Las Vegas Sun

December 5, 2019

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Joe Downtown: Motel long gone, but Ambassador sign being refurbished


Steve Marcus

The Ambassador East Motel sign, right, is shown on East Fremont Street Wednesday, June 20, 2013. The motel was demolished in 2007 but the sign is being refurbished in time for the inaugural Life is Beautiful festival.

Site of the old Ambassador East

Largely unnoticed Thursday during the grand reopening of The Atomic tavern, an icon in the 900 block of Fremont Street, was a man in a cherry picker tinkering with the exposed wiring of a decades-old sign for the Ambassador East motel.

The Ambassador no longer exists, having been demolished in 2007. Yet with the sign in as much disrepair and disregard as the empty lots it watches over, it’s easy to drive by and barely see it.

That won’t be the case in a few months.

In concert with plans for the two-day Life is Beautiful festival, Rehan Choudry, festival organizer, recently said the sign was being restored and would be ready for the start of the festival in late October.

The music, food and art festival will be Oct. 26 and 27 over 15 fenced-in blocks in downtown Las Vegas. Five stages for music will be spread throughout, dozens of chefs will create a culinary village and many other activities are being planned.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

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