Downtown Las Vegas was once the premier place to gamble and party in Las Vegas long before the Strip existed. After World War II, Las Vegas became known as a city for partying and big entertainment. That’s when casinos really hit their stride, and lavish hotels began popping up. Vegas was booming thanks to the gaming and hotel industry. But in the 1990’s, the Strip began transforming, enticing more tourists further down the boulevard.
In 1995, the Fremont Street Experience opened in Downtown Las Vegas, but the area had begun to decline. The casinos still made money, but it wasn’t even close to matching the powerhouses of the Strip. Through the years downtown instead became associated with drug use, homelessness and other dangerous activities. It was no longer the place to be seen.
Then Tony Hsieh came along. He’s the CEO of the extremely successful company Zappos, and the innovator behind downtown Las Vegas’s rejuvenation. He decided to move his company and all its 1,000 employees to the old Las Vegas city hall in downtown. He began a revitalization called the Downtown Project. His goal was to change the image of downtown, and fast. He wanted a younger generation to come make art, great food and a community driven culture here.
Hsieh recruited people to move downtown, offering housing in apartments like The Ogden. He put in $350 million dollars into the Downtown Project, using his personal fortune. He bulldozed a run down Motel 6 and built The Container Park, and put a pyrotechnic praying mantis in front because he thought it would make people smile. Perhaps most importantly, as the downtown area has changed, its appearance has maintained the old Vegas feel with classic neon signage. Downtown Las Vegas has also grown and evolved with art murals thrown onto the sides of buildings and art installations like the love locks on display in front of the Container Park or the world’s largest fire hydrant outside of the dog park (hint: pull the lever for a surprise).
Tony Hsieh scooped up the Gold Spike and transformed the smoky casino into a smoke free hang out space, complete with restaurant and bar, and also built an accompanying hotel―The Oasis! We were transformed from a once run down Travelodge built in 1962. Today, we are a proud boutique hotel with each room designed and decorated individually with different art and furniture pieces.
What’s a boutique hotel? It’s a term used to describe smaller hotels of no more than 100 rooms that host unique settings and upscale accommodations. And we do just that. With a pool featuring food and drink pool side service, endless opportunities to party and meet great people, and fantastic, modern and sleek rooms called “Crash Pads,” Oasis is proud to be housed next to Gold Spike.
A visit to the The Grill or The Living Room will allow you access to delicious food and opportunity to play a giant version of Jenga, shuffleboard or a game of Corn Hole. Try your hand at beer pong in The Backyard, or scope out the Carnival Bar, a funhouse and great place to grab a cocktail. On the weekends enjoy live music outside and a DJ indoors.
2012 was dubbed “The Year of Downtown” due to the revitalization efforts and years of building a community. Crime was greatly reduced. Tourists and locals alike stop by to shop, eat and interact. They may grab a coffee at The Beat coffee and record shop or visit the Writer’s Block bookstore. The economy has surged, becoming a hub for a younger generation to make it a place where they enjoy being, and it’s all thanks to a guy with a vision.
If you haven’t been to downtown Las Vegas within the last 3-4 years, it’s nearly unrecognizable with new business and foot traffic. We promise it’s worth leaving the Strip to experience. So make a trip to visit Las Vegas just to experience downtown itself. If you’re a local, plan your weekend getaway by staying in our downtown boutique hotel.
Be a part of the community that is building up the downtown area from a once deserted rundown place to a thriving community of innovative people who are sure to make downtown even more incredible in years to follow. Don’t miss the chance to be a part of this incredible change. Learn about room availability when you’re ready for that vacation and book us for a night or two.
We can’t wait to see you.