Downtown Las Vegas Appealing to Younger Crowd

LAS VEGAS -- Hundreds of rooms, slot machines and walk-up gaming and dining are all part of the newly renovated Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino.

Las Vegas leaders celebrated the opening of the Downtown Grand Tuesday. The hotel and casino is the latest addition to an area that seems to be always evolving.  

The biggest difference most people are noticing is more young professionals meeting at restaurants, bars, and hotels, which are geared specifically for them.

The Downtown Grand ribbon cutting filled 3rd Street with excitement. Some people might still call the area old Las Vegas, but it is starting to look younger.

Rosanna Vivas grew up in Las Vegas and works for Zappos. She says she is not interested in the 99 cent shrimp cocktail that used to bring her parents downtown.

"The Downtown Grand is opening and a lot of these casinos are revamping. It is great! When I walked around I was: wow! I remember when this building used to be Lady Luck, when this building used to be the Fitzgerald," Vivas said.

Managers at Pizza Rock say Vivas is part of a key group of young people working at tech companies like Zappos.

"I think they brought in about 3,000 new people and their demographic alone is that 21 to 30 crowd. So, we're definitely going to take advantage of that and draw that crowd in," general manager at Pizza Rock Ricky Lewis said.

Pizza Rock tries to draw in the younger crowd with a semi-truck DJ booth and more than 20 different kinds of craft beer.

Other places like Gold Spike are almost unrecognizable inside.

"It definitely had that old downtown Las Vegas smell and feel about it, and then what they re-did to it, is great," downtown resident Matt Reyes said.

People say downtown is back to being a cool place to be.

"'Oh cool! You live downtown' or 'I heard there is a lot of stuff going on down there. I want to check it out.'" Reyes said.

Vivas says it wasn't the casinos that brought in the young people. She says it was the young people changing downtown to the way they want it to be.

"I think the important thing now is the presence of a younger crowd is here, and that is probably what is making the change here so great," she said.

Downtown Grand executives say about 800 people will work at the hotel and casino and those people will add to the young energy in the neighborhood even more.


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