Fremont Street is rich in history. It held many Las Vegas "firsts," including first hotel (the Hotel Nevada in 1906, present day Golden Gate), first telephone (1907), first paved street (1925), first Nevada gaming license — issued to the Northern Club at 15 E. Fremont St, first traffic light, first elevator (the Apache Hotel in 1932), and the first high-rise (the Fremont Hotel in 1956). The Horseshoe was the first casino to install carpeting, while the Golden Nugget was the first structure designed from the ground up to be a casino.
For many years, the western end of Fremont Street was the area most commonly portrayed whenever producers wanted to display the lights of Las Vegas. The large number of neon signs earned the area the nickname "Glitter Gulch."
The Fremont Street Experience was conceived in the 1990s as a way to draw more people to the ailing downtown gambling area. The FSE is a cooperative venture, owned and operated by a group of downtown hotel/casino companies (comprising 10 hotel/casinos) as a separate corporation, with the ongoing involvement of the city since the FSE is considered a city park.