Fremont Street Experience: the irresistible side of Downtown Las Vegas

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Lluis Enric Mayans
@lluisenricmayans
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

“You've been to Vegas and haven't stepped up Fremont Street, you haven't really been to Las Vegas, but only on the Las Vegas Strip “. I don't remember where I read or heard this sentence, but I certainly can't say I disagree. Fremont Street, the beating heart of Downtown, is the second most famous street in Las Vegas after the Strip, but not for historical importance. This street is as old as Las Vegas is: founded in 1905, it was the first street in the city to be paved. The city's first traffic light was installed right here, in 1931, but its three lights weren't the only ones that made history in these parts. In fact, Las Vegas was the first city in all of Nevada to be served byelectricity, and Fremont Street benefited in a particular way: it is still called today Glitter Gulch, in memory of that time in 1937 it was "Invaded" by lights thanks to the electricity generated by the nearby Hoover Dam. Go there today and you will see that the nickname has absolutely not gone out of fashion, quite the opposite!



Obviously the main attractions of Fremont Street are once again i casino: they are not gigantic and flashy like the ones on the Strip, but they have an older history. Just think that the oldest casino in Las Vegas, Golden Gate Hotel Casino, it's right here. In this article I want to give you some advice on how to organize an itinerary on this road, both on the more commercial piece (Fremont street experience) than in the older one (Fremont East).

Index

  • Main Street Station Hotel & Casino
  • Fremont street experience
    • Viva Vision
    • Golden Gate Casino Hotel
    • Cowboy Vic
    • Golden Nuggets Casino
    • Binion’s Gambling Hall
    • Zipline Las Vegas: Slotzilla
    • Heart Attack Grill
  • Fremont East and environs
    • Other attractions in the Downton of Las Vegas
  • Organized tour on Fremont Street
  • How to get there and how to get around?
  • Where to sleep in the area?

Main Street Station Hotel & Casino

Begin your Fremont Street tour by reaching the Main Street Station Hotel & Casino, which is not actually on Fremont Street: you are at 200 N Main St, but as soon as you cross the threshold of the hotel you will have the impression of having the wrong address anyway. If you didn't understand it from the outside, the whole hotel and the gambling area is railway-themed: the interiors of the lobby and gaming rooms have been built and embellished with details that will make you think you are there. in a Victorian station. But this is not the only reason this hotel is interesting: if you do not intend to gamble, you can take a look at the curious one collection of antiquities of the hotel, from the candlesticks of the Figaro Opera House in Paris to the bronze statue of a wild boar. Without forgetting to visit the men's room, where it is located ... an authentic piece of the Berlin Wall.



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Fremont street experience

Fremont street experience: this is the name of this street segment that goes from S Main Street to N 4 th St in Las Vegas. Below here is what to see at Fremont Street Experience e what to do:

Viva Vision

After visiting Main Street Station, go to the intersection of Main Street and Fremont Street. Needless to say, when you get there you will immediately realize it, especially if it is night: near the splendid, nostalgic sign of the aforementioned Golden Gate Casino begins a gallery of 450 meters covered by a screen formed by over 12 million LED bulbs. This installation is called Viva Vision, and is one of the strengths of the Fremont Street Experience, the reason why it can still bear the name of Glitter Gulch today. On a daily basis, every hour from 18 to 1.00 at night on the screen the light bulbs give rise to a stratospheric 6 minute light show accompanied by songs from The Killers, Heart, Green Day and others. You can also hear the music playing live, free of charge, in one of the three stages intended for entertainment under the gallery.

Golden Gate Casino Hotel

Aside from taking a nice photo of the sign inaugurating the Fremont Street Experience, there's not much else to see at the Golden Gate Casino Hotel. Of course I am referring to those of you who have no interest in gambling at all: for this category of people the thrill of entering the first casino in Las Vegas and seeing the ancient slot machines will undoubtedly be remarkable. Moreover, its long history has seen it go through the dark times of prohibition and gambling ban: from 1909 to 1933 the casino - when it was still called the Nevada Hotel - had to continue its business in a clandestine way. The casino was later named Golden Gate in honor of some of the investors Oakland who in 1955 helped bring the place back into vogue. Today the Golden Gate bartenders are very popular and so you shouldn't miss one of their cocktails… without overdoing it, as did Frank Sinatra and the Rat Packs in the XNUMXs.



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Cowboy Vic

The Golden Gate isn't the only vintage sign to pay homage to Fremont Street. Just before the intersection with N 1th St, lift your nose and enjoy the neon that has belonged to the Pioneer Club since 1951: it is Cowboy Vic, the winking dude until recently "married" (for real! The ceremony was held in 1994) with Vegas Vickie, the seductive neon-cowgirl who, since 1980, has graced the entrance to the restaurant opposite, the Glitter Gulch strip club. Unfortunately Vickie was removed in 2017 on the occasion of the closing of the club, but her return is scheduled for 2020. Cowboy Vic today presides over a souvenir shop and boasts several attempts at imitation in Nevada: you will also find him at Laughlin (Pioneer Hotel & Gambling Hall) e a Wendover Will.

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Golden Nuggets Casino

The name of this casino is tied in two ways to a very curious story: in Wedderburn (Victoria) in Australia, in 1980, Kevin Hillier found a 27 kg gold nugget with a metal detector. He called her Hand of Faith: I'm not an expert, but it seems that this is the largest gold nugget in the world. Well, the Golden Nuggets Hotel in Las Vegas bought the nugget for over a million dollars and kept it on display until 2014, when it lent it to the Golden Nuggets Hotel in Biloxi, Mississippi. with the promise to bring her home after a few months. That promise has not been kept, however, and as far as we know the nugget has remained in the Deep South, while in Las Vegas there is only one replica, just like in the namesake hotels in Laughlin and Atlantic City. So why go and see or even stay overnight in the Golden Nuggets Hotel Casino a Las Vegas? If the charming vintage setting isn't enough for you, know that there is one in the hotel Swimmingpool with a slide running through a shark tank!



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Binion’s Gambling Hall

La Binion’s Gambling Hall is known for being the stage, from 1970 to 2004, of the World Series of Poker, one of the most popular poker tournaments in the world. Tournament matches no longer take place here, but Binion's remains home to many poker fans who find themselves playing in the room. However, this is no longer the only reason this place is famous: did you know that here you can take a free photo in front of a pyramid formed by 1 million dollars cash? If you like the idea, mark the opening hours: every day from 9 to 11.30 (minimum age 21 years). It's definitely not something you do every day!

Zipline Las Vegas: Slotzilla

Everyone in Vegas is a little crazy. I also gave you proof of this in the article on crazy things to do in Las Vegas, but this activity is no exception. Imagine taking flight from the largest slot machine in the world and speeding through the air over 20 meters high, right under the lights of the Fremont Street Experience. Well you can do it! There Zipline Slotzilla di Las Vegas it allows you to "fly" along this stretch of road in two different positions: suspended vertically at 24 meters in height (as in a normal zipline) for 250 meters; or in a horizontal position at 35 meters (like Superman, to be understood), for 500 meters. The latter mode, somewhat more expensive, is called Zoomline.

If you are passionate about these attractions, know that there is another zipline in the city, Fly Linq, which will allow you to launch yourself into the void directed towards the highest Ferris wheel in the world. At this link you can book your leap into the void.

Heart Attack Grill

There are many places to eat in Las Vegas, but this one… well, it's unique! Difficult to find the words to describe it, but someone will have to do it. Heart Attack Grill is a greasing clinic for thin people that since 2005 has been carrying out an unlikely fight against anorexia: you will not be a customer but a patient, instead of waitresses you will find nurses, instead of cooks you will find doctors, instead of a napkin around your neck you will wear a smock, instead of soup you will eat a huge sandwich full of sauces (1 to 8 burgers, 5 to 40 slices of bacon, while the fries are fried in oil and lard!). And if you don't finish the healthy meal until the last crumb, you will come spanked by the maids! Of course, food is the quintessence of junky food, but the concept of the place, the settings and the atmosphere could be worth the price of dinner alone. Ah, if you weigh more than 350lb (about 160kg) eat for free: maybe it means that you are "completely healed" and that you just have to set an example for others ...

Fremont East and environs

If the neon lights and hellish chaos of the Fremont Street Experience have you a bit of a pain, leave the Zipline and Grease Clinic behind and head through the Fremont East located at the intersection with N Las Vegas Bvld. The Strip and Fremont Street Experience are by no means a reflection of that old Vegas that first lit up the Mojave Desert. If you want to get an idea of ​​what it must have been like, you have to come here. Without having the hallucinatory gaze from the light pollution of Viva Vision, you will be able to see some hotels and vintage venues with beautiful neon signs discovering Oscar's Martini Glass, Hacienda Horse and Rider, Ruby Slipper and the Neon Showgirl. Among other things, you can also cross the Abbey Road strips, come i Beatles.

Other attractions in the Downton of Las Vegas

After 7th, Fremont Street enters an area of ​​the Downtown of Las Vegas which has a little less to offer, but kitsch is hard to die: right on the seventh you'll find the huge mantide sputafuoco of Downtown Container Park, a shopping arcade that also offers attractions for children. From the mantide sputafuoco, of the beautiful Neon Museum and other oddities to be found around Fremont Street and other downtown areas we talked about in our article on Nevada's bizarre attractions.

Organized tour on Fremont Street

If the soul of Fremont Street has intrigued you and you would like to take a walk with a local guide who tells you the history of Old Vegas, I recommend you take a look at this organized tour of the duration of 2 hours, during which you will see the attractions that we have indicated in this article, and so on!

Info on the organized tour

How to get there and how to get around?

In our article on Las Vegas transportation we also gave some specific advice on how to get to Fremont Street (and in Downtown) by public transportation. Read it by clicking on the link below:

Getting around in Las Vegas

Where to sleep in the area?

If this is your first time to Las Vegas, my advice is to opt for one of the hotels on the Strip. But if you've been to Sin City before and would like to try a historic hotel this side of Las Vegas, you could choose one of the hotels listed in the article or let yourself be inspired by the list of hotels you find at the link below.

All hotels on Fremont Street 

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