Fremont Street Experience
The Fremont Street Experience is evidence of a movement to revitalize the old Downtown district of Las Vegas. It was my first time off the Las Vegas Strip and the feel could not be more different. Where the strip is glamorous with buildings set back, these buildings are right on Fremont street and low to the ground with a sign to draw you in. The street has been transformed into an elaborate walkway where pretty much anything goes. It’s a sidewalk casino bloc party I’m told that it only gets crazier as the night progresses. Experience old style signage which is still present, but not in pristine, or even great, condition with many bulbs burned out, further contributing to its grungy- retro, wild west, anything goes atmosphere. Nearly naked people of both genders were present, though I don’t think everyone was working for tips. There may have been a few exhibitionists just out enjoying pushing the envelope on public indecency laws by being nearly naked in public. Succinctly put, they may only restrict this area by age on the first Friday of the month but I think many people wouldn’t find this somewhere to take their family. It was more of a party then I enjoy. Combine the exhibitionist with the hustlers, and it’s safe to conclude I’m too conservative for this atmosphere. However, I appreciate knowing where the ‘wild west’ stereotypes come from.
If you’re up to experience this sort of party though, the experience has free rock concerts, light shows, and other events. To learn more about street experience, free events, and vendors visit their website here.
The Heart Attack Grill is a burger joint with a medical theme located in the Fremont Street Experience. Where most restaurants try and provide a ‘healthy’ option this establishment has gone the other direction and made it very clear their product isn’t good for you. They proudly boast they hold the Guinness World Record for the highest calorie burger and the burgers named after cardiac procedures such as, “The Triple Bypass”. Furthermore, the vegan menu for this establishment appears to be a variety of tobacco products that you can smoke. If you’re over 350 lbs. you can even eat free! They have a scale out front so you can weigh yourself. I didn’t go inside but did hang around outside for a few minutes watching people weigh themselves or react to the propaganda covering every window. One man looked hopefully up as he weighed in at about 305 lbs. The woman with him probably could have qualified for the free food, though she elected not to step on the scale.
Signage in Las Vegas
Signs are a great part of the history of Las Vegas. Amazingly some of the signs have been fully restored and placed in the medians of the streets. These signs can be found on both Las Vegas Blvd and Fremont Street and probably look amazing at night. The drive through downtown on Las Vegas Blvd at night option is probably the experience I’d recommend for families or those who aren’t up for a mega party.
Because I wanted to learn a little more about the history of the signs we headed over to the Neon Museum which is a boneyard full of signs. I had not realized that tours sold out quickly so we were unable to actually take a tour but we did get to see this adorable duck peering over the fence, tantalizing our curiosity. You can get an idea of what it offers if you YouTube them or check out some of the larger items from a Google satellite view. Tour reservations can be made in advance through their website.
Downtown Container Park
On Fremont Street, but just outside the experience is the Downtown Container Park. This is a pretty cool little shopping center made from old shipping containers. I thought it was really unique and enjoyed both the atmosphere and unique shopping experience this park provided. It was a much more family friendly area with a stage (not in use) kids playing on the grassy area, and playground equipment that appeared to be closed due to the excessive heat that day. All the vendors appeared to be local, with no chains present. I recommend you stop by to experience this place as I really enjoyed it. For more information about the Downtown Container Park visit their website here.
* The views expressed by the Heart Attack Grill are their own and not representative of my views. Furthermore, those views are not medical advice as stated by the disclaimers on their propaganda.