Walking tour explores downtown Las Vegas’ past, present, future

Tuesday, 07 November 2017, 08:55:02 PM. Just because you look around doesn’t mean you see — or understand — what you observe.
Just because you look around doesn’t mean you see — or understand — what you observe. Unless, of course, you have someone to help sharpen the focus. Enter Richard Hooker of Urban Adventures. An artist — and former urban arts coordinator for Las Vegas’ Office of Cultural Affairs — Hooker leads walking tours that examine a different side of downtown Las Vegas. “Interpreting the Urban Landscape: A Cultural Walking Tour of Downtown Las Vegas” explores 10 downtown blocks — from Main Street to Las Vegas Boulevard, along Fremont and other connecting streets. Of course, it’s still Glitter Gulch — and Fremont Street, with its neon-bedecked mix of casinos, bars, restaurants, panhandlers, street performers, street art, wide-eyed visitors and more, is as freewheeling as ever. But the dozen-plus participants on this particular walking tour aren’t just visitors seeking some afternoon diversion. They’re arts professionals from around the state — in Las Vegas for the Nevada Arts Council’s two-day “Arts at the Heart” conference, which wrapped up Friday. Some wear sneakers, others high heels. Some hail from Reno, Carson City and beyond. Shari Bombard, tourism and events coordinator for Tonopah, cheerfully acknowledges that she’s there to “represent the rurals,” she says. Yes, it’s “the middle of nowhere — or the middle of everywhere, we like to say instead.” But a variety of Las Vegans are also along for the expedition, including “lover of architecture” Cathy Allen, who teaches at UNLV’s dance...Read more
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