Fremont Street Experience $32M Canopy Upgrade Coming in 2019, Part of Las Vegas Downtown Makeover

Posted on: August 14, 2018, 08:30h. 

Last updated on: August 14, 2018, 08:32h.

The downtown Las Vegas Fremont Street Experience (FSE) will begin work on its planned $32 million upgrade to the district’s world-famous canopy in February of next year.

Fremont Street Experience canopy upgrade
New, brighter LED lights will soon go up on the Fremont Street Experience canopy. (Image: Pinterest)

Funding for the project comes from a $9.5 million grant from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, and a $10.7 million tax-exempt bond issued by the Las Vegas City Council. FSE, an entity controlled by the district’s casinos, is funding the remaining costs.

One of the largest video screens in the world, the FSE announced in March that the canopy would soon undergo a major upgrade that will make the spectacle seven times brighter and four times sharper.

For lighting pros and hobbyists, the technical details will improve the display from 700 nits to 5,000 nits. A nit is a unit of visible light intensity, commonly used to specify brightness.

Lighting Up

The Fremont Street Experience canopy is suspended 90 feet above the pedestrian walkway and spans 1,500-feet long and 90-feet wide.

The 12.5 million LED lights haven’t been upgraded in 14 years. Once complete, the canopy lights will be so bright that visitors will be able to see them shine vividly even during the day.

It’s not just the brightness of the lights, however, that will make the canopy a better attraction. FSE officials say an interactive app known as The Key will allow visitors to post their names and messages to the screen, and partake in voting as to which song is played next.

Downtown Revival

Downtown Las Vegas casinos have been on a hugely successful streak over the past year. The market was one of the fastest-growing in Nevada last year, as gross gambling revenue (GGR) jumped nearly 12 percent to $631.25 million. Win continues to climb in 2018.

D Casino owner Derek Stevens is remaking the west side of the FSE by building a 777-room hotel and 117,000-square-foot casino on ground that was the former home of the Las Vegas Club and Mermaids casinos, and the Glitter Gulch strip club.

An estimated 20 million people venture downtown each year, and they’re now being welcomed by a new 26-foot-tall “City of Las Vegas” sign featuring two LED showgirls.

The new sign replaces the “Welcome to Fabulous Downtown Las Vegas,” which was modeled after the more famous one located south of the Strip. That  sign was destroyed in 2016 after being hit by a car — the new sign is being protected by bollards.