Fremont Street Experience Names New CEO, Excitement Budding in Downtown Las Vegas

Posted on: September 17, 2020, 08:59h. 

Last updated on: September 18, 2020, 07:04h.

The Fremont Street Experience has found its next CEO to run downtown Las Vegas’ main attraction — Andrew Simon, a marketing and television executive.

Fremont Street Experience downtown Las Vegas
The Fremont Street Experience has a new CEO. (Image: Frank Alejandre/El Tiempo)

Simon arrives in downtown Las Vegas after serving as an executive at AXS TV, a music and lifestyle channel that was founded by billionaire Mark Cuban.

Simon will oversee all aspects of the five-block entertainment district in historic downtown Las Vegas.

Fremont Street Experience, LLC is a private company that manages the entertainment district. The company’s board is made up of representatives from the district’s casino resorts, including Binion’s, California, The D, Four Queens, Fremont, Golden Gate, Golden Nugget, Main Street Station — and soon, Circa.

Circa 2020

This year has been unlike any other in Las Vegas’ past, as COVID-19 resulted in unprecedented closures of casinos, and with gaming floors likely forever changed. But that isn’t stopping downtown Las Vegas from remaining eager for the final three months of 2020.

Circa Resort & Casino, the first casino-resort built from the ground up in downtown Las Vegas in four decades, is awaiting final licensing approval. The Nevada Gaming Commission is expected to sign off on Derek Stevens’ new property on September 24.

Circa says it will open “on or before” December 28. The reportedly $1 billion project features a 35-floor hotel with 777 rooms, “Stadium Swim,” described as a massive outdoor sportsbook and pool complex, the “Garage Mahal,” a facility with 982 parking spaces, Las Vegas’ largest indoor three-story sportsbook, a casino with 1,350 slot machines and 55 table games, 11 eateries, and meeting and convention space.

“There is an unprecedented level of excitement at Fremont Street Experience with the $32 million upgrades in Viva Vision, the upcoming opening of Circa Resort & Casino, and the milestone celebration of our 25th anniversary this December,” Simon declared.

Viva Vision is the main attraction of Fremont Street. The canopy video screen is 1,375 feet long and 90 feet wide. It hangs 90 feet above pedestrians and comes with 49.3 million LED lights that can now be viewed during the day, and a 600,000-watt sound system.

Downtown Turnaround

Before the coronavirus hit, downtown Las Vegas was on a roll. Gross gaming revenue (GGR) totaled $684.9 million in 2019, a 5.4 percent gain in the previous year.

COVID-19 has, of course, hurt casino numbers, but not as much as on the Strip.

GGR (YoY Percent Drop)        June         July

Strip                                          -61.4        -39.2

Downtown                                -55.6        -20.6

With Circa on the way and hopes for a vaccine coming around the new year, downtown officials remain optimistic. Downtown doesn’t rely as heavily on convention business compared with the Strip, and the Fremont Street area has long been known as a more affordable gambling destination than the five-star luxury integrated resorts on Las Vegas Boulevard.