After wowing audiences on stage, many Las Vegas performers make their way to homes Downtown. With eclectic neighborhoods and a thriving social scene, these entertainers appreciate the diversity of where they live.
Las Vegas is a city that was built on entertainment, from old school nightclub acts of the past to the residency shows of today. Chippendales, performing at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, has been a staple for more than 38 years. The fully choreographed, interactive show features gorgeous men who can dance. One of them is Jon Howes.
A resident of Las Vegas since the age of 5, Howes only recently moved to the heart of Downtown. “I wanted a change,” he tells DTLV.com. “I grew up in Henderson in the Anthem neighborhood and I wanted something different.”
His neighborhood fits his lifestyle, including the social aspects. “It is only a 10-minute walk to places I like to hang out, like Container Park and The Bunkhouse, and we walk everywhere.” He patronizes the restaurants and bars in the area and has a group of friends that socialize with him.
According to Howes, the only downside is the development of new buildings that obscure the view, but he realizes that this is part of the redevelopment and plans on living in his home for the next few years. “Give it a try,” he encourages others, “especially if you are in your 20s or 30s. It is more than a place to live, but a lifestyle.”
Matthew “Mato” Gucu, owner of New Moon Entertainment, lives in the Huntridge district and performs on Fremont Street in the tribute band 80’s Station (formerly Loveshack). He has lived in the Downtown area for more than 20 years. “I have always been a fan of living in the city. I appreciate the diversity of the culture and living close to the Arts District,” he says. “I really love Downtown and the character of its neighborhoods.”
Gucu is raising a family Downtown with a 7-month-old son and 7-year-old daughter. He does admit, “There are elements and places to avoid but I love my neighbors and neighborhood. I see the revitalization working and more young families are moving here.”
Having performed on Fremont Street off and on since 1995 and consistently for the past three years, Gucu gets to interact with an international audience that changes constantly. “Fremont Street has always been a great venue to perform and we have a very enthusiastic crowd. The tourism market has exploded there and it has really benefited us and the other performers,” Gucu says.
Carl “Safe Sax” Ferris has performed on Fremont Street for more than 17 years. A long time Las Vegas resident, Ferris originally moved to Southern Nevada for love and stayed for his career. After watching him perform on the Las Vegas Strip, the former president of Fremont Street Experience recruited Ferris.
“Of course, it has changed over the years,” he says. “But I love it and I perform every day in the evenings (7 to 11 p.m.). I do remember a time when we didn’t go past Las Vegas Boulevard. While I don’t go to Fremont Street East personally, it is great what is happening there.”
According to Ferris, tourists coming to Fremont Street are younger, and because he plays all original jazz music, he has developed a global following over the years. “Kids that have seen me come back as adults and many are musicians, telling me I inspired them.”