Whether by foot or by car, if you’ve ever tried to navigate the Las Vegas strip you’ve likely found it difficult at best. The wide swath of gridlocked roadway surrounded by dangerously narrow sidewalks and confusing pathways is enough to challenge even sober pedestrians. The fact that most casinos’ entrances are designed grandly for cars only makes matters worse when the vast majority of people are trying to walk, or at least stumble, to the next casino. It’s apparent that there has never been much thought put into ways of connecting casinos nor much thought put into the idea that people might want to walk in Las Vegas in a vaguely pleasant environment. Pedestrian bridges have helped but seem to be slapped together as afterthoughts.
Good urban planning that prioritizes a safe and pleasant pedestrian environment is a key tenet of sustainability, and could do wonders for the Las Vegas strip. There’s a long way to go, but Caesar’s new Linq development is a step in the right direction.
The Linq is the name for a pedestrian “street” wedged between the Linq casino and the neighboring Flamingo casino. It was conceived by Ceasar’s (who own both the Linq and the Flamingo) as a retail area to draw in visitors from the strip and is anchored by an enormous ferris wheel called the High Roller. The concept, therefore is to create something of a side street, safe from the chaos and traffic of the Strip. Although the Linq is still a very artificial construct more or less like an outdoor mall, it’s a radical improvement to the status quo of walking in Las Vegas. The hope for me is that developments like this inspire tourists to take the notion of walkable urban spaces home with them.
The kicker? At one point during my walk along the Linq I overheard a complete stranger say, and I quote: “Oh wow, this is so nice. So much more sustainable!” … You can’t make this up. I wish I had been recording.
Learn more in my video below:
Ed disclosure: Lodging for this trip was provided by Caesar’s