Monolith Pops Up Suddenly on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas

After similar structures made appearances in the Utah desert and a California hiking trail, the bizarre monolith-mania that’s captured media attention in recent weeks made its way Friday to a less remote destination – Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas.

Vegas MonolithVegas Monolith
You’ve heard of the Vegas Monorail, now come see the newest attraction on Fremont Street, the Las Vegas Monolith. (Image: VitalVegas/Twitter)

Videos and pictures on social media showed images of the mirrored mystery standing tall just outside of Circa, Binion’s and Golden Nugget casinos and near the Vegas Vic neon sign.

The first structure allegedly appeared on a couple weeks ago in Utah before it disappeared about nine days later. A couple of local nature lovers said in an Instagram post they took down the 10-to-12-foot tall structure out of fear that the new attraction could harm the public land upon which it was placed by attracting visitors.

Earlier this week, another monolith appeared on a hiking trail about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It, too, was taken down, according to SanLuisObispo.com, by a group of vandals who replaced it with a wooden cross.

Another monolith appeared in Romania late last month before it also disappeared mysteriously.

This Monolith is Picture Friendly

While the Utah and California monoliths weren’t greeted welcomely, that didn’t appear to be the case in Vegas. Several casinos and their parent companies were quick to greet what’s either the latest attraction… or tourist.

VitalVegas.com posted a couple of pictures of the unofficial attraction with some taking pictures next to it. Another showed a group of women raising their glasses to the monolith.

While several posters on social media questioned whether it was a publicity stunt for Circa, some had other suggestions.

With cameras everywhere downtown we should be able to find out if Aliens brought it to Las Vegas,” posted Twitter user Wharfrat.

No one officially has taken responsibility for placing it on Fremont Street.

COVID Hits Downtown Vegas Hard

Perhaps the monolith could help the sagging tourism numbers in downtown Vegas. Like all of Clark County, the district has faced challenges in recovering from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Since casinos and hotels reopened in June after a nearly three-month shutdown, hotel occupancy rates are roughly half of what they were a year ago.

According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, downtown hotels reported a 42.3 percent occupancy rate in October, that’s down from 84.8 percent for October 2019. Similarly, the 41.9 percent occupancy rate for year-to-date 2020 is down from the 85 percent rate the district enjoyed for the first 10 months last year.

Gaming, too, is down significantly, although downtown casinos haven’t been hit as hard as those on the strip. Downtown casinos reported revenues of $52.8 million for October. That’s off by 22.7 percent from the $68.3 million those casinos raked in for October 2019.

For the year, downtown casinos have reported $365.6 million in revenue for 2020. However, compared to the $569.6 million for the same timeframe in 2019, that represents a 35.8 percent drop.

Comparatively, Strip casinos saw a 30.2 percent decline, going from $538.5 million in October 2019 to $375.8 million last month. Through October, Strip properties have reported $3.1 billion in revenue. That’s off by 43.6 percent from the $5.5 billion earned through October 2019.

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