Why is Downtown Important?

Downtown Las Vegas is where it all began. Dating back to 1905 with the first land auction by the Union Pacific Railroad Company, downtown is the  cornerstone of our community.

Fremont Street has been the site of numerous “firsts” in Las Vegas: the first street to be paved (1925); the first traffic light; the first elevator (the Apache Hotel in 1932); and the first high-rise (the Fremont Hotel in 1956). When gaming was legalized in 1931, the first Nevada gaming license was issued to the Northern Club at 15 E. Fremont Street. Meanwhile, the Horseshoe was the first casino to install carpeting while the Golden Nugget was the first structure designed from the ground up to be a casino.

Downtown Las Vegas has benefitted from major revitalization efforts over the years, spurring major resurgence in the area. 

Here are some good reasons why the downtown Las Vegas district is so important:

  • The central business district is a prominent employment center. Even the smallest downtown employs hundreds of people. 
  • Downtown Las Vegas is playing a major role in innovation and technology. The city of Las Vegas offers two incubation hubs for new businesses as well as other working spaces that are driving the successes of tomorrow.
  • Most of the businesses in downtown Las Vegas are independently owned. They support a local family who supports the local schools, etc. Independent businesses keep profits in town.
  • Downtown Las Vegas is a reflection of how our community sees itself.  Residents and visitors see the area as a unique historical area where business, technology and art come together – a critical factor in business retention and recruitment efforts. 
  • Downtown Las Vegas is an indispensable shopping and service center. 
  • Downtown Las Vegas is the historic core of your community. Many of the buildings are historically significant and help highlight our community’s history.
  • Downtown Las Vegas represents a vast amount of public and private investment working together to make the infrastructure attractive for businesses and residents to create walkable areas. 
  • Downtown Las Vegas is our main government center where city hall, county courthouse, and post office are located making a “one stop” shop for government services. 
  • And, perhaps, most important, downtown Las Vegas provides a sense of community and place. 

As Carol Lifkind, author of Main Street: The Face of Urban America, said “…as Main Street, it is uniquely American, a powerful symbol of shared experiences, of common memory, of the challenge, and the struggle of building a civilization…Main Street was always familiar, always recognizable as the heart and soul of the village, town, or city.”