Before development of the Las Vegas Strip, Fremont Street was the (gaming) action center of Las Vegas. Through time construction development shifted to Las Vegas Boulevard and it became the new gambler’s hot spot in Las Vegas. The number of visitors staying at Fremont Street properties dropped.
Several decades later Fremont Street was having a hard time to survive. A large number of luxurious resorts on the Las Vegas Strip lured customers away from the downtown area and Fremont Street could not keep up. The State of Nevada, the City of Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and the Fremont Street entrepreneurs had to come up with an idea to attract tourists again. They had to create something special, something that could compete with all that Las Vegas Boulevard had to offer.
They closed part of Fremont Street for traffic and created what they would call “a seven-block open-air pedestrian mall”. They introduced permanent performance stages, live entertainment and retail shopping kiosks. But most exciting part of the Fremont Street Experience was a 4-block long, 90 foot high canopy featuring a graphic lightshow. It was a state of the art lightshow during that time period. Fremont Street was revitalized with a 70 million dollar investment.
The public grand opening of the Fremont Street Experience was held on December 14, 1995. First results were astonishing and in March of 1996, gaming revenues for downtown were up almost 16%. During the following years the Fremont Street Experience received several awards and a large amount of media attention. It also became a popular location for filming movies and TV shows.
A completely new, 17 million dollar digital video display system was installed in 2004. The Fremont Street canopy now featured state-of-the-art LED technology with 12.5 million bulbs delivering incredible picture quality and clarity. This new Viva Vision ‘big screen’ was introduced to the public on June 14, 2004.
So, a lot of exciting developments have taken place at Fremont Street during the last decades. Redevelopment of the Fremont Street area didn’t stop in 2004. It’s an ongoing proces and improvements are being made constantly. During the last couple of years they’ve added a very popular zip line and the Neonopolis retail shopping center has come back to life. We’ve visited the Fremont Street Experience a number of times and in our opinion it’s a ‘must see’.