Downtown Las Vegas is winning big and not in the way you might think!!

 

My recent trip to Las Vegas was anything but the usual “Vegas Strip” trip to gamble, drink and shop.

My sister moved to Las Vegas in 2012 and fell in love with this city!  I spent 10 days in May with her and saw a whole different side of “Sin City”.

Don’t get me wrong the casinos are all there and doing a brisk business!  We did spend a little time visiting some of them and even feeding a few of the slot machines.  There were many Elvis’, show girls, cartoon characters, etc and that was just on the street!  What a country…where else can you dress up like a character and stand on the street taking pictures with tourists and make a living??  Now that is the entrepreneurial spirit in practice!!  Haha!

Wis we were related!

Wish we were related!

The Flamingo Hotel and Casino...a classic on the strip!

The Flamingo Hotel and Casino…a classic on the strip!

 

I should mention that we only visited the “Strip” once and that was to attend the House of Blues Gospel Buffet on a Sunday morning.  It was amazing both the entertainment and food.

Photo bomb at the House of Blues!

At the House of Blues!

Awesome show!

Awesome show!

 

Downtown Las Vegas is booming for the first time in a very long time!!  Some of you may have visited the casinos on Fremont street which is right downtown and was THE place to visit before the “Strip” grew and grew.

 

Some of the beautiful lighting and woodworking in one of the casinos on Fremont Street.

Some of the beautiful lighting and woodworking in one of the casinos on Fremont Street.

 Some of those casinos are really cool and beautiful.  It is like stepping back in time and worth checking out.  One casino has a display of the different eras of slot machines.  Did you know that at one time it was illegal to receive money as winnings so you won mints!  I’m not sure the casinos would be doing as well as they are if the only thing you won were mints!

Sample of the old slots machines

Sample of the old slots machines

An old slot machine that gave out mints instead of money!

An old slot machine that gave out mints instead of money!

 I saw displays of old room keys, woodworking that was intricate and beautiful.

An old hotel log in a display from a casino on Fremont Street.

An old hotel log in a display from a casino on Fremont Street.

What I saw that was amazing and so very different is called the Downtown Project (http://downtownproject.com/).  Definitely worth checking out!  I have been an entrepreneur at heart since I was a child.  Starting with selling magazines for prizes and many other “projects” over the years (but that is a story for another day).

In the ten days I spent in Las Vegas I was fortunate to attend several speaker events :

The Construction Project where all of the great speakers come as part of the Downtown Project.

The Construction Project where all of the great speakers come as part of the Downtown Project.

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First as part of a science weeklong event I heard David Knight, Producer speak about Space Shuttle Endeavour’s Historic L.A. Move Documented for Film and the future of space exploration.

David Knight speaking during Las Vegas science week.

David Knight speaking during Las Vegas science week.

Another evening we enjoyed a free dinner of Big Ern’s BBQ (http://www.bigernsbbq.com/)  and then attended a presentation by Chad Meng Tan from Google where he is affectionately known as “The Jolly Good Fellow”

The "yummy" meal from Big Ern's BBQ!

The “yummy” meal from Big Ern’s BBQ!

During those 10 days we missed 3 or 4 other very interesting speakers in the Downtown Project’s speaker series.  Did I mention that the speakers and the great meal were FREE!  Incredible!!

Another facet of this Downtown Project is to assist small businesses get started in the downtown area.  My sister pointed out a coffee shop, a boutique, a club as just a few businesses that have been assisted by the Project.

A cool art gallery above the Beat Coffee Shop.

A cool art gallery above the Beat Coffee Shop.

The projects that caught my interest were more hands on!

The Stitch Factory: (http://www.stitchfactory.com/)  What a great place!! They hold classes for kids, for fun one evening projects, for design and sewing as well as entrepreneurial endeavors.  Aspiring designers can come in and use their machines, dress forms, etc for a membership fee.  How awesome is that!

The Stitch Factory!

The Stitch Factory!

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The Syn Shop:  (http://www.meetup.com/synshop/)  It is a creative space designed for project collaboration, research and development, mentoring, and of course, learning.

So much is going on in downtown Las Vegas that you could be busy everyday!  There are too many things to mention in this one blog post so I shall continue next week!  Meanwhile, check out the above links.

Life is Beauty Full in Vegas!

Cathy

 

Note:  The above blog are my personal observations as a visitor in Las Vegas.

 

 

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