The Fremont Street Experience’s Huge Video Board Receives a Serious Upgrade

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It’s the first thing you see in Downtown Las Vegas and the last thing you’ll forget: The Fremont Street Experience, and especially its huge Viva Vision light and sound canopy.

What might not be entirely apparent, however, is the $32 million renovation of the famed video screen which took place, with timing no one could have anticipated, in December 2019 - just months before the COVID-19 pandemic changed travel (and daily life) for years.

While restrictions are not entirely lifted, more and more Southern Californians are vaccinated, acclimated, and prepared to travel more safely, and many of them are making their first trip back to a renewed Las Vegas since the start of the pandemic.

While there are many new sights and sounds to take in, downtown is dominated by the Viva Vision upgrade which includes monumental changes to both the video board and its programming. Spanning five city blocks of Fremont Street and centered over some of the most-visited real estate in the world, the revitalized Viva Vision board features an astounding 16,433,152 pixels. Combine that with 600,000 watts of concert-quality sound system and you have almost a mile of eye and ear candy to gaze upon while exploring the classic casinos, watering holes, and doing some classic Vegas people watching on the downtown strip.

Originally opened in 1995, the Fremont Street Experience worked with cutting-edge light, sound and programming purveyors, including Watchfire Signs and Los Angeles-based Contend, to completely upgrade the abilities of the canopy, including adding 3-D capabilities and revamping the programming entirely, all leading to a multi-sensory, immersive experience that stops visitors in their tracks. In addition to sound and light shows, the Fremont Street Experience features unique music videos on its giant screen featuring some of the hottest acts in the world, including The Chainsmokers, Shakira, Steve Aoki and Las Vegas’ own The Killers and Imagine Dragons.

Taking this all in can be a brisk walk, or it can be a thrilling glide. The SlotZilla zipline attraction runs the length of the Fremont Street Experience and makes visitors part of the show, rushing past onlookers staring up at the Viva Vision screen. Zipline seated for a thrill, or go full comic book by “zoomlining” in a flying position, all while still taking in the light and sound show above.

The Fremont Street Experience and Viva Vision are active 24/7 while the SlotZilla zip line operates from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. (Thursday through Sunday). The zoomline operates seven days a week, from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. (Monday through Wednesday) or 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. (Thursday through Sunday). To get there, head to downtown Las Vegas and ... look up!

By Alan LaGuardia, Vegas Guide Writer