Downtown Las Vegas is tied together under the canopy of the Fremont Street Experience, a high-tech, overhead sound-and-light show. The 12.5-million-light canopy extends from Main Street to Las Vegas Boulevard, covering the five-block pedestrian concourse where most Downtown casinos are situated. Canopy shows occur on the hour, with the first show at 8 p.m. and the last show at midnight (subject to seasonal change). The canopy show is free, as are nightly concerts on the 3rd Street Stage, located outdoors between Four Queens and The D Las Vegas. Beer cans and glass containers are prohibited outdoors at the Fremont Street Experience. Across Las Vegas Boulevard (beyond the canopied pedestrian plaza) is the Fremont East District, a burgeoning nightlife and dining venue.
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Fremont Street Experience Not for the Faint of Heart
Replacing Flightlinez, the new SLOTZILLA higher-tech attraction at Fremont Street offers the intrepid and newly brave the thrill of flying under the 12.5 million LEDs of the Fremont Street Experience. Riders, strapped into harnesses, take flying leaps and whiz down a steel wire while controlling the momentum by tilting their bodies at various angles. There are two experience levels with four zip lines each.
The lower zip launch is 75 feet above the pedestrian mall and extends 850 feet with riders in a seated position. The higher zoom launch begins as the reels spin on the 115-foot-high platform of the world’s largest slot machine; for this steeper run, riders are horizontal and finish a third of a mile away. This hard-to-miss longer jaunt begins between Casino Center Boulevard and 3rd Street, soars over the traffic on 3rd, scoots through the LED canopy, and ends 4 blocks to the west in front of the Golden Gate Hotel. Speeds can reach 35 mph, and flyers can and do race. Open daily, noon–midnight (or later). Cost for the lower ride is $20, and the higher ride is $40.
Entertainment aside, Fremont Street’s most renowned attraction is the flashing neon marquees of the Downtown casinos, the reason Fremont Street is called “Glitter Gulch.” Augmenting the neon of the casinos are vintage Las Vegas neon signs dating back to the 1940s.
Confident of the positive direction in which the area is heading, several aging properties in Downtown’s casino corridor have completed extensive revitalization: The Plaza was thoroughly renovated; the Golden Nugget added the Rush Tower with 500 rooms; Fitzgeralds was renamed The D Las Vegas and received an exterior face-lift and interior makeover; the El Cortez has been updated and added a wing of 64 Cabana Suites; the Golden Gate constructed a five-story tower with 100 rooms; and the Lady Luck became the Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino. Total number of guest rooms completed is approximately 2,800 in eight properties. Much of these interior-exterior remodels maintain a nostalgic Vegas vibe: It continues to glitter, but Fremont Street is no longer a gulch.