Crime is always a concern for those visiting any city, and Las Vegas is no exception. Millions of people visit our city each year, though most focus on the Strip, which features the city’s most iconic casinos. But downtown Las Vegas has also boomed in popularity over the past 20 years, continuing to draw more and more people.
We’ve written about the overall safety of Las Vegas but what about the downtown area specifically? Although this area has undergone a renaissance of sorts, there are still causes of concern. We answer the questions that most visitors have when deciding whether to visit downtown Las Vegas.
Downtown Las Vegas is the historic center of the city and features many hotels, high rise buildings, and government agencies. Downtown Las Vegas was once the gambling capital of the city, before the rise of the Strip in the 1980s. People can still gamble in Downtown Las Vegas, though people are just as likely to visit the area to attend a conference, go to an art gallery, or partake of other cultural attractions.
A popular destination is Fremont Street, which dates to the city’s founding at the dawn of the 20th Century. It contains many historic buildings and fluorescent marquees. The city has also created the Fremont Street Experience, which is a pedestrian mall covering five blocks. It includes free concerts and a shopping complex. According to the Review Journal, the city beefed up security in the area several years ago, so people can visit the area with confidence.
It is very high. According to casino.org, Downtown Las Vegas has a crime rate that is 93% higher than the national average. By contrast, the city as a whole has a crime rate about 37% above the national average, so Downtown is more dangerous than most other neighborhoods. In fact, visitors face a 1 in 9 chance of being the victim of crime. Of course, much of this crime consists of property offenses, like getting a purse snatched or a wallet stolen. This type of property theft is much more common than violent crimes. Nevertheless, the area is very dangerous.
The good news is that the crime rate is decreasing somewhat, which is in the best interests of the business community. Nevertheless, those visiting Downtown Las Vegas must be on guard at all times.
With so many businesses, Fremont Street sees a strong police presence. There is also safety in numbers, with so many people out shopping or visiting other business establishments. We strongly recommend not going off Fremont Street if you do not have to. Definitely talk to the front desk at your hotel to see about the relative safety of other Las Vegas neighborhoods.
Yes. Vegas is a haven for scammers who try to fool the gullible. For example, many scammers sell bottled water on the street that is simply tap water put into an empty bottle. This is a waste of money and could be unsafe (depending on the dirtiness of the bottle).
Other scammers offer betting games on the sidewalk, such as three-card monte. Although these scammers might be operating more frequently on the Strip, we see them also downtown. Any sidewalk games are completely unregulated and probably scams.
Also be careful before getting into a taxi to make sure that it is legitimate. It should have an appropriate medallion, which you can find by visiting the Nevada Taxicab Authority. In particular, women traveling at night should be very wary of getting into any vehicle. It might be safer for women to call a taxi company directly to come pick them up or a use a rideshare service, such as Uber or Lyft.
Not all injuries are caused by violent crime. Some people are injured accidentally in car or pedestrian accidents. Others trip and fall in a store or on the sidewalk. Because traffic is so heavy Downtown, it is not unusual for a person to be clipped by an aggressive or negligent driver when crossing the street. Many of our clients suffer serious traumatic injuries, including fractures, concussions, and back injuries.
We recommend visiting a hospital, regardless of how minor you think your injuries are. There are many hospitals located near downtown, including the University Medical Center across I-15. Explain to the attending physician how you were injured.
We recommend not walking. The Strip is nearly two miles away from Fremont Street, which is quite a hike even in perfect weather conditions. The risk of getting lost is also high, especially if you have never been in Las Vegas before. Traffic can also be a nightmare.
Instead of walking, you can take a taxi or a rideshare. There are also free shuttles that connect Fremont Street to the Strip, though pay attention to where you want to go on the Strip, which is nearly 4 miles long. There is no point getting dropped off at one end of the Strip if you intend to walk the full length to the other end.
Given the congestion on Fremont Street, driving is probably not the best idea. Vegas drivers can be more aggressive than those in other cities, and congested traffic moves incredibly slow. There is nothing worse than getting into a fender bender out on the road when you do not live in the city.
However, if you choose to drive, remember to exercise extreme caution. Follow all traffic safety rules—and buckle up!
Ladah Law has represented many people injured when visiting Downtown Las Vegas. Let us analyze the facts and decide whether you have a valid claim for compensation. Call us today, 702-252-0055 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.