Let there be light!

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by garymarsh6 on August 8, 2013

Freemont Street.

Where is Freemont Street?

Freemont Street is in downtown North Las Vegas and for the majority of people the area surrounding the place has become a mega place for violence, robbery and muggings. However it is probably prudent to take a taxi right to Freemont Street for your own safety. It was one of the most run down areas of Las Vegas and encouraged the criminal element however just recently there has been some developments down that end of Las Vegas with the opening of shopping malls art galleries and other interesting things which has now seen a decline in the crime wave in the area.

So what is so special about Freemont Street?

Freemont street houses some of the original hotels of Las Vegas including the Golden Nugget hotel and casino, The Freemont hotel, The Four queens hotel and casino plus Binions Hotel and casino to name a few. It was the first street in Las Vegas to become paved in 1925 although it has been in existence since 1905. A couple of other firsts for Freemont Street include having the first set of traffic lights and the first elevator was installed in 1932 in the Apache hotel. The hotels were the original hotels in Las Vegas with neon signs that were shown in old films. Gambling was not legalised until 1931 and from then on Las Vegas has become the gambling capital of the world.

In 1995 a project was started to upgrade and make downtown Las Vegas more people friendly so they covered four blocks with a canopy and made it pedestrianised. Now in total Freemont Street is open aired and covers seven blocks in total. In 2004 the 90 foot canopy above your head was installed with 12.5 million neon light bulbs that provide shows to stun and amaze the visitor on the hour from dusk. There are also concert stands and at different times bands play including some famous bands too. There are also street entertainers that pass up and down the street.

Is it worth going to see?

This is one of Las Vegas’s free attractions and is certainly worth a visit. In the past it was brilliant in Las Vegas to hear the sounds of coins dropping into the collection tray on the slot machine. In the newer hotel casinos all you hear is an electronic ching ching and you are paid out with a ticket to collect your winnings but there are a couple of casinos downtown where you are still paid out in coins albeit 25 cents but there are collecting pots which you fill with your winnings and where you can take your winnings to be cashed in.

I certainly think it is a brilliant place to go and see a neon show and to spend an hour or two downtown to soak up the atmosphere. It is brilliant to witness and experience the wonderful free entertainment of the neon show. I would however make sure you have your wits about you as there are pickpockets as there are anywhere else where there are big crowds and you are absorbed in what is going on around you. Just be careful and you should be ok. Go there by taxi if you are coming from the main strip and take a taxi cab back. There are plenty of police walking around and on bikes who patrol the area. Just be careful not to wander too far away from Freemont street and you should be fine. On average 25,000 people visit Freemont street every day and around 17 million people a year enjoy the free shows that are put on hourly.

What happens?

A few seconds before the hour all the neon lights along the pedestrianised area go off and the light show begins. Sound effects are superb with massive speakers along the street booming out sound during the show which may involve jet fighters flying across your head and various scenes from around the USA. The shows are all different the two shows I have seen each time I have visited include a patriotic show and also one based on sea life with sharks and other fish flying around over your head. It really is quite entertaining. The shows last for approximately five minutes and then once over Freemont Street returns to it neon clad hotels brilliantly lit up providing its own show.

There are plenty of hotels downtown where you can stay or have something to eat. For example Inside the Golden Nugget there is a massive piece of gold ore that was discovered by chance by a guy in Victoria Australia who had just bought himself a metal detector. It is known as the hand of faith and is the second largest piece of gold ever found and was reputed to have been bought for a million dollars by the casino weighing in at around 61 LBS.

Would I recommend a visit to Freemont Street?

Yes, yes, yes.It is definitely worth a visit to soak up the atmosphere, to experience the old hotels and casinos and to marvel at the wonderful free entertainment provided for everyone to enjoy.
AS I have previously said just be careful take a taxi there and back. Watch your handbags or wallets and stay within the boundaries of Freemont Street and you will be fine. I have visited Freemont Street every time I have visited Las Vegas and have never had a problem. I have been to Las Vegas Five times now and will continue to visit Freemont Street at least once during my visit.
Fremont Street Experience
Westernmost 5 Blocks Of Fremont
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89101
(702) 678 5777


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