A Brief History of Downtown Las Vegas And Fremont Street

Las Vegas came into being in 1902 when Senator William Clark bought an 1,800-acre ranch to make this spot a train stop on the rail line he was building at the time. Prior to the founding of Las Vegas in 1905, Fremont Street was the main travel route because of its proximity to the city’s first train depot. It was also the same year that his railroad auctioned off some 1,200 lots within the townsite to investors who paid anywhere from $100 to $750 per lot and $1,750 for business lots.

Fremont Street was also the first road to be paved (1925) as well as the first street to have traffic controlled by a stoplight (1931). As a result, more than 1,000 prospective land investors traveled via train to Las Vegas from Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. Many never returned as they begin building on their lands almost immediately. As a result of the sale of these lots, Fremont Street would soon become what we now refer to as Downtown Las Vegas. Today the area is bustling with life 24/7 with live music venues, cafes and shopping destinations and pulls in the biggest crowds, every day of the week.

Fremont Street during the Early 1900’s

During the early 1900’s, casinos began to appear on Fremont Street. Unfortunately for many of these entrepreneurs, gambling was outlawed in 1910. Furthermore, the sale of liquor was prohibited unless it was sold at a hotel. Luckily, gambling became legal again in 1931 and shortly thereafter, construction began on the Hoover Dam.

This brought more people and businesses to Las Vegas. Although the 1909 population of Las Vegas was only 800, it grew rapidly thanks to the building of the Hoover Dam. During the 1920’s, more growth resulted from highways using sections of Fremont Street for traveling through the area.

The Revitalization of the Downtown Area

With the advent and growth of the resort hotels on The Strip, the downtown area went through an economic downturn. However, city officials decided to start revitalizing the area in the early 1990’s and spent almost $70 million to create the Fremont Street Experience. Since its opening in 1995, the downtown area saw the addition of new bars, casinos, and restaurants as well as concert and entertainment venues. The area has been attracting increasing numbers of visitor every year since.

If you’re planning a trip to Las Vegas and are looking for the ideal base for exploring the downtown area, consider being our guest at the Downtowner Boutique Hotel. For more information or to book your reservation, call us today at (702) 553-2553.

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