Saturday, March 19, 2011

Las Vegas: Downtrodden Downtown

Along Las Vegas' glossy strip of bombastic theme hotels, glitz and glamor, life is a fairy tale where all things seem possible... just look at how many folks dump dollars into the slot machines with big dreams. But downtown in old Vegas along Fremont Street, it's an entirely different story.

Sure, you can still find $8 prime rib dinners and $2 Henekens, but it's also a terribly depressed—if not depressing—blemish on the Vegas landscape. Homeless people abound and the streets reveal a grit and grime during daylight hours that you simply don't see along the sleek, slick Strip.

It reveals a glimpse of what once was, before deep-pocketed investors began to implode decrepit hotels along the strip, supplanting them with the new upscale Vegas generation. City Center, where we stayed our final two nights, is the ideal example.

There's something for everyone, for sure. Binions, El Cortez, Golden Nugget, Golden Spike, Four Queens and Fremont are a fond glimpse of the old school. All good, cool cats.The Greyhound bus station... then and now.