Las Vegas Gateway to Downtown Casino District Set for November Lighting

Posted on: September 29, 2020, 03:03h. 

Last updated on: September 29, 2020, 03:57h.

The new gateway arches welcoming visitors to the downtown Las Vegas casino district now are expected to be lit in mid-November.

Las Vegas Gateway
This composite image shows what the Las Vegas gateway will look like upon completion. Construction on the project is expected to wrap in November. (Image: Reno Gazette-Journal)

The anticipated completion date for the $6.5-million gateway on Las Vegas Boulevard South had been late October or early November. However, work on the gateway probably will be wrapped some time in mid-November, according to Jace Radke, senior public information officer for the City of Las Vegas.

While most of the construction work is complete, electrical components required to light the 80-foot-tall gateway need to be installed.

The gateway is near the Strat Hotel, Casino and SkyPod, formerly known as the Stratosphere. An official kick-off ceremony at the site has not been set, Radke told in an email.

Many of the largest casinos in the state are on the Las Vegas Strip south of Sahara Avenue, outside city limits. The Strat is north of Sahara Avenue, within city limits.

Critics have taken to social media sites in recent weeks, blasting the city for spending millions on a decorative gateway during the pandemic-related economic downturn. On its website, the city notes the project was approved in 2019 and has employed 80 workers from various construction trades.

Downtown Revival

The gateway, which includes a City of Las Vegas emblem, is intended to highlight casino and tourism attractions in the downtown area.

USA Today recently conducted an online poll of “best” casinos and tourism sites in the Las Vegas region. The top vote-getting casinos, the D Las Vegas and Plaza hotel-casino, are downtown. The Mob Museum and Fremont Street Experience, which are also downtown, received the most votes as best tourism sites in the area.

The downtown casino district on Fremont Street, known as Glitter Gulch, has a storied history that includes colorful figures such as former Texas outlaw Benny Binion, who ran the Horseshoe Casino for years. The nearby El Cortez hotel-casino briefly was owned in the mid-1940s by Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel and other mobsters. Both properties are still in operation, though ownership has changed hands over the years.

Circa Opens Soon

The newest addition to the downtown skyline is Circa Resort, the first hotel-casino built from the ground up in that area in 40 years. It is nearing completion at the western end of the Fremont Street Experience, a canopied pedestrian mall. The Las Vegas Club and other properties were demolished to make way for Circa.

Featuring multiple swimming pools and what is being billed at the world’s largest sportsbook, Circa is set to open Oct. 28.

While the gaming areas will be in operation in late October, many of the 777 hotel rooms are not scheduled to open until the end of the year.

Derek Stevens, who owns Circa and two other properties on Fremont Street, the D Las Vegas and Golden Gate casinos, said no one under 21 will be allowed in Circa. This includes the casino and hotel. People under 21 will only be allowed in the steakhouse in the resort’s basement. These under-21 visitors will require a security escort in and out of the steakhouse.