Downtown Las Vegas has undergone major changes in recent years and business owners are hoping people will take the opportunity to rediscover it this weekend.
Earlier this year, Mayor Carolyn Goodman proclaimed 2012 the Year of Downtown. On Saturday, the declaration will be celebrated with a day-long event. The idea is if you haven't been downtown in awhile, now is the time to make a return trip.
"If you love Las Vegas, then you love downtown," said Nev Olivari, assistant general manager of Insert Coin(s), a videogame arcade.
Insert Coin(s) is one of the newer establishments on Fremont Street. It's been around for about a year and a half, and the arcade bar atmosphere is catching on.
It's downtown's unique atmosphere that attracted Olivari.
"When you live outside of downtown, you have to drive everywhere. This is more of a homey feel. Everyone downtown is family," she said.
Saturday has been designated as Rediscover Downtown Day. Forty businesses are offering special deals such as 2-for-1 discounts as well as activities designed to appeal to visitors of all ages.
It kicks off in the morning with the American Heart Association Heart Walk and will continue on into the night.
"I'm one of many others who've come downtown, moved downtown, make their life downtown," said Sam Cherry, CEO of Cherry Development, an upscale homebuilder.
For Cherry, it's personal. In addition to Cherry Development, he runs The Lady Silvia, a lounge, and other downtown businesses. Cherry wants people to make new memories at spots such as The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and the Mob Museum.
"This is the very beginning. We're still in the basement of opportunity for downtown. A lot has changed in the last 10 years and it's still on a path straight up," Cherry said.
The event will conclude with a free live concert by Poison frontman and reality TV star Bret Michaels.
For a complete list of activities planned for Saturday, visit www.rediscoverdowntownlv.com.
Copyright 2012 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.