WHAT’S WRONG (AND RIGHT) WITH DOWNTOWN LAS VEGAS
Operating a business on East Fremont Street is no easy matter. There have already been failures (Radio City Pizzeria, Insert Coins, Wild, Itsy Bitsy has apparently already changed hands) and competition keeps getting fiercer. So we sat down with someone who was there at the beginning, and knows where a lot of the bodies are buried, as it were. The picture they painted wasn’t a pretty one.
ELV: You’re not optimistic about the future of East Fremont Street?
TO: Let’s just say I’m cautiously pessimistic.
ELV: What’s the problem? In 25 words or less?
TO: They need to create a niche market and sustain it, and the owners and operators and the City haven’t done that.
ELV: Well, it’s more of a destination now than it was five years ago..
TO: It was hot for a couple of years. Lots of publicity, lots of locals. But the locals all came, looked around and left. Then the parking went to $10. The crowds you see here on weekends are tourists. During the week it’s dead and locals have no reason to come here. I mean, what the fuck are people going to Container Park for? They’re not buying anything. They say to themselves: Why should I drive from Tropicana and Tenaya to downtown? And there are no answers except to drink.