Are You Over 35? Head Downtown Las Vegas To Fremont Street

I hate to beat this into the ground, but the AVERAGE age of a Las Vegas visitor is 49 years old. That fell a few years during the boom, but it came right back and settled at 49. 49 year olds that make upwards of 6 figures per year.

Yet, The Las Vegas Strip seems hell-bent on focusing on people under 35.

Downtown’s outrageous gaming gains in April (25% over the previous year) were no surprise to me. For the most part, downtown is going after the 40+ crowd and starting to do a damn good job of it. Even before their 80’s Rock themed summer for 2012, they’ve had Arena Tribute Band and other 80’s rock/metal cover bands playing for a couple of years now.

I’m 46 and downtown is starting to be my preferred place to hang out. OK, it isn’t as spiffy at The Strip, but it isn’t as expensive either. Even the best restaurants are relatively affordable. Getting bored of the casino you’re at (or simply losing too badly)? A 30 second walk will put you in an entirely new property. You simply can’t do that on The Strip.

Don’t get me wrong: The Strip has awesome shows and great attractions that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. But with the Fremont Street East bar district, the resurgence of Neonopolis, great free entertainment nightly and no thump-thump nightclubs, downtown might be calling your name if pimple cream and prom are a very distant memory.


Ted Newkirk
CEO/Manging Editor
AccessVegas.com

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Zappos.com Moves Downtown Las Vegas, Major Boost Seen For Fremont Street Experience Area

The Biggest News That No One Is Talking About – happens to be the Zappos.com takeover of Las Vegas City Hall for their corporate headquarters. Why have I yet to see even one major Las Vegas blog talk about the impact? Who, what… who cares? You should. Here’s why:

Zappos.com employs 1000 people and they are growing. These employees tend to be younger and obviously have paychecks. With a new Las Vegas City Hall under construction, Zappos will be taking over the old building (on block off of the Fremont Street Experience) for their headquarters.

Despite the bad economy, downtown Las Vegas has slowly but surely been undergoing a revitalization. The new East Fremont district has gained a nice reputation. First Friday is established. The Golden Nugget opened a new tower about a year ago. The El Cortez had a major makeover a couple of years ago and continues improvements. The Plaza Las Vegas is currently in the process of MAJOR upgrades and improvements to their rooms.

However, downtown still has somewhat of a run-down image. With justification. Many of the properties simply have not had the cash to reinvest. Here’s where Zappos employees come in:

Seven days per week, Zappos employees are going to get off of work downtown. They will grab a drink. They will eat. They will leave their money downtown (plus add to an already lively scene). This infusion of people and cash will help provide the profits and incentive for ALL downtown businesses to step up their game. They will have the money to fix-up and upgrade.

I’m not saying that downtown Las Vegas will ever compete with The Strip. Nor should it. To build billion dollar resorts, you have to charge customers high prices to recoup the cost. Las Vegas continues to need the lower-price, lower-frills option downtown has offers. I don’t anticipate that changing. But wouldn’t it be nice to see some of the older downtown properties spruced up a bit? New life into them with the influx of more customers? This arrangement between the City of Las Vegas and Zappos is a winner for all involved and a huge win for downtown in general.

Ted Newkirk
Founder/Managing Editor
Access Vegas

A New Las Vegas Arena – On The Strip Next To The Sahara?

Controversial Las Vegas blogger Vegas Rex recently noted the following:

Not only would this benefit me from an entertainment standpoint, but property values in my neighborhood would almost certainly go up, more businesses would sprout to serve stadium visitors, and transit options would probably increase as well.  At the very least, the monorail would be re-tooled and probably even expanded.  I am so excited about this arena, that if they want me to, I’ll use my own cock as a shovel to break ground.  Hell, I might even do this without even being asked.

Now, with everything above noted, I have to unequivocally concede that my excitement over this stadium is purely selfish.  Deep down, I know that there exists no demand in Las Vegas for a new stadium.

I’m not even convinced that the “10,000 new jobs” being touted by the developers are a good thing.

First of all, when you build something solely to create jobs, then the assumption should be that whatever being built is not needed.  Jobs should not exist for the sake of jobs, they should exist because they fill a needed void.

Second, once the stadium has been completed … then what?

This location is the front-runner because of the involvement of Sue Lowden. (If her name does not ring a bell, google it). Worst location for everyone would be on the FAR south Strip down by South Point. Great area, lived there until 1.5 years ago. But a new arena needs to be tourist accessible.

Hate the Harrah’s idea simply because parking would be a mess. We don’t need a Madison Square Garden. (CityCenter is showing us how well New York concepts work here). I guess people could park at various hotels that serve as monorail stops and then use the monorail to get to the Harrarena. (Hey, guess what, I coined a new word. Kind of like WynnCore. I’m sure that every podcaster and out-of-town blogger will immediately pick up on it and start using it. NOT).

A downtown one would really help revitalize that area, and the central location to freeways leading in four directions is a big help.

At the end of the day, though…

The only reason for a new arena is to get us a major league sports team. I don’t want a pro sports team. Don’t get me wrong: I love sports. But sports teams are for cities like Cleveland and Detroit. Or Sacramento. They give people with no other reason for living who live in an otherwise mundane city a chance to bond together and get all excited.

Hell, half of the spectators at each game would be rooting for the opposition! And as someone who promotes tourism, I guess it would be nice to give people even more excuses to visit Las Vegas. But here, we don’t like anything mediocre. (Look at the support UNLV football gets). We are winners and will not tolerate anything less. And a Las Vegas franchise of a sports team that doesn’t kick ass every year isn’t going to get much community support. (Plus, most people living here retain loyalties to their “home” teams. I’m one of the few people I know living here who has really become loyal to all things Vegas).

On a selfish note: Building it south of The Sahara would assure no high-rise going there. The Strip used to have open spaces with short buildings and you could see the beautiful mountains from many spots on The Strip. Now it is becoming a corridor of high-rises, taking away the stunning desert terrain views that visitors from other places love.

Ted Newkirk
Founder/Managing Editor
Access Vegas