What’s Your ‘Quick Fix’ for Downtown?

DSC_0061 Downtown Las Vegas has made incredible strides in the past few years. We’ve seen the opening of a world-class performing arts center. A leading online retailer had moved Downtown, bringing with it new jobs and new residents. The businesses of the 18b Arts District are thriving. And you only need walk a couple blocks down Fremont Street to see how quickly Fremont East has come along in a very short time. Commonwealth, Radio City Pizza, Park on Fremont, Rachel’s Kitchen and La Comida are just a few businesses in the exploding Fremont East corridor whose doors weren’t open a year ago, and they’ll soon be old news: Container Park, Scullery and Inspire Theater are nearly ready to open their doors.

The speed with which these changes are being effected is nearly blinding … and yet, sometimes, it feels maddeningly slow. All you need to do is walk around someone else’s finished downtown core — like, say, that of Portland, Oregon, pictured above — and you start counting our own omissions: We don’t have enough park space. We don’t have utility poles to stick fliers on. We don’t have enough bike lanes, book stores or restaurants. We’ve made so many miracles happen in so short a time; what’s a few more?

My question for you today is this: If you could fix one thing in Downtown Las Vegas right now, one single thing that could be addressed inside of a year, what would it be? Would you add benches and shade trees? Would you open a bookstore on Main Street? Or install a bocce court at Huntridge Circle Park? There are so many small pieces missing from our Downtown reboot, and they can be just as important as adding big stuff like housing and supermarkets.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we should be Portland, or Los Angeles, or anything other than what we are. Las Vegas isn’t just a place, it’s a vernacular — and Portlanders should be walking around our Downtown saying, Wow, this is really different; I wish we had something like this. And we’ll get there. But there are still lots of details to fill in, little touches that will make our neighborhoods more iconic, more fun and more livable. So, if you could institute one “quick fix” for your Downtown Las Vegas today, what would it be? Comment below, and let’s rub this in Portland’s smug hippie face.


  • Rob Ponte

    We clearly need a grassy, tree-filled, relaxing public park somewhere in the downtown core that can act as a neighborhood hub. Huntridge Circle is great but too far from restaurants and population densities. There’s plenty of barren, open lots around. The city just needs to buy one or two up and get it done.

    • JPR

      Downtown land value is prohibitive (and rising) for the city to buy one lot, let alone two. It’s likely going to take a private individual to donate a plot of land to the city, specifically to build a public park and/or public square in the immediate downtown.

      • pjperez

        And as soon as said private individual does, they’ll be looked at suspiciously by the jaded downtowners.

  • Hernan Valencia

    Shaded areas. Trees, canopies, tree canopies. Something.

    • You want I should hold an umbrella over you, sir? Because I’ll do that.

  • J

    So … If I understand the article correctly, you are looking for suggestions that would compete with Portland? There is something big missing that could add all the other little things by the volume the big thing would bring But for me to disclose what the big this is, you would need to sign an NDA. This Big thing that’s missing would have the world saying, Wow, this is really different.

    • pjperez

      Free tacos for everyone?

      • Pj, you socialist.

  • Marion

    REPAVE the Streets its still smells like pee and repaint old ugly buildings! Get rid of those people dressed in funky outfits soliciting themselves to take a picture with you. Bring in more healthy juice bars. They need a real Newspaper and magazine stand like New York has, or maybe just a great bookstore that sells all that stuff like Barnes and Noble. I like the Mill Avenue District in Tempe, Arizona, it mixes old and new buildings and has a good vibe.

  • JPR

    One quick fix that can be done in under a year? More empty lots need to be paved and readied for both paid auto parking as well as secure bicycle parking. With parking comes people, with people comes money, and with money follows everything else.

    • Bike lockers bike lockers. Shaded, secured, maybe even climate-controlled. Imagine if you could keep a bike near your business to use whenever you wanted, for a monthly fee.

      • JPR


  • Weston

    Trees and grass and less homeless people

  • MJW

    Fast. Reasonably affordable and long over due…. SLOW DOWN Main St (to 25mph) and add bigger, safer crosswalks with flashing lights and everything. Just for good measure, place one of those signs that shows drivers what their speed is. Our one-way couplet is still 3 years away (if we’re lucky). The City of Las Vegas can accomplish this within 6 – 9 months.

  • Mowgli

    Open walls, for street art.

Suggested Next Read

The DTLV Block Party: Putting Our All into a Half of a Half


The DTLV Block Party: Putting Our All into a Half of a Half

By Geoff Carter

At 4:30 p.m. on November 17, The DTLV.com Block Party will take over the parking lot at the corner of Fremont and Seventh Streets. Marathon runners are welcome, but really, we want everybody.

Vegas Seven