Category Archives: Downtown Las Vegas

Fremont Street back in the day, merging into what it looks like today.

What Did Fremont Street Look Like Back in the Day

Visiting the Fremont Street Experience is an essential part of any Vegas trip – but how did it come to be that way? Fremont Street wasn’t always a world-class attraction. In fact, it started out as a humble downtown area of a tiny town that valued function over flash. Dating back to before the Prohibition, this area’s seen it all – from the ban (and lift of the ban) of gambling to Vegas’ first casino. [Image above is attributed to: https://goo.gl/ofiyFS and http://www.triptipslasvegas.com/2016/05/fremont-street-experience-in-las-vegas.html]

So, what did Fremont Street look like back in the day?

1905 – 1919 – Humble Beginnings

On May 15th, 1905, Las Vegas, Nevada was born. However, the image of Vegas today hardly represent this city’s humble beginnings. Las Vegas began as a tiny town void of the glitz and glamour with a population of only a few hundred people (a pretty huge difference from today’s 600,000+). Dirt roads paved the way to the town’s historic Downtown Las Vegas, which only had basic shops for the townspeople – until Hotel Nevada opened in 1906. Now known as Golden Gate, Hotel Nevada served as the towns first taste of gaming. However, the ban on gambling in 1910 and the enactment of Prohibition in 1919 hindered the city’s transformation into the Entertainment Capital of the World.

What Fremont Street currently looks like with the walking visitors, and what it use to look like with cars driving through.attribute: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fremont_Street_Binions_Golden_Nugget.jpg
attribute: http://www.inoldlasvegas.com/downtown.html

1920 – 1933 – Paving the Way

This time period proved to be a pivotal point in both Las Vegas and Fremont Street history. Fremont Street, the old Strip, was paved in 1925 as the downtown area developed. The ban on gambling was lifted in 1931, which would later spark a massive casino development movement in downtown and what would later be known as the Strip. In 1933, Prohibition was repealed. The exciting development of the city and legalized drinking and gambling is perhaps how Vegas’ infectiously adventurous culture was born.

1934 – 1966 – Development

The mid-1930’s saw a development boom that would eventually transform the city into what it is now – a world-famous entertainment mecca. Part of the city’s rapid growth can be attributed to the construction of the Hoover Dam, which drew workers to the bars and casinos downtown.

1941 saw the opening of El Cortez, while the Last Frontier was born the following year. The Golden Nugget opened in 1946 and was the largest and most luxurious casino in Vegas at the time. The area’s tallest building, called the Fremont Hotel, was erected in 1956. These developments were beginning to make a name for the city as a fun, glamorous getaway where visitors could see their favorite performers, gamble, and let loose.

To commemorate this Vegas boom, Betty Willis designed the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, which would serve as a widely-recognized symbol of Vegas. The Pioneer Club erected the now-famous Vegas Vic neon sign on the exterior of their building in 1951. In 1966, The Aladdin opened, which would later hold the wedding of Elvis and Ann-Margret.

In 1994, with the intention of attracting more tourists, the city closed Fremont Street to traffic in preparation for a huge project that would transform the area from a small town mainstreet to a glittering desert oasis.

1995 – Opening of Fremont Street Experience

In 1995, after injecting $70 million into the new development, Fremont Street Experience opened. Executives of the Fremont Street Experience envisioned a performance-style attraction encompassing the project. After nixing the idea of a sky parade, they stumbled upon the concept that would set Fremont Street apart for years to come – a massive, spectacular light show from above. The project consisted of a giant canopy covering four blocks and about 2.1 million lights that would work together to put on a stunning show.

The Fremont Street Experience light show opened on December 14th, 1995. In the early 2000’s, permanent stages were added to accommodate the frequent performances. In 2004, $17 million was invested in LED displays that allowed for more color combinations and a more vivid, intricate show. Even though lights, sound systems, and other technologies have been enhanced, Fremont Street Experience still maintains its original magic!

Fremont Street morphing into what it has become today.attribute: https://travel.usnews.com/Las_Vegas_NV/Things_To_Do/Fremont_Street_Experience_12894/
attribute: http://maidstonebuttermilk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/DSC01825-1edited-123.jpg

Today, Fremont Street offers guests the best of all worlds – nostalgic charm, modern tech marvels, world-class gaming, and spectacular shows. Taking a look at Downtown Vegas history along with what sparked the development of the area and how this renowned attraction came to be enriches the Fremont Street Experience today.

Lit Up 18b Arts District Las Vegas Sign

Exploring the Las Vegas Arts District

Everyone has heard of the Las Vegas Strip, but how often do you explore downtown Las Vegas? Better yet, did you know that Las Vegas has an Arts District? While it may be challenging to see Las Vegas culture from inside a casino-resort on the Strip, it doesn’t mean that culture doesn’t exist. The 18b Las Vegas Arts District is the city’s home to eclectic galleries, boutiques, bars, eateries and other venues. [Image above is attributed to: http://www.18b.org/]

18b straddles West Charleston and is home to vibrant streetscapes, colorful buildings, and public art and murals. 18b’s short and walkable blocks are filled with charming character and a cultural identity that tends to fly under the radar. Do something different the next time you travel to Las Vegas. Take a step outside of your comfort zone and head to 18b, The Las Vegas Arts District for places to dine, drink, and explore!

When To Go

The best days to visit the Las Vegas Arts District are Thursday through Sunday, however, you can experience all of 18b’s eclectic charm every day. If you’re planning a trip and want to see the main highlights of the Las Vegas Arts District, take these days into consideration when scheduling:

First Friday: On the first Friday of every month, the neighborhood hosts a massive block party with live music and entertainment, local art on display, and the best food trucks Vegas has to offer. Free shuttles run between Fremont & 6th (near the El Cortez and Downtown Container Park) and the Arts District (shuttle stop is at Main St. and Colorado).

-Preview Thursday: If you’re an art collector, don’t miss Preview Thursday. On the night before First Friday, art galleries are open until 10pm and collectors can check out new art galleries so they don’t have to fight the First Friday crowds.

-Time your visit around happy hour or meal time so you can experience 18b’s thriving culinary scene.

-It’s important to keep in mind that many galleries are closed on Sundays and Mondays, so be sure to check the hours of operation of a particular gallery you’re interested in visiting in advance.

Aerial Nighttime Photo of First Friday in 18b Las Vegas Arts Districtattribute: https://ffflv.org/

The Art Galleries of 18b

The 18b Arts District boasts everchanging street art and over two dozen art studios and galleries. Many of these are located in the flourishing commercial arts center, which consists of three remodeled buildings and a beautiful outdoor art garden. The Arts Factory is a building comprised of several art galleries and studios. Across the street is Art Square, a fully-renovated warehouse building that many creative businesses call home. Arts Square also contains a beauty salon, restaurants, a wedding chapel, and the Cockroach Theatre.

Art Square Las Vegas Entrance to Galleries, Shops, Theatre, and Art Gardenattribute: https://www.dtlvarts.com/arts-square/

The Shops of 18b

More than 20 independent antique and vintage stores make up Antique Alley, with the majority located in the Arts District. Catering to mid-century modern enthusiasts, lovers of vintage clothes, and collectors of antiques of all kinds, popular shops include Patina Décor, Buffalo Exchange and Retro Vegas.

Glam Factory Vintage is a boutique that features everything from kitschy collectables and antiques to a large collection of vintage clothing from the 1940’s-1970’s. New inventory, daily!

Cowtown Guitars  is Las Vegas’ only exclusive used, vintage & boutique shop. Established in 1990, Cowtown Guitars has hundreds of guitars, basses, and amps.

Gaia Flowers Gifts Art offers stunning assortments of organic flowers, cactus gardens, local artwork and handcrafted novelties.

The Restaurants and Bars of 18b

After visiting the galleries and shopping, stop and refuel at one of 18b’s many artsy cafes, restaurants or bars. There’s no shortage of great options within the Las Vegas Arts District. Indulge your senses (taste, in particular) with one of these unique venues.

Lola’s is a cozy Louisiana kitchen with cajun cooking. Grab some gumbo, crawdads or étouffée.

Mingo Kitchen and Lounge has creative dishes and delectable Sunday brunches.

Artifice is a popular lounge that showcases local music talent and features boutique wines and cocktails. The rooms are decorated with art and photography by local and international artists.

The Velveteen Rabbit has local music, art, performances, and an outstanding assortment of draft and bottled beers and handcrafted cocktails.

Millennium Fandom Bar is where cosplay meets the bar scene and the result is an amazing collection of nerdtastic events. Grab a drink before the next major screening of hit movies and TV shows like Game of Thrones, Star Wars, or The Avengers. Or, stop by for Nerdathon & Geekathon Trivia every Wednesday night!

This bohemian neighborhood may not appeal to everyone, but if you’re the kind of traveler who enjoys getting off the beaten path (and free parking!) or if you’re tired of the Strip and want to try something new, give 18b a chance and explore the art and culture that “real” Las Vegas has to offer.

Las Vegas Golden Knights logo.

A Recap of the NHL Golden Knights Hockey Season

The NHL season is coming to a close and to say that the Golden Knights performed well would be an understatement. The newest team to join the league has been analyzed all season and while the secret sauce of their success may still be a mystery, Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt explains it succinctly: “It’s Vegas, right? They say the house always wins.”

Let’s take a look at the Golden Knight’s inaugural season, their successes, and what we can expect for the remainder of the year.

The 2017-2018 Season

Golden Knights team members huddled up.

The Golden Knights are the NHL’s first expansion team in 17 years and started the season with an 8-1-0 record back in October. Only three of the past nine expansion teams that began playing since 1991 won more than one of their first seven games, but that didn’t scare the Knights. In the beginning of the season, even the players themselves were impressed. “I don’t think anyone was expecting a start like this, even though we knew we were pretty good,” forward William Karlsson said. “It’s been working so far. We had some dips, too, but we seem to find a way to win games still. So far, so good.”

At the time of writing, the Golden Knights are seeded #1 in the Pacific with 44 wins and 19 losses. These stats put them fourth in the entire league (trailing Tampa Bay, Nashville, and Boston). Now that the season is coming to a close, we’re looking toward the Stanley Cup.

The Stanley Cup 2018

Representation of the NHL Stanley Cup.

Called “the surprise team of the season,” the Golden Knights have secured their playoff spot, with a 100% probability. The playoffs begin on April 11th and while the schedule has yet to be decided, below are the current standings and top three teams of each division at the time of writing:

Atlantic Division

1.Tampa Bay Lightning
2.Boston Bruins
3.Toronto Maple Leafs

Metropolitan Division

1.Pittsburgh Penguins
2.Washington Capitals
3.Philadelphia Flyers

Western Conference

1.Nashville Predators
2.Winnipeg Jets
3.Minnesota Wild

Pacific Division

1.Vegas Golden Knights
2.San Jose Sharks
3.Anaheim Ducks

It will be interesting to see who ends up making it to the playoffs and, eventually, the championship.

The Golden Knights

Majority of the Las Vegas Golden Knights team on the ice.

So who is this new team that’s taken the league by storm? Let’s learn a little more about the hockey team that calls Las Vegas home.

In 2014, Foley and other investors held a season ticket drive to gauge the public’s interest in having an NHL team, and the drive drew more than 5,000 deposits in the first day and a half. Needless to say, the NHL expansion team was welcomed with open arms in 2016. Since then, the team has recruited plenty of young talent, plus veterans who have come from other NHL teams. Right wing James Neal was part of the Nashville Predators’ first Stanley Cup Finals appearance and was an alternate captain during his time with the team. His leadership makes him a great fit that has guided the Golden Knights.

Left wing David Perron was a top scorer for the St. Louis Blues with 159 career goals, which definitely helped boost the Golden Knights in their first year. Shea Theodore, Marc-Andre Fleury, and Deryk Engelland are all also touted to be top performers for the team. As we close the season, we have seen Jonathan Marchessault lead the team with points scored, and William Karlsson lead goals scored. Perron has had 45 assists. And who could forget Chance the Gila Monster? He made his official debut as the team mascot and has appeared as a regular at the rink, building a community and fan base around the NHL’s newest hockey team.

Vegas is a city full of change and the electric momentum that the Golden Knights have brought to the city couldn’t have come at a better time. Thinking of visiting Vegas to catch one of the remaining games to see this momentous team in action? The D is only twenty minutes away from the T-Mobile Arena, the Golden Knights’ home turf. Stay and play Downtown for the ultimate convenience.

Fortune Cup mechanical horse racing at the D.

Konami’s Fortune Cup™ Mechanical Horse Racing at the D

If you’re in Downtown Vegas and want to try a new type of gaming,  the D is just your spot. Here, you’ll find the usual casino games like roulette, blackjack, craps, and (of course) slots, but what you might not be familiar with is the classic casino resident, the Sigma Derby horse race game. This game is so rare, it can only be found at the D and one other casino in Las Vegas. So what is Sigma Derby? This electro-mechanical horse race game is from 1985 and can host up to 10 players. You can bet on the five different horses in the race.

If you think that sounds exciting, wait until you hear about the newest game calling the D casino floor home. Introducing, Konami’s Fortune Cup™ Mechanical Horse Racing! This new game puts a spin on the Sigma Derby and creates an adrenaline rush for all gamers. Here’s what you can expect from the heart-pumping casino game.

Fortune Cup Mechanical Horse Racing

On February 28th, the D Hotel & Casino introduced their newest casino game, the Fortune Cup™ Mechanical Horse Racing game! The Sigma Derby at the D is already a fan-favorite and in high demand, so it only makes sense to bring in a new and improved version that offers modern improvements for the visitors. Casino goers can find this new and exciting game on the second level of the D in the Vintage Vegas casino section.

People playing the Fortune Cup game at the D casino.

What to Know About This Fortune Cup Game

Created by Konami Gaming Inc., the new mechanical horse racing game by Fortune Cup™  brings outstanding technology and an unmatched energy and excitement to the casino floor. The newest Fortune Cup™  game will feature eight horses ready to race around the 9-foot wide mechanical track. The race will also be projected in real-time on the digital screen for players to enjoy the game’s action and animations. Players can choose to sit at one of the 10 betting stations, equipped with individual touchscreen interfaces.

As one of the few casinos in Las Vegas that celebrates both old and new games, the D decided that the most appropriate location for this exciting new game would be right next to the beloved Sigma Derby. With the two games in the same space, casino goers have the opportunity to enjoy two different horse racing experiences.

Derek Stevens, CEO and owner of the D Las Vegas, explained to VegasNews.com, “we’ve seen such great success with Sigma Derby that it only makes sense for us to find even more creative ways to continue that type of fun. Fortune Cup is our way of paying homage to the games that made us fall in love with Las Vegas in the first place.”

Make your way to the casino floor at the D Las Vegas today for your chance to participate in this new and exciting addition to the world of gaming!

Sign and entrance of American Coney Island at the D.

Introducing: American Coney Island

It’s safe to say that Las Vegas is a culinary hotspot. Known for our top-notch food options and more cuisines than you could ever imagine, many one-of-a-kind restaurants are proud to call Sin City “home.” The Detroit-natives behind American Coney Island recently expanded out of Michigan and into the D Las Vegas and brought the city’s favorite Coney dogs with them. Family owned and operated since 1917, American Coney Island was founded by Constantine “Gust” Keros, who immigrated from Greece to Detroit in 1903.

Say Hello to American Coney Island

American Coney Island has 100, going on 101, years of experience making food people love. Lucky for us, they have decided to expand and share their above-and-beyond hot dogs with the residents and visitors of Las Vegas. As the oldest family-owned business in the state of Michigan, no one can do The Coney quite like this family. For decades, the famous Coney dog has been an institution in Downtown Detroit. If the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because they have been featured several times on the Food Network, Travel Channel, The Chew, and way more. Oh, and if you had any doubts, they have also won the best Coney in the country for consistently serving up comfort food at its finest. American Coney Island currently has locations in downtown Detroit, the Detroit Zoo, and right here in the D Las Vegas.

Cook working at American Coney Island making hot dogs.

The Coney

If you think you’ve had a chili dog, think again. Known for its high-quality meat, special secret Chili Sauce developed by the family decades ago, and warm steamed bun, The Coney is a tantalizing treat. Whether you top your Coney with mustard or sweet chopped onions, you won’t soon forget this timeless favorite. It even has that satisfying “snap” we love, thanks to the all-natural casing around the Dearborn sausage. Pair it with french fries (topped with chili, of course) for a complete and balanced meal! You won’t be able to find this distinctive taste and flavor anywhere else besides American Coney Island.

While fancy, gourmet restaurants are everywhere in Las Vegas, there is something to be said about this inexpensive and delicious delicacy. On your next trip to Vegas, make a special stop at the only American Coney Island restaurant in the West (you’re going to want to come back for more!). American Coney Island is well worth the trip and no one can copy these iconic Coney dog connoisseurs. The American Coney Island restaurant in the D is even open 24 hours a day, so you can get this affordable and delicious food whenever the desire strikes, which will likely be often.

The Coney hot dog at American Coney Island in Las Vegas.

Other Vegas Spots to See

After chowing down on your Coney Dog, make sure to visit some of the other great restaurants throughout Downtown Las Vegas. Take in the Fremont Street Experience, which is full of great restaurants, free concerts and special events to enjoy.

If you find your tummy rumbling while visiting downtown Las Vegas, make sure to pop into the D to experience the country’s finest hot dogs, right here in our backyard.