Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, Nev., attracts more than 20 million visitors annually. Watchfire Signs of Danville, Ill. was selected from among 15 digital screen manufacturers from around the world to imagine and manufacture a next-generation reboot of this iconic Las Vegas attraction.
Core to Watchfire’s design for the canopy was a new product developed specifically for Fremont Street Experience. Watchfire’s new module can be trimmed and resized into thousands of shape configurations without impacting the content 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.
The upgraded canopy—the first update since 2004—delivers a screen that is seven times brighter than the original. Contrast has been increased by four times compared to the previous 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 square feet, or roughly three acres of digital signage, and 49 million LEDs.
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.
“It’s difficult to adequately express how excited we were to unveil our new canopy on New Year’s Eve. This $32 million renovation has been a massive undertaking, and we’re confident visitors will be stunned by the new resolution and vibrancy of Viva Vision, the largest single digital display in the world,” said Patrick Hughes, president and CEO of Fremont Street Experience.
“Being chosen as the digital technology partner for the Fremont Street Experience upgrade has been exciting for all of our employees,” said Steve Harriott, president and CEO of Watchfire Signs. “We are delighted that Fremont Street Experience has shown confidence 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 was upgraded in eight sequenced phases, during which 1/8th of the canopy length was replaced at a time. Installation began in early 2019 and was completed in October 2019, on budget and on schedule.