the original Vegas casinos like the Golden Nugget and the home of the World Series of Poker Binions Horseshoe. The casinos are much closer together than they are on the Strip making casino hopping far easier. You will also find a lot more nickel and penny slot machines and lower table minimums for blackjack, roulette etc. But the main event is the evening lightshow, every hour, on the hour, after dusk everyone seems to decamp from the casinos, the lights go down and a wonderful sound and light show begins. It is almost like a carnival atmosphere and it’s free.
On Fremont Street a giant LED screen towers above the pedestrian mall. The casino's old-style neon light show is really worth it. Brings you back to the era when Bugsy Siegel opened the Flamingo Hotel! I think many people miss this part of Vegas because they think the Bellagio, MGM Grand and the other casinos on "the strip" are all Vegas offers.
Before I went to Vegas this picture was what I thought it was all about, neon, flashy and a bit kitsch. Nothing wrong with that and, of course, there is still that aspect to the city, particularly downtown.
Downtown, in Glitter Gulch, is home to the Vegas Vic sign, an iconic image of Las Vegas, and also the flashing lights of illuminated Casino fronts and signs. This is where the first casinos opened and where you’ll find recognisable names such as the Golden Nugget and the Lady Luck.
The area fell into decline during the 1980’s and early 1990’s as hotel/casino building was concentrated on the Strip, however, since the mid-1990’s and the establishment of the Freemont Street Experience (see separate tip) in 1995 the Downtown area and Glitter Gulch began to revitalise. Now, especially at night, the area is buzzing with people, entertainers and – of course, neon
Enjoy the 3-minuites-streaming-video of Fremont Street Experience by copying and pasite.
After some badly needed repair work, Downtown Las Vegas received a world-class makeover, including the Fremont Street Experience, opened in December 1995.
The space frame towers 90 feet above a four-block section of Fremont Street and serves as a display system for the shows. The canopy houses 2.1 million lights, capable of producing millions of color combinations and 550,000 watts of concert-quality sound. The shows are run by 30 computers and are accompanied by 218 speakers. In addition, the canopy houses 180 computer-programmed high-intensity strobe lights, 64 variable color lighting fixtures, and eight robotics mirrors per block that pan and tilt to reflect light, all of which aid in the miraculous display of each six minute Light and Sound show presentation.
Shows are every hour on the hour between 6pm and midnight.
Located in downtown Las Vegas, this hotel is close to the Fremont Street Experience. It is a little far from the Strip, so you definitely need to take a bus or drive a car to the Strip. This hotel is not as expensive as the other hotels.
Many people don't venture to the old downtown section of Las Vegas, I think it is worth the effort to get here. Here, you will see the stylish neon signs of old like Vegas Vic and Vickie.
You can also catch an evening light show which is cast upward onto a huge steel canopy which covers the entire street. The shows are shown on the hour beginning at dusk and last about 7 minutes. I'll admit that I was hoping for a more psychedelic experience but instead saw cartoons of space aliens. Regardless, it was still very well done and did I mention, free.
Fremont street is closed to vehicles so, it is very nice to stroll along the pedestrian mall, enjoying yard long margaritas and free entertainment. It is a great place to shop for cheap souveniers and post cards. It is also easy to visit several casinos in a very short time since they lack the bohemeth proportions of the new Strip Casinos. We stopped into the Golden Nugget to see "the nugget" for which the casino is named. It is the world's largest, weighing in at 61 lbs! It looks like a giant golden turd.
The downtown area of Las Vegas is a must visit. In a area of 4 city blocks you can find many of the original casinos that made LV what it is. You can also find many venders set up with all kinds of cool stuff to buy. This area is known as Glitter Gulch and you will get that feeling of days gone by as you stroll along.
Go downtown to check out some of the older casinos and to see the Fremont Street Experience, an elaborate music and light show. The street is only open to Pedestrains and the entertainment is free! Well until a casino or girly show lures you inside than your on your own...
The Experience is a 70 million dollar project that has changed the downtown scene dramatically. It is now a "family friendly" area that tourists flock to.
The female counterpart of Vic.
When you look at Vicky and the girls in the bottom right corner of the pic, remember that apart from money, Las Vegas is also all about girls and female beauty. (Clubs, the cocktail waitresses in the hotels, diner shows, etc.)
To counterattack the large hotels on the Strip, the downtown hotels around Fremont Street created the Fremont Street Experience.
Fremont Street is covered with a ceiling that is about 1,400 feet long consisting of more than 2 milion lights that are used to project "cartoon" videoclips above your head, supported by music through an enormous speakersystem. These shows are played every hour from dusk till midnight (duration +/- 10 minutes)
Downtown and the Fremont Street Experience are a lot of fun.
As a way of attracting visitors back downtown --where the action used to be in the old days - and to revive its somewhat disreputable reputation in 1994-95 the 11 downtown casinos/hotels built the Fremont St. Experience, which includes a 5-block 1,400 long, 90 ft. tall light and sound show that plays every night on the hour from 7 to 11 p.m.
The street is blocked off to traffic and there are street performers, vendors, live music, etc etc.
I think it's a lot of fun, and has been very successful. Fremont St. feels safe, and I think has brought a lot of people who would otherwise stay only on the Strip.
"It's Free" - Do go downtown and experience "The Fremont Street Experience". It's very colorful as the canopy overhead changes programs with music and lighting affects. You can wander into the shops and wander out for the next light show.
These nightly shows are free to the public and deliver an incredible array of sight and sound musical adventures employing the world's largest electric sign and over 550,000 watts of concert quality sound. Complementing this unique, high tech entertainment canopy is an open air pedestrian mall lined with Las Vegas' most legendary vintage casinos and hotels. In addition, the pedestrian mall has numerous stages and venues presenting a wide range of shows, musical ensembles and concerts for a constant flow of fun loving entertainment.
The photo was taken from the top of Stratosphere Tower. The bulk of buildings at the end of Las Vegas Blvd are the downtown casinos. In general, downtown casinos are older, smaller, and tightly built within a few blocks, while most casinos on the Strip are grander, newer, and with individual theme.
I go downtown for one reason. The Golden Nugget is a class casino. I love thier sports book and the atmosphere. It is now popular with folks 50+ since it is not the hustle and bustle of the Strip. Yet I cannot quite talk myself into ONLY staying here and not seeing the Strip. This is the ONE 'must see' casino downtown.
Binion's Horseshoe-- you go to this casino because you've heard about it. This is THE Poker casino in Vegas.
Fitzgeralds -- home of some good free shows! This casino is nice so while downtown stop in!
Before my recent trip, I was told that Freemont wasn't all it is cracked up to be... I have to say, the most fun I had the entire weekend was enjoying my margarita and watching the light show with friends. Was also cool to see old Vegas, where it all began.
Thousands of tiny lights dance and move to music from Vegas Legends to Country, depending on the time of night and the show schedule for the month during your visit. All of the casinos dim their marquee signs for the show!
Admittedly, there are some seedy elements in the area, but with some common sense and street smarts, you can enjoy one heck of a party down there!