Glittering lights. Stunning visual and sound effects. Crowds of people.
Just another night on the Las Vegas Strip, right? Wrong.
Welcome to the Fremont Street Experience located in fabulous downtown Las Vegas.
This project blends vintage Las Vegas with high-tech wonder, live entertainment and more to create an attraction that rivals the famed Vegas Strip. It provides an intimate party atmosphere with a laid-back feel and a group of great casinos in close proximity to one another.
The most obvious and largest part of the Fremont Street Experience is the Viva Vision canopy and light show. The canopy towers 90 feet above the ground and spans the length of five football fields. Featuring more than 12 million LED modules and a 555,000-watt sound system, the light show attracts tourists and locals alike.
The first light show debuted in 1995. Nearly a decade later, the Viva Vision canopy had $17 million worth of upgrades. Today, the canopy offers 10 times higher resolution, resulting in clearer, sharper pictures. In addition, it can also display 16.7 million color combinations. The display is so sharp, live video can be broadcast on what is the world's largest screen.
Viva Vision features shows like "Bad to the Bone," a wild motorcycle ride with the bad boys of rock as well as "A Tribute to Queen," where visitors can listen to "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" while admiring the stunning graphics above. Fans of KISS can also catch the show "KISS Over Vegas." During this tribute to the legendary foursome, visitors can rock to hits like "Lick It Up," "Shout It Out Loud" and "Rock 'n' Roll All Night."
The newest addition to Viva Vision is "Bon Jovi's Cosmic Concert." This show features three songs selected by Jon Bon Jovi including "It's My Life," "Who Says You Can't Go Home" and "Livin' on a Prayer." Using Jon Bon Jovi’s original concept, the band performs their iconic songs traveling across the universe.
New Viva Vision shows are created each year and are rotated in and out. The Fremont Street Experience staff can choose from a library of about 15 shows at any given time.
Technicians only have three minutes to load the show on the big screen. They are assisted by eight high-tech computers that intertwine the light, visual and audio systems. Cameras are mounted on the actual Viva Vision screen and transmit a live video feed to a row of LCD screens inside the control room so technicians can monitor everything.
Fremont Street Experience is more than just choreographed lights and sounds. Anchored by the newly revamped Plaza hotel/casino on one end and the Neonopolis entertainment complex on the other, there are plenty of things to see and do in between.
The average Viva Vision light show is six minutes long.
Viva Vision's projection surface is currently the largest screen in the world, spanning 1,500 feet in length (that's the size of five football fields).
The screen contains 12.5 million synchronized LED lamps, including 180 strobes and eight robotic mirrors per block.
The lamp life of the bulbs is 50,000 hours.
Average daily attendance at the Fremont Street Experience is more than 25,000.
On average, nearly 19 million people visit downtown Las Vegas a year.
Coming in Fall of 2013, thrill seekers can breeze right beneath the Viva Vision canopy on a thrilling zip-line called Slotzilla. Riders will be launched out of an enormous slot machine and across the Fremont Street Experience.
Each year, Fremont Street Experience hosts a number of special events including Race Jam during the NASCAR weekend, the annual Downtown Hoedown during National Finals Rodeo and Las Vegas Bike Fest in September. Live tribute bands also perform outside nightly.
If food, music and dancing interest you, the monthly Vegas StrEATS Festival hosted every second Saturday outside of the El Cortez features a variety of food trucks, a beer stand, live DJ-spun music and much more. Think of it as a neighborhood block party, but with a downtown Vegas twist.
There are other food spots including a Piccadilly Pizza, a gourmet coffee stand, a popcorn cart, as well as cheap eats at Mermaids casino. These include deep-fried Oreos, deep-fried Twinkies, chocolate-covered bananas or hot dogs for only 99 cents and mini-chicken sliders for $5.99. The Beef Jerky Store not only offers more flavors of this classic snack than you can imagine (including veggie options!), but you'll find a variety of chocolates, candy and a wide selection of Hawaiian food favorites. That's a whole lot to chew on.
Shops on the Fremont Street Experience include various paintings as well as kiosks selling souvenir items like engraved rice grain jewelry, unique T-shirts, hats and much more. There is an Indian arts and crafts market, too. The Heart Attack Grill offers humungous burgers and fries served to you by waitresses dressed like nurses. The restaurant takes the term "Eat your heart out" to a whole new level: Customers weighing more than 350 pounds eat for free.
Looking for something healthy instead? Located right next to Heart Attack Grill, Fremont Mediterranean Cafe offers hummus, falafel pitas, as well as meat or veggie skewers that will have your taste buds thanking you. If your desire is for something sweet, the restaurant also sells gelato and coffee drinks.
Fremont Street Experience also now has a Hollywood Boulevard flair. You can take a picture with people dressed up as popular celebrities and characters. At the end of Fremont Street Experience, the keeps the party going. Here you'll find a handful of eclectic bars, lounges and even a coffee bar/record store/two-story art gallery. Hipsters and artsy folks will definitely feel at home.
With all the different interests offered here, there is always something fun for everyone to "experience."