Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, Nev., attracts more than 20 million visitors annually and is getting a next-generation reboot. Watchfire Signs of Danville, Ill. was selected from among 14 digital screen manufacturers from around the world to imagine and manufacture it.
The upgraded canopy—the first update in 14 years—will deliver a screen that is up to seven times brighter than the original and four times sharper, making it vivid even during daylight hours.
Core to Watchfire’s plans is a new product developed specifically for Fremont Street Experience. Watchfire’s cutting edge design can be trimmed and resized into thousands of shape configurations without impacting the information displayed. The design allows airflow through the modules, critical for installations in high heat and in situations with restricted airflows. For Fremont Street, the innovative design allows light to reach the street level and for the canopy to shed rain.
This new canopy will increase contrast by four times compared to the existing screen, allowing content to be displayed on the canopy during daylight hours for the first time. The digital canopy is 1,500 feet long and is suspended 90 feet above a pedestrian mall. It contains 130,000 sq. ft. of digital signage, roughly twice the square footage of the White House, and will contain 49 million LEDs when completed.
According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board an estimated 53 percent of Southern Nevada’s 43 million visitors visited downtown Las Vegas and 59 percent specifically went to see the giant LED canopy.
"With Fremont Street Experience attracting more than 23 million visitors a year, the redevelopment of the iconic Viva Vision canopy is a major milestone," said Patrick Hughes, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fremont Street Experience.
“Being chosen as the digital technology partner for the Fremont Street Experience upgrade is exciting for all of our employees,” said Steve Harriott, president and CEO of Watchfire Signs. “We are delighted that Fremont Street Experience is confident in Watchfire’s capabilities. Our track record of exceptional service and support after the sale was a key factor in the selection process.”
The canopy will be upgraded in eight sequenced phases, during which one-eighth of the canopy length will be replaced at a time. Installation will begin in early 2019 and is expected to be complete by the end of the year.