Fremont Street Experience
The Fremont Street Experience (FSE) is a pedestrian mall and attraction in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada. FSE is located on the westernmost five blocks of Fremont Street, including an area known for many years as “Glitter Gulch” and portions of a number of other adjacent streets. The central attraction is the barrel-vaulted roof, which is 90 feet (27 m) high at the top and spans four blocks, or about 1,375 feet ( 419 meters). Although Las Vegas is known for never turning off the casino’s exterior lights, each show begins with the lights in all buildings, including the casinos, turned off under the canopy. Before each performance, one two-way Elamus street crossing will be closed for safety reasons. Concerts, usually free, are also organized on three stages. The venue has become a major tourist attraction in downtown Las Vegas and is also home to the SlotZilla attraction and the city’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration with fireworks. Fremont Street was home to Las Vegas’ first hotel (Hotel Nevada in 1906, now the Golden Gate), first telephone (1907), first paved street (1925), first Nevada gaming license – issued to the North Club at 15 E. Fremont St, first traffic light, first elevator (Apache Hotel 1932) and the first tower block (Fremont Hotel 1956). The Horseshoe was the first casino to have carpet installed, while the Golden Nugget was the first building to be designed as a casino from the ground up.
For years, the west end of Fremont Street was the most frequently filmed area when producers wanted to show the lights of Las Vegas. The large number of illuminated signs earned the area the nickname “Glitter Gulch”. By 1992, 80 percent of the Las Vegas casino market was on the Las Vegas Strip. Hotels and casinos in downtown Las Vegas sought to create an attraction that would draw more visitors to their establishments. When Stanley Jaffe, head of Paramount Pictures, refused to accept a proposal to build a life-size Starship Enterprise, the Fremont Street Experience was selected as the project. FSE, LLC is a cooperative owned and operated by a group of downtown hotel/casino companies (including eight hotel/casinos) responsible for the financing, development and management of the Fremont Street Experience. It was the second Las Vegas project by architect Jon Jerde, whose firm was paid about $900,000 by the city of Las Vegas to create an exhibition concept for the downtown area. Jerde’s design included a floating sky parade to be hung from the canopy. Fremont Street Experience and the City of Las Vegas approved the concept. In the end, Jerde’s sky parade concept was abandoned, but the architectural design of the canopy was carried out. Local architect Mary Kozlowski Architect Inc. highlighted the following problems with Jerde’s sky parade concept: Perspective: The view of the parade from below made the concept unusable – a proper view of the project requires visitors to stand on an elevated site. height, such as a third or fourth floor observation deck. Wind: Adding a canopy over Fremont Street would create a wind tunnel, creating a dangerous situation for floaters who would become trapped. Also, the potential for harmonic movement as the floats swing back and forth in the wind can cause massive structural damage and death to the canopy. Sand: The combination of desert sand and the Sky Parade’s mechanical systems would make the attraction difficult to maintain. A new concept for the show was needed quickly, as the finances were already in place and the general schedule agreed upon. The show was conceptualized in its current form by architect Mary Kozlowski, who grew up in Las Vegas and knew and loved Fremont Street. There was a light show under a canopy – the biggest and most spectacular in the world. Peter Smith, vice president of Atlandia Design, praised the beauty and practicality of the concept. Jerde, FSE and the city of Las Vegas embraced the concept of the show. Don’t forget to check out this place in Las Vegas too.
Kozlowski’s idea was to use a combination of four colored light bulbs per “light”, allowing for a full range of colors. Young Electric Sign Company assisted with the creation and final installation of the test panels. When the Fremont Street Experience opened, the light bulbs were checked every night to make sure they were all working properly. To accomplish this enormous task, the length of the canopy was divided into panels. Each panel was controlled by turning on all four colored lamps individually. The elevator maintenance person would then replace any bulbs that went out. It cost almost $15 to replace the most expensive bulb. The cost of the canopy was estimated at $63 million. Downtown casino owners pledged $18 million toward the project and supported a two percent increase in room taxes at most downtown hotels. The Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency also agreed to provide about $27.6 million to build a parking garage and pay for street improvements. The city wanted the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau to pay the remaining $6 million for the project. On September 7, 199 , a five-block stretch of Fremont Street was closed to vehicular traffic for good, and an amazing thing happened on September 16. After that, the digging of the street and the installation of support posts continued until December. On February 15, 1995, the frames were brought to the farm and the roof began to take shape. The last part was installed in July 1995. The official public preview was held with the Nevada Symphony. The light show was opened on December 1 , 1995. The first New Year’s Eve was celebrated on December 31, 1995. In 1996, a photo of a horse and rider from the Hacienda Hotel Casino was placed at the Las intersection at the east entrance. of the FSE. Vegas Boulevard and Fremont Street. It was added by the Neon Museum. Permanent stages were added in the early 2000s, when there was no need to bring temporary stages to every event. The sound system was updated in June 2001. On June 1 , 2004, a $17 million upgrade was announced that includes 12.5 million LED screens and more color combinations than the original screen, which consisted of light bulbs. An initial investment of $70 million and ongoing improvements have led to a successful and ongoing downtown renewal.
The city of Las Vegas and the downtown casinos have benefited, as more than 60% of the downtown visitors are attracted by the lights and stage shows and stay to enjoy the attractions of the nearby casinos. A $32 million video screen renovation began in May 2019 and was scheduled to be completed six months later. The new LED lights would make the screen four times higher in resolution and seven times brighter than before. The upgrade was designed and built by Illinois-based Watchfire Signs. A smartphone app was also in development that would allow patrons to select the next song to be played on Fremont Street and also allow them to view the rooftop show from their phone. In November 2019, plans were announced for a new LED sign (27 feet by 1 feet) that would display images of Fremont Street throughout its history. The sign, part of a $32 million renovation, would be built on the east side of Main Street and Fremont Street and is expected to be completed within the next month. Work on the canopy video screen was completed in December 2019, and the official opening is scheduled for the New Year. Fremont Street in Old Town Las Vegas is a pedestrian only area with all kinds of unique destinations. A five-block stretch of Fremont Street is covered in a canopy of LED lights that illuminate the sky in different colors and patterns as you walk below. The Fremont Street Experience is known as an amazing musical and visual spectacle every night. Street performers and special entertainment events often perform outdoors in this area. Fremont Street is located in downtown Las Vegas, a few miles from the Strip. The best way to get to this area is to take a taxi. Or if you really want to experience the city at night, take a night helicopter flight over the city above the Las Vegas Strip. Please note that hotel pickup is optional on this tour. If you are in need of a home repair and renovation, click here.