The heart of old downtown Las Vegas is Fremont Street. Nicknamed “Glitter Gulch” because of all the neon lights, this is where all the glitz and glamour of Vegas was born. Some of the oldest hotels and casinos in the city are located along Fremont.
Fremont Street Experience
Fremont Street is much different nowadays, with a five block covered pedestrian mall called the Fremont Street Experience. It opened in the 1990s in order to attract visitors back to downtown from the Strip, which was attracting 80% of the casino market.
At night, the street is lit up with a LED display canopy over the street presenting light and sound shows. A pair of zip lines runs the length of the street. Live bands are set up on stages while street performers, street vendors, and street artists can be found everywhere.
During the day, Fremont is much quieter. You might find a few street performers or two, but the noise and people aren’t there. This will give you a chance see the historic casinos and to imagine what old downtown Vegas might have been like in its heyday.
The Las Vegas Club, which was open from 1931 to 2015, also sat on the western end of Fremont. I was able to see the ongoing demolition of the hotel on my second visit in 2017.
Heart Attack Grill
On the eastern end of the Fremont Street Experience is the Heart Attack Grill. While I haven’t eaten there, it’s fun to walk by and peek into the windows. Diners are dressed in hospital gowns while servers are dressed as nurses. A sign out front claims anyone weighing over 350 lbs. eats free, and a scale is there to prove your weight.
East of the Fremont Street Experience is the Fremont East District. A few more restaurants, casinos, and lots of neon signs are located there.