Downtown Las Vegas Partnership Focuses On Redevelopment Of Downtown Area

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Downtown Las Vegas Partnership Focuses On Redevelopment Of Downtown Area

Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas is what the world envisions when the name Las Vegas is mentioned. For years, the singular image of neon facades flowing along Fremont Street has symbolized all the action and excitement the city offers its millions of visitors each year.

Not only is downtown the hub of the city's entertainment and tourism industry, it also is the historic and economic nucleus of Las Vegas. The single largest tax base for the city, downtown is a major employer -- there currently are 22,000 jobs in the city's urban core. At its heart are numerous locally- owned independent businesses, which keep profits in town and support local community projects. Downtown also is a great environment for business start-up and development, and a central gathering place for all residents.

But in recent years, downtown has witnessed a steady decrease in gross gaming revenue and a gradual decline in its infrastructure. As of August 1994 downtown revenues were down for 10 of the 11 previous months, and a decline in the casinos means a natural deterioration for the surrounding businesses in the area.

Taking steps to reverse the trend, a group of downtown business owners and others with vital business interests in the downtown area united in late 1994 to form the Downtown Las Vegas Partnership (DLVP).

The Partnership is committed to creating an exciting, economically vibrant and aesthetically pleasing downtown environment which enhances the quality of life of those who live and work in the city of Las Vegas.

Because of its tireless efforts to make downtown a better place to work, live and play, the DLVP has earned the full backing and support of the Fremont Street Experience Company, said Don Snyder, president.

"Fremont Street Experience cannot exist as an island of success amid a sea of declining revenues and economic degeneration," Snyder said. "For this reason, we will do all we can to assist the DLVP and its commitment to breathe new life into the cultural and economic heart of the city."

Focusing on the City of Las Vegas' redevelopment district, which runs from Bruce Street west to Martin Luther King Boulevard and from Charleston Boulevard north to Washington Avenue, the DLVP is concentrating on the social concerns of downtown.

The DLVP acts as a clearinghouse for notification of important business and legislative activity, acts as an advocate for downtown issues, and is a resource for information relating to downtown and city-wide issues.

To date, the DLVP has formed seven sub-committees: the Economic and Development Committee, the Public Safety Committee, the Membership Committee, the Marketing and Public Relations Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, the Beautification Committee, and the Downtown Community Partners.

Although still in its development stages, the DLVP has already played a critical role in the passage of several Las Vegas ordinances: the flagging ordinance, which makes it illegal for people to "flag" customers to drug dealers; the solicitation ordinance that establishes place and manner restrictions on solicitation activity; and the pedestrian interference ordinance that makes it unlawful to impede the flow of pedestrian traffic.

The city also passed an ordinance prohibiting panhandling within the Fremont Street Experience pedestrian mall, legislation that led the DLVP to establish Positive Change, Not Spare Change, a campaign benefiting the joint City of Las Vegas-Clark County Mobilized Assistance and Shelter for the Homeless (MASH). The campaign's goal is to break the cycle of homelessness by encouraging downtown visitors to donate money to MASH, instead of giving their spare change to panhandlers.

The DLVP also is working with the Metropolitan Police Department to rid downtown of abandoned buildings which Metro attributes to 85 percent of the crime in the area. DLVP also supports Metro's C.O.P.E. (Community Oriented Policing Environment).

In addition to working on such public safety issues, the group is focusing on business retention and recruitment, and creating a positive image of downtown Las Vegas.

Downtown Las Vegas Partnership Steering Committee
Edward Bernstein, Edward Bernstein & Associates
Kathilynn Carpenter, The Fremont Street Experience LLC
Jack Harpster, Las Vegas Review Journal
George Hofmann, Nevada State Bank
Jeanne Hood, American Casino Enterprises
Richann Johnson, City Council Liaison
Mayor Jan Jones, City of Las Vegas
Suzanne LeBlanc, Lied Children's Discovery Museum
Todd Marshall, Marshall-Rousso
Dick McKee, Metro Police Department
Gil Montoya, Sprint Central Telephone Nevada
Lynn Purdue, Thomas Puckett Advertising
Mujahid Ramadan, Nevada Partners
Andre Rochat, Andre's Restaurant
Ric Truesdell (Chairman), Cornerstone Company
Bill Wells, McGladrey Pullen
Juanita Wilson, Econolodge
Judi Woodyard, Lee & Associates

Fremont Street Experience
Information provided by the Fremont Street Experience - Las Vegas (1995)