Downtown Las Vegas will continue to evolve next year. This part of town was considered “Old Vegas” when I first started visiting Sin City. The old casinos in the area were in a bit of disrepair. Playing blackjack on tables with cigarette burns was charming but it wasn’t the kind of experience most people are looking for on vacation.
A lot has changed over the past seven to eight years. Old Vegas is now downtown Las Vegas. Many of the casinos and hotels have been renovated. It’s somewhat sad but the El Cortez removed the burnt felt years ago. The casino also no longer serves beer in dented cans but that’s another story.
The properties are nicer, cleaner and safer while keeping that Old Vegas charm. Even the brand new Circa Resort and Casino has a bit of that old school atmosphere.
While tourists still flock to the Fremont Street Experience, many explore other areas in downtown Las Vegas. There are bars, restaurants and shopping east of the Fremont Street Experience. This part of downtown Vegas needed to be revitalized badly.
The Arts District continues to transform into a destination for locals and tourists. The area has plenty of independent restaurants and breweries that are worth leaving the casinos to explore.
The newest development in downtown Las Vegas will take place around the Plaza – a casino resort that continues to change.
The Plaza plans to continue transforming its land on Main Street. The casino will be redeveloping the building that currently houses the Greyhound bus terminal into a new destination.
The Greyhound bus terminal will be vacated by mid-2021 and the Plaza has already begun discussions with developers on possible projects for the land. With 48,500 sq. ft. and adjacent parking, the building is a prime location for new dining, entertainment, or retail that will transform the area.
This will extend the downtown Las Vegas casino corridor and encourage visitors to walk up and down Main Street and experience more of the area.
“We are very excited to usher in this new era on Main Street,” said Jossel. “Main Street is where downtown started, and today, it remains the heart of downtown, connecting a thriving Arts District, a state-of-the-art city hall, popular destinations like the Plaza, Fremont Street Experience, our newest neighbor Circa, and much more. The Plaza is proud to have held the 1 Main Street address for nearly 50 years. With Greyhound relocating, we look forward to transforming the bus station into a new, dynamic downtown destination that will improve the ambiance and sense of community on Main Street. And with Symphony Park achieving its vision as a hub of residential, commercial, and cultural offerings, enhanced connectivity to it will bolster Main Street and downtown overall.”
New Pathway Downtown
The Plaza will also partner with the city of Las Vegas to build a pedestrian-friendly pathway. This new promenade will lead to a new elevated bridge connecting the casino on Main Street to Symphony Park. In essence, this will make extend downtown Las Vegas and make it easier for locals and visitors to get around.
In partnership with the city of Las Vegas, the Plaza will build a four-block pedestrian pathway. This will connect the Plaza with a new elevated bridge to be built by the city over the Union Pacific railroad tracks to the new residential and commercial development in Symphony Park.
The pathway will feature desert landscaping, lighting, and a decorative safety wall to create a relaxing and enjoyable pedestrian experience.
“We are thrilled to partner with Jonathan and our friends at the Plaza Hotel to link together two vibrant areas of our downtown,” said Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman, city of Las Vegas. “This connection will further enhance the vibrancy of downtown, including the Plaza and Symphony Park, by making the area more walkable. It’s exciting and gratifying to see downtown’s revitalization continue thanks to public-private partnerships like those with the Plaza.”
These new expansions continue the evolution of the Plaza. Over the past five years, the Plaza has upgraded and expanded the property. Last year, the Plaza upgraded 100 hotel rooms. The casino also started booking standup comedians who tour the world last year. A few years ago the Plaza debuted a great rooftop pool complex.
The casino also changed out its old carpeting and continues to upgrade the old bones from the Union Plaza days.
I stayed at the Plaza for the first time recently and had a great time at the property. Everyone working during my stay couldn’t have been more polite and helpful. I look forward to seeing how this new development changes the area.
Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.