Another Vegas Rebirth Twenty Years Ago. Happy Anniversary!
I visited Las Vegas for the first time in 1989, the year the Mirage Opened. It, too, was a red letter day for the Strip. The Mirage set off a string of new, innovative, and theme oriented hotels like the Luxor, Excalibur, Treasure Island, and others. But it was six years later, 1995, that something else happened that dramatically changed downtown Las Vegas, and gave it a rebirth.
By 1992, the majority of the casino market share was on the Strip. This was the place where new casinos were being built and many visitors who came to Vegas never went downtown. Therefore, the revenue stream was moving away from the downtown area which was comprised of mostly the older casinos. Something had to be done to revitalize the downtown Fremont Street area.
Plans were laid and finally implemented and on December 14th, 1995, the Fremont Experience was opened. This renewal was comprised basically of an electronic, 90 foot high canopy that covered Fremont Street from Main Street to 4th Street. It is held up by 16 columns. Each one of these weighs 13 tons. The canopy holds 12 million LED lights which together brings an amazing light and sound show to the pedestrians below. The shows run usually from 6PM til midnight hourly each day.
Watch a light show www.fremontstreetbars.com
Today, in addition to the canopy and light show there are dozens of kiosks lining the four block area. These will offer everything from sketches by artists, to t-shirts, to to food, to souvenirs.
Looking back we can see that, once again, Las Vegas reinvented itself, was reborn. We wish the Fremont Experience a very Happy Anniversary. May you have many, many more.