Today the legendary old Vegas Strip is the most popular street in the city. However, the equally famous Fremont Street, almost the same age as Vegas, is recognized as one of the oldest streets in the city. This street is often called the Old Strip. This is the place where the gambling business in Sin City started and will never be forgotten. Below will be briefly told about the history of Fremont Street, its present and prospects for the near future.
Fremont Street in the past
The history of Fremont Street is inseparable from the rise of Las Vegas, which is now synonymous with gambling, casino, entertainment and tourism. However, the history of Las Vegas began rather mundanely. In 1829, a caravan bound for Los Angeles went astray. Having set up camp, they sent several volunteers to search for water. Among the volunteers was Mexican Rafael Riviera, who managed to find an artesian source. Around the source, a small settlement quickly grew, called Las Vegas, which means “floodplain meadows” in Spanish.
The convenient location of old Las Vegas predetermined its official origin on May 15, 1905, when the construction of a large railway junction began here, linking Salt Lake City in Utah and Los Angeles in California (the Las Vegas Valley was a very convenient place for refueling steam locomotives). When the railroad workers planned Vegas, they set aside one special neighborhood for drinks, fun and gambling. Therefore, from the moment of the official date of its foundation, the city was overflowing with saloons and gambling halls, where card games dominated. This attracted Vegas residents of the mining towns of Nevada and travelers arriving by rail. This gambling district was crossed by a main street called Fremont Street.
According to the official website of the Las Vegas City Council, the very first gambling house to appear in Sin City was the Golden Gate Casino, built on old Vegas Fremont Street in 1906.
Since then, this street has become the heart of Las Vegas. The first asphalt in the city was laid here and the first telephone was installed.
And yet, at the beginning of the last century, Vegas, and with it Fremont Street, was just a small oasis in the middle of the desert. Gambling remained legal here for years, then was outlawed in 1910, causing some decline in Las Vegas and its main street. The final legalization of gambling in Nevada in the 1930s and an influx of holidaymakers turned this sleepy desert outpost into an international resort.
In the early years, gambling was not regulated by the authorities, taxes were not levied on it, and players exchanged silver dollars for plastic chips to play with.
The 1950s were also the era of nuclear weapons testing in the state of Nevada. Between 1951 and 1963, the Atomic Energy Commission conducted over 100 nuclear explosions. Despite concerns (mostly ignored and underestimated at the time), many Fremont Street casino owners touted it as tourist attractions and even built “open-air rooms” from which clouds of nuclear mushrooms could be observed.
A number of feature films, recognized as world masterpieces, were partially filmed on Fremont Street.
Old Strip today
With the emergence, development and building of the current Strip, the fame of Las Vegas Old Strip has somewhat faded. Nevertheless, there are still 10 world famous casinos and 6 famous Las Vegas hotels located here. Also, the spirit of the old town Vegas can be felt playing free slot games.
In order to preserve the attractiveness of Fremont Street, to make the Old Strip more comfortable and to give a novelty to its appearance, in 1994 it was decided to ban the movement of cars here. This was done in order to seamlessly build the Fremont Street Experience, which is now being used to create epic show programs.
Fremont Street is still known as the lowest-stakes place in Las Vegas, where you can not only gamble for the cheapest price, but also get some of the cheapest food and drink in town. It is also pleasant to walk here, literally touching the history itself.
Of course, Fremont Street has a future. The Los Angeles authorities give this street one of the main roles in shaping the image of the city, and also take into account its history and peculiarities in urban planning. Almost every tourist arriving in Las Vegas considers a visit to Fremont Street a must. After all, this is a street without which Sin City simply would not exist. And it is unlikely that Vegas will ever be able to do without old Las Vegas Fremont Street. This material was prepared by Tiffany Cutting, editor of the Slotsspot Web Project.