Along with looking at the growth of the city, we have been looking at the development and strategies that the downtown region has taken in an effort to stimulate tourism. When looking at Las Vegas, it is important to note that when you mention Las Vegas to most people, they think of "the Strip" almost instantly and not the place where it all began- Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas. This is a look into the attempted refocus on that area.
Looking into the downtown revitalization efforts of the last 20 or so years, there are four main projects that show themselves:
- Fremont Street Experience
- Fremont East Entertainment District
- Downtown Art Trails
- Downtown Project
Looking into these projects, we see ideas that have been largely successful in bringing people into the downtown area. Two of the projects are focused on the Fremont Street region- Fremont Street Experience and Fremont East Entertainment District. Rightfully so, these areas are where the downtown region got it's start. Fremont Street is home to many of firsts for Las Vegas.
Above is an example illustration detailing the Fremont Street Experience and what we can learn from it. What is fascinating about this specific project is not just the architectural achievement, but the entertainment scene that has come to represent the area. The Fremont Street Experience has become a destination for tourists, and led to the redevelopment of the area to the east as Fremont East Entertainment District, and area with bars, clubs, restaurants, and nightlife as vibrant as the neon lights.
More recently, the Downtown Project has become a headline in the redevelopment of Downtown Las Vegas. With Zappos' CEO Tony Hsieh contributing $350 million to the collective of business owners and developers (he too is a part of it), and all controversy aside, the project has good intentions to foster growth and re-establish Las Vegas as a destination for entrepreneurs. The Downtown Project has invested in numerous local businesses and has poured money into infrastructure improvements in an attempt to breathe life into downtown.
Overall, these discoveries can bring to light some of the things that make projects successful, and to note some of the struggles that projects face while developing in this ever changing city.
Above: Drafts of the current trends timeline