GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

December 19, 2013

Las Vegas Weekly

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AS WE SEE IT… > WHAT CANOPY? Behold SlotZilla, which magically makes the Fremont Street Experience disappear. > CAPTION HEAD Caption text goes here caption text goes here caption text goes here SLOTZILLA RISES Fully grown, the new Downtown attraction has blocked out a beloved view In November 2012, the Fremont Street Experience announced plans for a new attraction that would "change the Downtown skyline." At a press conference on the First Street Stage, Mayor Carolyn Goodman, LVCVA President Rossi Ralenkotter and Fremont Street Experience President Jeff Victor unveiled a 6-foot model of SlotZilla, the epic, 100-plus-foot-tall zipline that promised to become an "iconic landmark" and bring 100 new jobs to Downtown. The little tower looked kinda cute that day, clocking in at the height of your average Danish dude and flanked by a pair of colorful showgirls that were echoed in its design. Thirteen months later and almost complete, however, SlotZilla has indeed altered the Downtown skyline—and, perhaps more dramatically, the neighbor- hood's sightlines, too. The view down the Fremont Street Experience from Fremont East was once one of my Downtown favorites— kitsch, history and humanity all jostled together in a pulsing mix of light and sound. Some nights it beckoned, others it repelled, but it always felt like the ultimate visual representation of Las Vegas—overwhelming and slightly sketchy, but essentially beautiful. Now that SlotZilla has risen just outside Neonopolis on the Fremont Street Experience, that view is no more. The area once known as Glitter Gulch and the lighted canopy above it are blocked completely by the giant ride's metal frame. Conversely, from the Experience, SlotZilla blocks out the bars and shops of Fremont East, offering no hint of the development behind its bulk. When the zipline finally opens, likely sometime early next year, it will no doubt bring new visitors to Downtown and to the Fremont Street Experience over which it sails. I hope they realize that the street doesn't end with SlotZilla's imposing frame—even if they can't see the many reasons to venture beyond it. –Sarah Feldberg PROJECT 100, ABRIDGED SLOTZILLA BY TOM DONOGHUE; RENAULT TWIZY BY DANIEL ROLAND/AP A pocket guide to the next big endeavor Downtown What is it? A vision for urban connect- expected to be about $50 and include bike sharing and the on-demand shuttle system, with the ability to tap into other services when needed. Higher levels of membership will include more services, and Project 100 promises: "... we can get you on your way within five minutes, if located in the city center." Local Norwegians blow up Edvard Munch's 150th on social media Let's call it "Munching"— affectionately imitating revered Norwegian artist Edvard Munch's masterpiece, "The Scream," in honor of his 150th birthday on December 12. Our own chapter of the Sons of Norway, the Vegas Viking Lodge, called on members for photo and video tributes on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. "For the Norwegian diaspora, Munch is naturally a source of great pride," says Erik Pappa of the Vegas Viking Lodge. "'The Scream' is, of course, his most famous work. Despite its dark sense of foreboding, its iconic nature lends itself to being used for fun—and we Vegas Vikings like to enjoy ourselves. Hence, the challenge!" Here are some of the Vikings saying tusen takk, or thanks a lot, to Munch. –Erin Ryan For more with the Vegas Vikings, visit lasvegasweekly.com. Is it part of the Downtown Project? It's affiliated with DTP, but Project 100 is a separate company founded by Zach Ware (known for his work with DTP, Zappos and VegasTechFund). What will it cost? Basic membership is edness through on-demand, point-to-point transportation in Downtown Las Vegas. The ambitious model blends green vehicle sharing, chauffeured rides and public shuttle services available through one mobile app at three levels of monthly membership. WE ALL SCREAM! What's with the 100? "100+ on-demand drivers, 100+ shared cars, 100+ shared bikes, and 100+ shared shuttle bus stops." (Project 400+ just doesn't have the same ring.) What's the goal? In a segment on KNPR What vehicles will be in the sharing pool? Options will range from a bicycle to last week, Ware put it this way: "Our goal overall is to develop a new way for people to connect with each other and their city. So we're looking beyond car sharing and we're saying, 'How can we actually think about recreating the fundamentals of how people move in a city?'" –Erin Ryan an electric Tesla Model S to a Renault Twizy (think battery-powered mini rover). Visit goproject100.com for more. When does it start? The first phase will be an "invite-only beta program" launching next spring in the Downtown core. DECEMBER 19–25, 2013 LASVEGASWEEKLY.COM 13_AWSI_2_20131219.indd 13 13 12/18/13 1:28 PM

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