See what it’s about: Rediscover Downtown Las Vegas Day

Aerial view of downtown Las Vegas' casinos and hotels

On Saturday, Oct. 13, it’s time to see what all this downtown Las Vegas talk is about.

Rediscover Downtown Las Vegas Day is a series of events that hopes to not only draw locals to catch up on all the goings-on in this part of the city, but also bring in people who may not have had a chance to visit the area at all.

“There has never been a better time to rediscover and explore all that’s new in the historic heart of our city,” said Rich Worthington, president and CEO of Molasky Group of Companies and chair of the Downtown Las Vegas Alliance. “Rediscover Downtown Las Vegas Day was created to show off how much the downtown experience has changed, especially to many locals who, for a variety of reasons, haven’t visited downtown in many years.”

More than 40 businesses are participating in the event, with a full list and parking information available at the event’s official site:

“Downtown has made unprecedented redevelopment progress with dozens of new businesses opening, the relocation of and the investment from Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project to the opening of major landmarks like The Smith Center, Mob Museum and Neon Museum,” he added.

The Fremont Street Experience

The day starts with the free American Heart Association’s Rediscover Downtown Heart Walk at the Fremont Street Experience, where more than 6,000 people are expected to participate. In the afternoon, The Mob Museum, the Discovery Children’s Museum and the Natural History Museum are all offering one free admission with one paid admission.

The specialty boutiques in the Arts District will be open, and the Las Vegas Design Center at World Market Center Las Vegas (455 S. Grand Central Pkwy.) will be offering complimentary coffee, bagels and a guided walking tour of the region’s premier design center.

Rick’s Restorations (1112 Commerce St.) will hand out free hot dogs while you peruse vintage antiques, and Bar + Bistro’s chef Beni Velázquez is offering a free flan cake for every table.

Drinks will be two-for-one at the El Cortez Hotel & Casino with to-be-announced special offers at other downtown bars such as Vanguard Lounge and The Lady Silvia.

That night, Nevada Ballet Theatre joins with two other major ballet companies, Ballet West and Pacific Northwest Ballet, to stage Balanchine’s magnificent “Jewels” at The Smith Center. Before the performance, visit Triple George Grill for a complimentary appetizer with the purchase of two entrées or experience its exclusive “Jewels” menu featuring a three-course meal specifically created for the ballet. Afterwards, the Mob Bar has specialty “Jewels” cocktails – the Ruby, Emerald and Diamond – and you’ll get your second one free.

Topping off the evening, the Fremont Street Experience offers free live music featuring a concert by none other than Bret Michaels of Poison.

Though Vegas locals have already gotten the downtown buzz started, the area makes for a great place to see when you’re visiting Las Vegas, too.

A view of the Fremont East Entertainment District

“Tourists are already coming downtown to visit Fremont Street Experience, so now they have even more to do and experience. It’s a much more intimate and authentic experience than the Strip and provides yet another option for the nearly 40 million people who visit our city every year,” Worthington said.

Changes in recent years include the opening of The Smith Center, the continued growth of the Fremont East Entertainment District, the Cultural Corridor, The Mob Museum and more. The Arts District continues to thrive, and the monthly First Friday, which takes over the area, celebrates its 10th anniversary this Friday, Oct. 5.

Even the long-time casino residents along the Fremont Street Experience have been seeing a bit of a revival.

“Nearly every historic downtown hotel has recently upgraded and remodeled or is in the process of a major renovation – from El Cortez and Golden Nugget to The D and Downtown Grand (formerly Lady Luck). When Downtown Grand opens, Downtown3rd by The Mob Museum will be even more vibrant,” he said. “When I think back to what was happening even just a few years ago and how hard many downtown pioneers have worked to spur downtown redevelopment, it is both gratifying and sometimes unbelievable to think what is going on downtown today.”