This year’s SATW Convention was held at the Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino, just a block or two from pedestrian-only Fremont Street with its strip of casino hotels and the spectacular, hourly light and sound show beamed up to the makeshift roof over the street. Ziplines whisk riders above the crowd; impersonators pose for pictures, and bands play on two stages. I had spent a day on Fremont Street three years ago, visiting its hotels, casinos and a restaurant or two. This time I noticed quite a bit more activity – a bustling crowd in the evening, more than last time it seems. I didn’t get a chance to go to The Las Vegas Strip, but actually really didn’t miss it since the downtown’s casino life and pedestrian traffic was quite lively.
An interesting downtown sight during the day includes the Mob Museum (just that – mobsters and mafia), across the street for the Downtown Grand. Inside is the actual St. Valentine’s Day Massacre Wall with its bullet holes, reconstructed brick by brick that were saved and numbered from the original wall, when the Chicago building was torn down.
Also worth a visit is seeing a larger replica of the Manneken Pis at the D Hotel. The statue of a little boy peeing into a pool is the signature landmark in Brussels, Belgium. The hotel added the statue because of the owners’ Belgian heritage.