Downtown Dome Hopes to be a Draw for Whole Family - 8 News NOW

Downtown Dome Hopes to be a Draw for Whole Family

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LAS VEGAS -- A big dome is going up near the Fremont Street Experience in the latest move designed to draw families to area.

It is another idea from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, who saw something similar in Lake Tahoe and decided downtown needed a place for families to learn together.

However, the area might have a problem bringing in kids and parents because of its reputation.

"Downtown Las Vegas is not a place for children under the age of 21!" Julia Timmons a mother of a 4 year old said.

That is the perception leaders at the Downtown Project are hoping to change. Not just with the construction of the new Container Park, but the brand new Catalyst Dome.

The dome is nothing like the dome seen on the hit TV show "Under the Dome", but the Catalyst Dome will host fun for families and people of all ages.

"We really think it is going to be an educational piece, as well as fun piece that will be something that is really going to be the whole heart of this development." Kim Schaefer with Downtown Project said.

The dome, which can hold more than 100 people, is the brainchild of Matt Fannon and his business partner.

At about a half million dollars each, they have constructed several across the country, modeled after planetariums.

"It is a very similar type of experience -- except, in addition to stars and astronomy, we're doing all kinds of media," Fannon said.

Both kids and adults can watch movies, shows or, like in a dome in New Orleans, play video games on a huge interactive scale.

'You can transport people to a different world," Fannon said.

Project leaders anticipate the dome will be complete by the end of October and are hopeful families will arrive soon after.

It is not just the dome they are hoping will drive people downtown. It is also the opening of Container Park.

The park will have a barber, bar, shopping and dining and, similar to Town Square, a place for kids to play in the center.

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