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Experiencing Fremont StreetOctober 12, 2009 By: Jena Tesse Fox Travel Agent
A rendering of a guest room at the Golden Nugget’s new Rush Tower
The history of Fremont Street is the history of Las Vegas. Long before the Strip was built, there was Fremont Street, known for years as Glitter Gulch, thanks to the twinkling lights of its many hotels and casinos.
But as the Strip grew, downtown Vegas—and Fremont Street—lost popularity. In the mid-1990s, the Fremont Street Experience reinvented the district. The urban streets that had appeared in Rat Pack and James Bond movies were transformed into an outdoor pedestrian-only shopping center. Five blocks of Fremont Street were covered by a 90-foot-high VivaVision canopy that keeps pedestrians cool by day and doubles as an LED screen by night. That apart, the Experience has two concert stages where musicians perform for free every night. The district will also host OktoberFrightFest from October 13 through October 31.
While the Fremont Street Experience accounts for only 5 percent of the rooms in Las Vegas, Tom Bruny, director of marketing for the Fremont Street Experience, says it accounted for 46 percent of the city’s visitation last year. The reason? “Value, value and value,” he says.
“Downtown still has better room rates and lower food and beverage prices than on the Strip. For a great time with free entertainment, this is the place to go.”
In four short city blocks, 10 hotels beckon visitors to experience a different side of Vegas, and they are fighting to reclaim their historic place as the center of the city’s industry.
Golden Nugget’s Rush Tower
Golden Nugget Las Vegas’ new $150 million Rush Tower, the first new tower built from the ground up in the city since the 1980s, will open in late November. It is the latest phase of the famed Golden Nugget’s expansion projects, already costing more than $300 million.
Rush Tower will add nearly 500 guest rooms and suites to the hotel’s portfolio. Guest rooms will range from 439 square feet to one-bedroom parlor suites at 1,326 square feet, all of which will be non-smoking and many of which will have knockout views of the Strip. Rush Tower’s rooms are reported to be at least 20 percent larger than the property’s current standard North and South Tower rooms.
Rush Tower will also have the Chart House Aquarium restaurant, outfitted with a 50,000-gallon tropical aquarium and serving signature Chart House items as well as many specialty dishes unique to the Golden Nugget. Guests will also be able to splash around in a new swimming pool adjoining the third floor of The Tank pool, with six cabanas and covered lounging areas, while gamers will appreciate the additional table and slots. Shoppers will welcome the three new retail venues, including a jewelry store and high-end apparel boutique.
Travel agents should contact Vice President of Sales Michele Marsee (702-386-8303, [email protected]).