- The new gateway arches in downtown Las Vegas will be lit daily at dusk after the first official lighting on Wednesday.
- The 80-feet tall arches are meant to lure visitors to the area.
- However, critics say the city shouldn’t have spent $6.5 million on the gateway arches, especially during these tough economic times.
- Las Vegas is also planning to highlight the downtown area by introducing streetscapes with new trees.
The first official lighting of the new gateway arches Wednesday in downtown Las Vegas marked the beginning of putting them on daily at dusk to lure visitors to the area.
The arches are 80-feet high above Las Vegas Boulevard at the base of the STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod. Previously known as the Stratosphere, the STRAT is just south of the Fremont Street Experience, a downtown mall covered with a lighted canopy.
The Fremont Street gambling district, called Glitter Gulch, is the home of some of the most historic hotel-casinos in the region, including the El Cortez.
Circa Resort is the newest addition to Fremont Street. It is the first hotel-casino constructed from the ground up in the downtown area in four decades. The adults-only resort opened its gaming spaces on October 28. Some of Circa’s 777 hotel rooms are expected to be complete by next month.
In the proximity of Fremont Street are other tourist sites, such as the Mob Museum and Neon Museum.
YESCO, a company that has built neon signs in Nevada for decades, constructed and installed the gateway arches valued at $6.5 million. A news release from Las Vegas and YESCO revealed that the arches include 13,016 lights and a “pink, retro-inspired Las Vegas emblem suspended above the boulevard.”
However, critics say the city shouldn’t have spent that amount of money on the gateway arches, especially during a slowdown that the ongoing pandemic has caused.
“It’s a good thing the City of Las Vegas has a spare $6.5M lying around and nothing more important on which to spend it,” a Twitter user identified as Andy Eisen wrote.
The city website shows that the City Council approved the gateway arches project in 2019. Eighty workers began working on the site last March.
The website also notes that Las Vegas is allocating $24 million to help expand the Courtyard Homeless Resource Center.
Apart from the gateway arches, the city plans to highlight the downtown area by introducing streetscapes with 200 new trees.
Most of Nevada’s large casinos are on the Las Vegas Strip, south of downtown and outside city limits. The popular resort corridor has 20 casinos in a three-mile stretch from the Mandalay Bay at the southern end to the Sahara on the northern end at the city limits. Some of the hotel-casinos on the Strip include MGM Grand, Wynn Las Vegas, and Caesars Palace.
On the southern end of the Strip near McCarran International Airport is the sign “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” that greets visitors.
Hopefully, the lighting of the gateway arches in the downtown area will serve its purpose.