A Morning Stroll through Downtown Las Vegas

Good morning, Las Vegas!

Michael James takes a morning photo-walk through Downtown Las Vegas…

I have mentioned in other articles that I have been on a weight loss journey, and on that journey is an increase in walking for exercise.  Prior to my November trip to Las Vegas, I mapped out a two-mile walk through downtown that I could take each morning.  That linked route is just a touch short of a mile, so I included a stop into the Walgreens for a munchin’ apple and made a second lap.

The first Las Vegas morning of my trip, I woke up too early after a too late night. It was the first morning after Daylight Savings Time ended and at the new 6:00 AM, I could no longer sleep.  “No better time than the present,” said I, “to get my walk in.”

I started on 3rd St (between the two Downtown Grand towers), headed towards the Mob Museum, and I thought that it would nice to get a picture without a lot of traffic and pedestrians cluttering up the view.

I spent four hours at the Mob Museum on a previous trip and can’t wait to visit again. Good thing it wasn’t open at 6:00 AM on a Sunday morning or this would be a different article.

Walking on Stewart towards Main Street Station, the rising sun shone brilliantly on the façade, and the obvious photo op couldn’t be passed up.

Although many Las Vegas casinos come alive at night, Main Street Station looked quite shimmery facing the sunrise.

Turning left on Main St., I couldn’t help but note the two train cars. It had just been announced that Derek Stevens had bought that small strip of land and that the cars would be removed (and as I write this, that has just happened). I would be remiss if I didn’t shoot a pic of that.

Unfortunately, with the sun just rising, I couldn’t quite get the photo that I wanted of an image in the shadows.

As I was trying to get a good photo of those train cars, it occurred to me… this was no longer an exercise effort, but instead, it had become a photo walk. As I turned around to get out of the middle of Main St. and back on the sidewalk, I saw a previously undiscovered gem.

These cards must have been there before because I can’t believe they would add decoration to the building after its closure, but I’d never seen it prior to this day.

In all of my trips downtown – what with the hustle and bustle of it all – I had never bothered to look up at the Las Vegas Club building. As a card player (both blackjack and poker) how did I completely miss a big ol’ Ace/King on the top of a building?

I got to Fremont St., and as I got past the abominable stage, it became clear to me that I was the only one awake in all of downtown.

An eerie stillness parked over Fremont Street.

After that brief apple stop at Walgreens, I continued my journey and landed at the foot of Slotzilla.

On April 22, 2017, I will control this beast that is known as “Slotzilla.”

Now please allow me to get personal. When I started this weight loss journey in June, well, let’s just say that I would be unable to bowl my weight. My wife and I are coming back to Las Vegas this April, and we made it a goal to be able to ride Slotzilla on that trip. At the time this photo was taken, I was already at that goal (side note; as I write this, I am now only 2 pounds away from being 100 pounds too light to eat at Heart Attack Grill for free). Look for an article in May on my Superman-style flight down Fremont St.

I continued my walk, and once I got back to the Mob Museum, the second lap was much quicker than the first. To reward myself, I decided to sit down at Royal Flusher’s Blonde4Ever’s, my favorite video poker/people watching spot at the edge of the bar inside the 4 Queens.

Even an hour into my adventure, 7:00 AM on a Sunday morning appears to be a slow time on Fremont St.

It was such a wonderful reward that I was able to play for almost ninety minutes, drinking three cups of coffee and not losing a penny.

That entire time from 6:00 AM to 8:30 AM on a Sunday morning was so much fun (and relaxing) that I’d like to share it with someone. As long as they stay in bed until I am done…

 

[Photos: Michael James]

About the Author

Michael James
Michael James is a true Vegas Nerd. First falling in love after hearing details of an aunt's visit in the '70s, and nurtured when the gambling bug hit as casinos started opening on every street corner across the country in the '90s. When not reading Vegas blogs and message boards, he's a metals buyer by day and a competitive bowler by night in Milwaukee.

32 Comments on "A Morning Stroll through Downtown Las Vegas"

  1. Chris in Nashville | January 17, 2017 at 7:16 am |

    First of all, a big CONGRATS on the weight loss. Good for you and keep it up! Secondly, I absolutely love taking a walk in Vegas (downtown or strip) early in the morning. It’s like the entire city is yours. Cool photos and article, thanks!

  2. This was great.

  3. Linda Buller | January 17, 2017 at 7:29 am |

    great article. DT has been my home away from home in Vegas for about 35 years plus. and yes, those cards have been there awhile on the Vegas Club.

  4. Great write up!….cool idea to see the place at sunrise (rare!)…. and yes….those giant Ace and King cards at LV Club have been around some time. They used to be lit at night and the mirrored bases supporting them had tubes of flickering red neon constantly spinning. I have pics and video of them (luckily) as they will be disappearing soon when the Stevens brothers get started with turning LV Club into something entirely new.

    • Although I prefer to spend more time downtown than on The Strip, in the day time I am usually getting ready to start my day, and at night it is usually about avoiding the buskers and panhandlers (and people watching the stage acts).

      Neither time is looking up part of the strategy. That’s why it was so great to get out before the crowds and sort of be a tourist without, you know, looking like a tourist.

  5. I always intend to do that every time I come to Vegas, but still never have! There’s a 9 hour difference between Vegas and England, so my body clock wakes me up at stupid o clock in the morning. I then get up thinking “I’ll grab a coffee from Starbucks, have half an hour or so in the casino, then go for a morning walk while it’s quiet outside” I usually end up at a VP machine, a cocktail waitress has brought me an early morning beer, (hey, I’m British and I’m in Vegas!) and the idea of a walk quickly vanishes, along with my gambling budget for that day!

  6. Hugh C. McBride | January 17, 2017 at 11:45 am |

    Excellent article – and huge congrats on your exercise/weight loss success. Very impressive!

    • Thank you! For my height of 5’11”, “optimal” weight is 133# to 175#.

      I’ll be happy to get to (and maintain) a level just under the label “obese”!

  7. Congratulations on the weight loss!

  8. Very nice article and pics. Thanks! The last time I headed out of downtown was on an early morning red-eye. As I awaited the express bus to airport, I expected tumbleweeds blowing down Freemont. A few homeless people sleeping and one yelling at me a full block away destroyed my “I own Vegas all to myself” feeling, but what a great time to see the sun rise!

  9. I always love walking downtown Fremont st before the city wakes up…I can choose any machine in any casino to play and besides its quiet…..

  10. Thank you for the pictures and write up. We like waking early to look at stuff by ourselves. Sad that the train cars are leaving, were they moved elsewhere?

  11. Ha ha…actually that should be Blonde4ever/Royal Flusher’s favorite seat at the bar at the Four Queens because it was mine first! Congrats on the weight loss and I loved the early morning walk. Fremont Street is so different at that time of day.

  12. Great walk and talk through that morning jaunt. It makes me realize that there’s always a great excuse to keep visiting Vegas as there is always something you managed to miss the last time you were there. Thank you for sharing.

  13. This was a GREAT read and I love the pics. Articles like this are such an inspiration and a great source of “next trip itinerary identifiers. Thanks Michael.

    • Boy, if Michael Movestro could figure out a way for the reader to bookmark this within his site as an Itinerary Identifier…

      And I really like that.

      Itinerary Identifier. Nice job.

  14. I too love that early morning Fremont street walk. I guess I am not the only one. heck, if we were all in town on the same day, it just might be a flash mob crowd at 6 a.m. :-) sometimes I just pause, stand there and take it all in. it is amazing. and a good time for photos. I have stood there almost teary-eyed reflecting on my 50+ vegas trips over 20 years. I hate to see the train cars go. BTW, when I am out there at 5 or 6 a.m, it is because I have stayed up all night, I am not a morning person. I hope you don’t mind if I borrow your idea and take a photo of the ace/king. my son would love that one too.

  15. I hope the ace/king sign is still there at the end of march so I CAN get the snapshot!

  16. Beth Kirkpatrick | January 17, 2017 at 5:27 pm |

    I love Fremont early in the morning! We always stay downtown and I love it. FYI I don’t remember the cards on the top of Las Vegas Club, I thought it was a baseball glove. Congrats on the weight loss!!

    • Thank you. My rate of loss is slowing down (which they say is natural). Now I gotta work harder!

      Did you (or anyone else) realize that the outside of the Las Vegas Club (the part that looks like inverted stairs above the sign) is supposed to look like the underside of a stadium, with those “steps” being rows of seating?

      The Las Vegas Club was a really neat building in its day. The state of disrepair and apathy was almost as criminal as tearing down the Riviera to build a parking lot.

  17. Love my morning walks too! More of a strip guy and, being a morning person to begin with and coming from the east, I feel like I am in the army getting more gambling done before 9 AM than most gamblers get in a day!

    Having said that, it is also kinda depressing seeing all the club goers getting ready for their nights as I am getting ready to hit the sack – “Hey, I used to be you kid!” and then seeing in them in the morning on their walks of shame while I begin my day:)

  18. I always thought the stadium facade on the Las Vegas Club was really cool….and you’re right, the disrepair was criminal.

    Hopefully Derek Stevens will do something really cool with that building.

  19. the building is likely to be demolished. thank you for pointing out the “stadium seating”, that was new to me. although I never cared for the LVC, I appreciate all of the history and nostalgia. my son, who barely knew the LVC, always seemed to have an interest in it. WHO KNEW?

    • That’s my biggest issue with Las Vegas right now… no architecture. Aria, Cosmo, the Veer towers, Mandalay Bay, and on and on… those all could be corporate office buildings in Louisville.

      I want Vegas to look like Vegas, and the Las Vegas Club fit that bill. Hopefully 18 Fremont will fit the bill.

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