Fremont Street Experience

About 8 blocks of "Old Style Vegas" under a 90 foot tall canopy of show lights which are the largest choreographed lights and sounds in the world, located in downtown Las Vegas starting at the Plaza on Las Vegas Blvd to 13th Street.  You have it all... 8 Hotel & Casinos; like Plaza, Vegas Club, Golden Nugget, Golden Gate, Binion's, Fremont, Fitzgerald's, 4 Queens, wall to wall slots, craps, roulette, keno, poker, blackjack, bingo. Restaurants, Bar & Grills, Street Bars, at least 3 different live bands, an excellent sax musician, artist making keepsakes on the spot, spray paint artist creating nice scenes in minutes, as well as many kiosks selling souvenir items like engraved rice grain jewelry, unique T-shirts, hats and much more to mention...  Show girls waving you in to see their show and giving away strings of beads.

At night they crank up the music which blends with the light show which has different themes which is gear to what big attraction is in town, like a patriotic show, "America Freedom" for July 4th..  They use "We Will Rock You" and "We are the Champions" while lighting up the ceiling with stunning graphics coordinated to the song. New stuff is created each year and rotated in and out.

Visitors can also experience Fremont East, located between Las Vegas Blvd. and Eighth St. Emphasizing the glamour of vintage Las Vegas, Fremont East includes wider sidewalks, more pedestrian-friendly streets, landscaping, lighted gateways as well as four 40-foot-tall neon signs. Located in the heart of downtown, Fremont East sits adjacent to the Experience.

All this plus a street full of locals, tourists, and 110 degrees while we were there, but it didn't seem that hot to me... I've been in a tobacco barn.

We had 4 good close-by buffets - Plaza, Binion's, Fitzgerald, and The Buffet, all near our hotel, The Vegas Club. They also had a nice small restaurant and their breakfast was great.  Everything is open 24/7 and I assume these hours were invented just for Las Vegas.  I was told by Gerry Lopez the best steak was at Main Street Station which was 8 blocks away, I thought the best prime rib was at Binion's Ranch Steakhouse on the 24th floor, and also close by, incidentally your meals in Vegas are reasonable compared to other cities.

The "Deuce" a double-decker bus line is the best and cheapest way around Vegas, $2 one way, $5 for a 24hr pass.

"The Strip" (S Las Vegas Blvd) has free shows and things to see at each Hotel & Casino, some like the Wynn is a 4 billion dollar Hotel & Casino.  There is a water show in front of Bellagio, sinking pirate ship at Treasure Island,  waterfall at Wynn, tropical garden, tigers walking on glass floor - MGM Mirage has a volcano, exotic cars at Caesars Palace, trapeze act at Circus Circus, Venetian boats, gondolas taking people rides on the canals at the Venetian, where the old Sands Hotel use to be.  Gayle and I took in a couple of things like shows, La Cage, a western show, The Rat Pack, and dinner at Stratosphere (113 stories high, rotates, & great view), but I enjoyed a good dinner after returning from seeing Hoover Dam, Death Valley, Valley of Fire, Red Rock Canyon, and the Grand Canyon, you can't do all that in one day.  You need as lease a day for each attraction.  Their State and National Parks beats the Vegas glitz and glamour in my opinion.  We renting a car to do this, Nevada is lots of brown mountain ranges with desert valleys in between, easy to understand why the pioneers missed this state on their way to California.  Driving back into Las Vegas it night, its a beautiful sprawling city of light on a desert floor with mountains all around.  Obviously, I didn't play checkers!

The bigger, newer, mega-resorts of Vegas you see driving in from McCarran International on S Las Vegas Blvd. are lined up; Mandalay Bay, Excalibur, both near airport, MGM Grand, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Monte Carlo, left is Rio, and right is Hard Rock, then Imperial Palace, (Trumps & Wynn looks close because they are so big) Venetian, Riviera, Las Vegas Hilton, Circus Circus, on right the Hilton Grand, on left Artisan & Sahara, Stratosphere look like it on the strip from a distance but its left, and then into downtown, 4 Queens, Golden Gate, Plaza, and Vegas Club where we were for our checker tournament.  These are not in exact order but close, I've miss a number of them I don't remember.

Across the street from our hotel is The Plaza Hotel & Casino were our 2007 National was held.  This hotel opened on July 2, 1971 as the largest in Las Vegas.  The Plaza's original name was Union Plaza, referring to the Union Pacific railroad station that was originally located on this site.  Before the discontinuation of the Desert Wind train route in 1997, Amtrak made its Las Vegas station stop at the Plaza.  The station and ticket windows were directly connected to the hotel.  You don't learn tid-bits like this on the streets in Vegas because most everyone is a tourist or a transplant.  Vegas has several good museums.

BTW there's a nice aviation museum at McCarran and this reminders you of Howard Hughes' influence on Vegas, he owned Sands, replaced by Venetian; and a few others like, Desert Inn now replaced by Wynn; Landmark now a parking lot for the Las Vegas Convention Center; Castaways replaced by Mirage & Treasure Island; Silver Slipper demolished for Frontier parking; (Frontier and Stardust both demolished in 2007 for new resort).  I didn't know he also owned 200 thousand acres west of Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon which his estate gave 193 to create Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.  I knew about most of his other holdings.

Its interesting to know, three magnificent man-made structures grew out of the ashes of the depression, Hoover Dam, Golden Gate Bridge, and the Empire State Building, this is the way our government is suppose to stimulate the economy went its needed!

2008 National 3-Move Results