There’s a select handful of celebrated streets peppered around the United States that virtually need no introduction . . . their names alone convey more than what mere words ever could: Hollywood Blvd . . . Park Avenue . . . and the Las Vegas Strip. If Hollywood’s all about fame, and Park Avenue’s got the big bucks, then Vegas’ downtown area, known affectionately as ‘The Strip,’ definitely has the market on fun cornered hands down.
Most of the largest hotel, casino, and resort properties in the world are located in downtown Las Vegas. With 21 massive casinos lining each side of the Strip’s 4.2 mile portion of Las Vegas Blvd. beginning with Mandalay Bay to the south and ending with the unmistakable Stratosphere tower on the northern side, Vegas central is the quintessential glittering oasis of the Mojave Desert.
Things To Consider: In a nutshell . . . Plenty of noise, traffic from both cars and on foot, lights galore, with usually a new hotel/casino under construction somewhere either directly on the Strip or in close proximity to the cities central area. That’s the hard truth about life near the Strip. The obvious up-side being that if you’re among one of the many thousands of men and women who work in a hotel/casino, you can’t beat the quick commute time.
As an added incentive, downtown is very pedestrian-friendly. To alleviate traffic issues at popular intersections, several footbridges have been installed to help pedestrians safely traverse the bustling roads. There’s also the Las Vegas Monorail system which runs on the east side of the Strip from Tropicana Avenue to Sahara Road. Add to this a healthy amount of free shuttles, trams, taxis and bus lines (neither of these are free obviously), and getting around on the Strip is probably easier here than in any other neighborhood in Las Vegas.
In terms of overall ease with getting around in a car, all the major highways and airports in the entire city cater exclusively to the Strip’s principal locale. It is the unmistakable ‘center’ from which all streets and avenues funnel outward to the surrounding neighborhoods and communities.
Schools: Lots of public schools are to be found very close to the downtown area: Paradise Elementary School, M. Eugene Ward Elementary School, Jack Dailey Elementary, Ruby S. Thomas Elementary, William E. Orr Middle School, Burk High School, Ed W. Clark High School, Valley High, and Virtual High. These are just a few choices for new residents to consider.
Attractions: This one’s pretty obvious. Aside from the plethora of amenities offered by the casinos (gambling, swimming pools, multiple restaurants, art exhibits, live shows, and health spas), there’s also plenty of free attractions visible from the Strip including the water fountains at Bellagio, the Sirens of TI show at Treasure Island—TI, the volcano at The Mirage, and the Fall of Atlantis and Festival Fountain at Caesars Palace. Just down from Caesars, the MGM Grand features a glass-sided lion habitat inside the casino area, where up to six lions are shown every day.
If shopping is more your style, downtown Las Vegas has plenty of stops to entice your wallet: Bonanza Gift Shop, Grand Canal Shoppes, Miracle Mile and Crystals at CityCenter, are just a few. And when you’re done, head over the Las Vegas Convention Center for some indoor skydiving . . . good for those looking for the thrill of freefall without necessarily leaping from an airplane.
Unfortunately, due to all the land needed to build these mega-hotel/casinos, there’s only one remaining golf course on the Strip, the Desert Inn Golf Course. The Desert Inn doesn’t exist anymore (it’s now the Wynn) but Steve Wynn kept the 60 year-old golf course intact.
Businesses: Once again, the major businesses in the center of downtown are the hotel/casinos. Tourism drives the economy in Las Vegas, especially in the downtown vicinity, with an estimated 40 million people visiting the city each year. According to the University of Nevada's Center for Business and Economic Research Center, between 20-25% of all employment opportunities in Las Vegas are centered around the gaming industry. The good news is that as of September 2011, businesses along the Strip saw 19 consecutive months of increased tourism. Visitors are coming from farther away, staying longer, and paying higher hotel rates than in recent years before the onset of the recession back in mid-2007.
3478 Paradise Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89169
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