Downtown Las Vegas
Downtown Las Vegas is the central business district of Las Vegas. Located along Fremont Street, it is the original Las Vegas gambling area and dominated the gambling scene until being surpassed by The Strip. Downtown Las Vegs still offers a lot of gambling and is home to many casinos clustered in an outdoor zone devoted to pedestrians, unlike other areas of Las Vegas where the casinos are located along car roads. This gives Downtown Las Vegas and the casinos there a very different atmosphere than The Strip. It is easy to walk between the different casinos and it is almost similar to a casino fair. The casinos here are a lot smaller than those on The Strip and most them have no more than 30 tables. A similar outdoor casino area is planned to be built by Harrahs around Flamingo, Harrah's and Imperial Palace.
View from the Stratosphere - Downtown Las Vegas
Downtown Las Vegas is more like Vegas used to be – especially compared to The Strip. Downtown still offers affordable food and free entertainment, rooms are generally cheaper here and you will find no high end shopping. Downtown casinos also tend to give you better odds and lower house edges than those on The Strip, and this is where you find the best high roller odds in the city for slot machines. If you play for smaller amounts you will however find even better slot machine odds on Boulder Strip. A casino is consider to be in Downtown Las Vegas if it is no more than 2 miles (3.2 km) from Foremont Street. The most famous downtown casino is arguably the Golden Nugget, and if you like to play poker you should definitively pay a visit to likewise famous Binion as well.
Downtown has been loosing business and going down hill for a while and several programs to revitalize the area have therefore been proposed and conducted during the last 5 years. This process has had limited success, as the credit crunch crises that struck Las Vegas very hard came in the way. Las Vegas as a whole is one of the most severely affected cities of the financial crisis and already ailing Downtown Las Vegas was no exception. This part of town has in fact seen continued declining business despite all revitalization attempts. Event though new communications have increased the accessibility of the cheap hotel rooms in the area, there has been no increase in occupancy rate. Several industry experts have predicted that several of the casinos in downtown Las Vegas will be looking for new owners within the coming years.
While the importance of the gaming industry has fallen in Downtown Las Vegas, other industries and forms of entertainment have grown to become more important. The struggle to revitalize the area and attract more tourists is still going on and will hopefully be successful in a not too distant future. It would be sad if this part of old Vegas would not survive and thrive. It is however far from impossible that downtown Las Vegas will become an area primarily for cheap hotels and entertainment while the gambling action will be focused on other areas of Las Vegas, such as The Strip.