Downtown Las Vegas is not a place of mega-story financial temples. Instead, it is a conglomeration of government buildings, carnival attractions, not-so-very-glamorous casinos, shops dealing in souvenirs, and unclaimed pawn shop miscellany. The heart of the area has a neon-lit row of casinos and, since the mid-1990s, free entertainment in the form of the Fremont Street Experience. This nightlife zone is here to stay, but a large-scale revitalization effort has also turned Downtown Las Vegas into a growing draw for arts, culture and entrepreneurship.

1. Downtown’s Neon Lights

This area encompasses about eight blocks that front on Fremont ...

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