Visitors can now unwind while walking through downtown Las Vegas, as they reminisce of the 1965 hit song by Petula Clark – Downtown, which has the lyrics ‘forget all your troubles, forget all your cares’. For decades, Sin City has struggled to modernize its downtown areas. The main problem for downtown Las Vegas is its bad reputation. Along with increasing number of businesses opening this spring season, getting tourists and locals to visit the downtown area, would help it to grow and develop faster.
While walking around downtown Las Vegas these days, visitors would come across many new bars and restaurants opening, as well as an independent bookstore, boutique hotel, toy store, hostel, and a private school. Businesses have expanded from Container Park towards Neonopolis. Container Park is an outdoor gathering place and retail plaza made up of dozens of shipping containers. Visiting the outdoor concerts and a mixture of educational and art activities are always free. During an evening stroll, onlookers will be amused by the huge praying mantis made out of recycled metal which blasts flames from its antennae. While the boarded-up buildings are still intact, the area is gradually becoming the hippest part of town.
Not everyone who visits Las Vegas wants to spend the whole time on the strip in a casino dazed state. Many want to experience different hangouts, spend money, eat, drink, and buy souvenirs to take home. The area is focusing on creating family-friendly surroundings by positioning a jungle gym in the middle of Container Park and providing couches for relaxing. Thereby attracting patrons to toy stores, cake shops, and BBQ restaurants. This would enable the tourists coming to downtown Las Vegas to relax and forget all their troubles and their cares.
Visitors to downtown Las Vegas will also be treated to a spectacle of artists flying ten stories high on zip-lines labeled the Fremont Street Experience. This display draws 17 million visitors per year. They will also find Shift stations, a service providing vehicle-sharing options for effortless commuting around downtown.
Workers have largely been functioning underground, installing new storm drains and underground passages for future and current communication networks. They are also shifting all overhead electrical transmission lines underground. On the surface, crews are working on widening the sidewalks, planting trees, and laying brick pavers at all intersections in an effort to beautify the district. When the work gets completed, locals and tourists will be delighted to walk through tree-lined streets decorated with elegant lighting.
In ten years the city of Las Vegas may see some very dramatic changes, but gambling and entertainment is likely to remain its heart and soul. It will be interesting to see how other cities in the U.S. like Austin, Texas and Detroit, Michigan try to replicate this strategy to their benefit. Efforts are being made to shed the disrepute of the downtown region of Las Vegas and attract more tourism so that people could forget all their troubles and forget all their cares.
By Ankur Sinha