City leaders mull future of downtown Las Vegas - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Should downtown Las Vegas be family-friendly or adult playground?

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The entrance for Fremont Street Experience is shown in this undated file photo. (FOX5 file) The entrance for Fremont Street Experience is shown in this undated file photo. (FOX5 file)

It's a problem many cities would like to have as Las Vegas City Council haggled over which direction downtown should go with the areas recent boost in development. 

"We're dealing with the success of our planning today, and what downtown has become and it's those growing pains," said Councilman Steve Ross.

On Wednesday, city council discussed liquor regulations downtown, land use and licensing. These three areas are the main center in trying to figure out whether downtown will be more family friendly or adult-centered.

"We have had discussions on what type of city do we want to have?" said Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian. "Do we want a Bourbon Street? Or do we want a Gas Lamp Light District in San Diego?"

The new Container Park opened in November offering a walkable space for patrons to walk around at their leisure. It also offers a play area for children.

Parent Sarah Beckham goes downtown frequently. Her husband works at the Container Park, and she likes to bring her young son with her and walk around.

"Before him, I was definitely hanging out on the other side of Fremont," Beckham said.

Even with being a parent, Beckham says she still sees the value of downtown integrating both rather than separating the two.

"It's best to let the people who are going to choose for themselves rather than put them in a box and make them feel like it's directed one way versus directed another," she said.

Michael Cornthwaite, managing partner at the new business Inspired, has worked at the forefront of bringing a new type of company to downtown.

"In any urban core, you'll find commerce, you'll find culture, you'll find community," Cornthwaite said.

Inspired is a multipurpose environment that offers a coffee shop, lounge area and a theatre all wrapped in one location.

Cornthwaite also agrees that downtown should be multipurpose.

"It could be a mistake to go either direction," he said. "It's important not to define every block, to master plan every block."

The city council didn't make a decision on this on Wednesday. They said they will be meeting about it again at the city retreat the week of Feb. 24.

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