By Steve Beauregard (Updated November 5th, 2020)
(Editor’s note: Although the Downtown Grand – and its new tower – reopened, the Downtown Grand Shuttle is still not running due to Covid-19 restrictions. I’ll update this when it resumes).
At some point during a Las Vegas trip, we’ve all wanted to get to Strip from Fremont Street downtown. Or vice-versa.
Maybe we want to see new sights, or experience a good restaurant or see a show. Or maybe just try to change our luck by gambling at a new place.
But how do you get to downtown Fremont Street and back from the Strip?
A $15 Uber ride? Twenty-five taxi fare? Or long city bus ride with confusing schedule and innumerable stops?
Fortunately for us there is now a free shuttle that goes straight from downtown Las Vegas to the Strip and back.
It’s all thanks to the Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino, the just-off Fremont Street casino/hotel who began operating the free, seven-day-a-week shuttle service in May 2019.
Free Las Vegas Strip Shuttle
The Downtown Grand is located one block north of Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas.
The entire resort was newly remodeled and re-branded in 2013, but due to being slightly off of Fremont Street, it doesn’t get the attention it may deserve.
Their new free shuttle to and from the Las Vegas Strip may provide a chance for some people who wouldn’t ordinarily wander off Fremont, to check out the modern décor, low limits, and overall fun vibe of the Downtown Grand.
Free Shuttle to and From Fremont Street
There are only two stops on this free shuttle: The Downtown Grand and the Fashion Show Mall.
The Fashion Show Mall is the massive shopping complex located on the northern part of the Strip, directly across Las Vegas Boulevard from the Wynn Las Vegas, and across the street from Treasure Island (or T.I.).
What that means is that for those of you staying on the south end of the Strip, the inconvenience factor of getting to the Fashion Show Mall may make this free shuttle a moot point.
If you only have a limited time in Sin City, you may just want to go ahead and take the SDX Strip to Downtown Express, or pony up for a Lyft or Uber, rather than make a trek to the north end of the Strip just to catch a free ride.
On the bright side, for people on the northern end of Las Vegas Boulevard, (i.e. Wynn/Encore, Venetian/Palazzo, T.I., Mirage and others), the Downtown Grand shuttle is a nearby, cheap, and very convenient way to get down to Fremont Street.
And with zero stops between Las Vegas Boulevard and Downtown, you won’t be bogged down by a bus making stop after stop picking up passengers.
The shuttle is air-conditioned, of course, and seats twenty-four passengers.
Fremont Street to Las Vegas Strip Shuttle Schedule & Locations
The pick-up/drop off at the Downtown Grand is on Ogden Avenue, which is the street directly in front of the Downton Grand, in-between the resort and Fremont Street.
Watch for the sign indicating the shuttle shop, as the exact pick-up location may change. As of this writing however, it is on Ogden.
The pick-up/drop off point on the Strip is just outside the Forever 21 store on the northern end of the Fashion Show Mall.
Free Strip Shuttle to Fremont Street Times
The exact schedule is posted below.
Monday – Saturday:
The shuttle leaves from the Downtown Grand at 10 AM.
The first shuttle arrives at the Fashion Show Mall at approximately 10:30 AM.
From there, the shuttle will leave the mall at 10:30, and arrive back at the Downtown Grand at 11 AM. Rinse and repeat, with the shuttle leaving downtown every hour, on the hour, until 1 PM.
Beginning at 2:30 PM (there is no 2 PM shuttle for some reason), the shuttle will leave the Downtown Grand every hour on the half-hour, with the last shuttle leaving downtown at 8:30 PM.
The same applies for the Strip pick-up.
The shuttle will depart from the Forever 21 location every hour, on the half-hour, beginning at 10:30 AM and going up and to a 1:30 PM departure.
Beginning at 3 PM (there is no 2:30 PM shuttle), the shuttle will leave the Fashion Show Mall ever hour, up until the last shuttle leaves the Mall, at 9 PM.
This is simpler:
The shuttle leaves the Downtown Grand every hour, on the hour, from 10 AM to 7 PM.
It leaves the Fashion Show Mall every hour, on the half-hour, from 10:30 AM to the last run at 7:30 PM.
Who Can Ride the Downtown Grand Strip Shuttle?
The Downtown Grand says that the shuttle is for guests and is one of the amenities included for hotel guests as part of the nightly resort fee they charge. (They call it an “Experience Fee” instead of a resort fee).
However, as of this writing, there is no requirement to show a room key or otherwise prove you are a registered guest at the Downtown Grand in order to take advantage of this free service.
And that makes sense. Presumably the Downtown Grand has no problem taking visitors from the Strip, and dropping them off at the front door of their casino.
Similarly, the Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino Shuttle is a free service provided to hotel guests, but in reality, anyone can ride.
Just note that the Downtown Grand may, at some point, require you to be a registered guest to ride the free shuttle. This will be particularly true should there be a high demand for seats on the 24 passenger shuttle.
It would be very reasonable for the Downtown Grand to give top boarding priority for its registered hotel guests.
Downtown Loop Shuttle
Please note, this shuttle is not to be confused with the Downtown Loop shuttle.
Operated by the city of Las Vegas, that free shuttle makes seven stops all around downtown Las Vegas – none of them near the Strip.
Stops on this loop include the Mob Museum (right across the street from the Downtown Grand), two stops on Fremont Street, the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop (made famous in “Pawn Stars”), and the Las Vegas North Premium Outlets, among others.
Bus from Fremont to Strip and Back Option
For those of you unable to ride the shuttle or who don’t want to make the trek to the Fashion Show Mall, you can still get from the Strip to downtown Fremont Street via an express bus – just at a small price.
The SDX is the city-owned express bus from the Strip to Fremont Street and back.
Prices are very reasonable, at just eight bucks for a 24 hour pass.
More About the Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino
Formerly the site of the Lady Luck, the new, refurbished hotel and casino opened up as the Downtown Grand in October 2013. It has 629 rooms, however that will increase soon.
The Downtown Grand is currently in the midst of an expansion that will bring the resort’s hotel room count to 1,124 rooms.
The new seven-story tower is expected to be completed sometime in mid-2020. All total, it will add 250,000 more square feet to the property and will include a new pool deck.
On the casino side, the Downtown Grand has 500 slot machines/video poker machine, and all of the usual table games. There’s also a William Hill sportsbook.
Including the fun 3rd Street entertainment district fronting the hotel, there are seven dining options here. This includes dining at the hotel’s 35,000 square foot rooftop pool deck.
(Photo courtesy of the Downtown Grand’s media blog page)