What happens on Fremont Street …

Fremont Street, downtown Las Vegas,  4/20/06 CREDIT: LAS VEGAS NEWS BUREAU.

The lively Fremont Street in Las Vegas at night. (Photo submitted)

Long before Las Vegas was the Strip, before it became Sin City, before the infamous ad campaign about keeping secrets, Las Vegas was simply a place to eat, drink and gamble.

And in 1905 you did that at the corner of Fremont and Main.

Now a hundred years later, Fremont Street plays second fiddle to the Strip and I’m not so sure it should. This quaint section of the city, in the heart of the downtown, has an appeal all its own.

First of all, it is small. Small enough that you can walk around without getting lost or get blisters on your feet. And while the hotels and casinos on the strip tend to showcase opulence, Fremont Street hotels are a bit more … old school. Think vintage Vegas: inexpensive all-you-can eat buffets with steak and shrimp, and less crowded casinos with cheaper tables and classic ambiance.

But with this vintage comes modernity. Fremont Street offers nightly light shows on the Viva Vision Screen, the world’s largest screen with 12 million lights and 550 watts of superior sound. The screen towers 90 feet above a pedestrian walkway housing the many shops, casinos, restaurants, bars and two performance stages.

There are many free concerts and events giving the area a celebratory atmosphere. Once a month, the city offers a free strEATS festival bringing in food trucks, artists, DJs and all round fun.

Many of the hotels are original and most have recently been renovated. In addition, there is a new zip-line (Flightlinez at Fremont Street) and a group of eclectic nightclubs and lounges in the Freemont East District.

All in all, Las Vegas is a fun town with lots to see and do. But if you’ve been there, done that on the Strip, try staying on Fremont Street. You may find you like it even better.