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May 21, 2018

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Downtown:

Fremont Street canopy show should be round-the-clock draw, leaders say

Image

Steve Marcus

A live feed of the New Year’s celebration in New York City is displayed on the Viva Vision canopy over the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017.

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018 | 4:11 p.m.

The Las Vegas City Council voted unanimously today to seek a grant of up to $9.5 million from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to help update the downtown Fremont Street Experience video canopy. The update would allow the attraction to run around-the-clock, instead of just at night.

The proposal calls for the city, LVCVA and Fremont Street Experience to work together on the 1,500-foot long, 90-foot wide video screen suspended 90 feet above the pedestrian mall.

Updating the canopy's 12.5 million LED lights would increase the quality of the video display, making it significantly brighter, said Patrick Hughes, president and CEO of the Fremont Street Experience.

“The density of the pixels will give us the ability to run shows day and night,” said Hughes, who noted that the LED lights have not been upgraded in 14 years.

If approved, the project could be completed by the beginning of 2020.

Mayor Carolyn Goodman said initial plans include the ability for people to interact with the attraction via a smartphone app and post personal messages on the canopy. The messages would be screened by Fremont Street Experience staff.

“It really is unique — a one-of-a-kind in the world — and we’re so excited, and it brings people downtown,” Goodman said.

The app would also let people vote on what music is played at the experience. “Why should we dictate what everybody hears and listens to?” Hughes said.

People who download the app, called The Key, would be able to view from anywhere on their phones what is playing on the Fremont canopy, creating a connection with Las Vegas that will hopefully keep people coming back, Hughes said.

“We’re looking to take what is now one-dimensional and create a new, floor-to-ceiling, interactive experience that will separate us from the rest of the world,” Hughes said.

The $9.5 million grant would not cover the entire cost of the project. The Fremont Street Experience is expected to present the final budget to the City Council next month.