VEGAS STAR IS EX-DENVER MARKETING EXPERT.(Business)
Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO) May 20, 1997 | Rebchook, John Byline: John Rebchook Rocky Mountain News Real Estate Editor LAS VEGAS — The $70 million, four-block long Fremont Street Experience light and sound show is like the 16th Street Mall on steroids.
Since opening 1 1/2 years ago, it has drawn 9 million of the 29 million annual visitors to the Strip, two miles to the south. The free, computer-generated show boasts what is billed as the world’s most powerful sound system, a whopping 540,000 watts.
A 90-foot-high frame towers above the streets downtown and serves as the display system for the ever-changing shows – from rodeos to spaceships. The display has been described as the largest electric sign on Earth. web site fremont street experience
It was financed to preserve 22,000 jobs downtown.
And it has worked, said Mark Paris, president of the Fremont Street Experience Co., bringing more hotel rooms, restaurants and retailers downtown.
“This is truly an urban redevelopment,” Paris said. “This area was depressed, deteriorating and had high levels of crime.” Today, the Fremont Street Experience draws 25,000 people a week and for special events has brought 130,000 people together over a weekend.
In fact, the biggest problem is that it is difficult to get to, as the Las Vegas streets are clogged and downtown buses are running over capacity, said Paris, 50, a marketing expert in Denver in the late ’70s through the mid-’80s.
To solve the problem, discussions are under way to link all the hotels in Vegas and the airport by monorail, he said.
Paris knows monorails.
Before he was recruited to Las Vegas a year ago, he was helping put together the Walt Disney Co.’s Celebration Village at Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Celebration, the first housing development in the park, features homes with traditional exteriors and modern interiors, as is planned for the former Stapleton Airport.
“When I was with Disney, I took our architects to Denver to look at the boulevards along Sixth Avenue and the bungalows at Washington Park,” Paris said at the National Association of Real Estate Editors’ convention. fremontstreetexperience.org fremont street experience
The Denver features were incorporated into Celebration, he said.
When Paris lived in Denver, he worked with the public-relations warhorse Bill Kostka for many years, representing the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver, among other clients.
He then went to work for the Alpert brothers, helping them market their master-planned communities, such as Green Valley Ranch and Cherry Hills Village.
When he was with the Alperts, Paris was given an offer he couldn’t refuse – a chance to nmarket the Hughes Corp.’s master-planned communities in Las Vegas.
He did that for several years, until Disney came calling.
While he was at Disney, the New York architects for Celebration rolled out their model for Stapleton.
“Hey, that looks familiar,” he said.