The Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency has deemed 2012 as The Year of Downtown. Although it’s easy to write this slogan off as lame marketing b.s., things certainly are looking up on Fremont Street.
Noteworthy developments in the coming months include:
- Drink & Drag: This drag-queen-staffed gay bar is slated to open in mid-January and provides yet another tenant for the long-dormant Neonopolis. This place, Heart Attack Grill and Denny’s may not be everyone’s idea of perfect additions to Fremont Street, but they do offer variety and could be just what Neonopolis needs to breath some life into the mall.
- Golden Gate: The oldest casino in Las Vegas is about to get a little larger. Work has already begun on an addition that will expand the otherwise tiny casino and add 16 suites. Golden Gate’s facelift is scheduled for completion this spring.
- Fitzgerald’s: With new owners eager to spruce up the joint, plans at The Fitz call for a new name (to be announced), updated rooms and a refreshed casino with different themes on each of the two floors.
- Mob Museum: The long-awaited National Museum of Organized Crime will finally open its doors on Feb. 14.
- Downtown 3rd Farmers Market Pavilion: The former bus terminal behind the Mob Museum will become home to dozens of unique vendors and food trucks every Friday morning when the new farmers market opens in February.
As downtown Las Vegas prepares for the second coming new Zappos headquarters, slated to open in 2013, additional development plans are likely to take shape this year. Fremont East still has several storefronts available for development; Binion’s is rumored to be preparing to reopen its hotel; steps to establish Downtown 3rd as a viable entertainment district are underway; and Neonopolis has plenty of open retail space.
After sputtering along for years, the Fremont Street area has a finally built some positive momentum. 2012 really could become The Year of Downtown.