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There are two schools of thought on the Strip vs. Downtown, actually on Las Vegas itself.
One sees Las Vegas only as the Strip, as seen through the eye of television or movies with mega resorts that are small cities in themselves, with Disney-like attractions and nothing less than 5 star hotels catering to the rich and famous or at least those wishing to spend the money to be perceived as such.
Others have a more traditional view of Las Vegas. They are regular folk with a pay check, not a trust fund, neither rich nor famous and have little wish to spend the time and energy to be perceived as such. They look for reasonable odds and betting minimums, reasonable prices for food, drink and entertainment, and an inexpensive but decent room to sleep in.
The first group see the latter as, perhaps at best, people who are willing to settle for less. At the worst, a lower class of more simple, common folk who do not even bathe in Krystal.
The second group see the first as those who have a reasonable interest in seeing the famous sights the first time there, but over time, have not yet figured out that you can have your cake and eat it too since there is just as much fun Downtown without paying for all the hoopla of the Strip and the Deuce will get them to and from the Strip for about $7 per day - much less than the difference in room rates.
Although there is some movement between the two, the twain may never meet.
An alternative view is that the Strip offers average people the opportunity to stay in 5-star luxury for a far more reasonable rate than would normally be possible - consider that TripAdvisor's average room price for the Bellagio is $338/night, much the same as you'd expect to pay for, e.g., San Francisco's Westin St. Francis ($322). TripAdvisor quotes an average price of $247 for the excellent Mirage hotel - right in the centre of the strip.
Downtown has much to offer, however; and the Deuce bus which transits the Strip or a short cab ride takes you there, then back to the Strip.
Downtown offers The Fremont Street Experience - a 4-block-long overhead LCD video display which nightly offers a sound and light show hourly beginning at 8 p.m. In addition to a recently added ZIP line traversing a couple blocks, it also offers free professional-quality live musical entertainment. On a typical night during the week of August 19-25, 2007, there were simultaneous performances at 2-block intervals of an excellent live rock band, a saxophonist who rivaled Kenny G, a concert pianist, and a daredevil motorcyclist show which featured 3 cyclists inside a 14' sphere. All for free, folks. At night, Downtown's Fremont Street Experience is like a huge block party. There is dancing in the streets - literally. You will also find here probably the one place in a casino district where you can find 2 cans of soft drinks or 2 bottles of water for $1 - inside a T-shirt shop - and a good sit-down Mexican/Cuban dinner for $12 or prime rib for $9.
People visit Vegas for the bright lights, great restaurants and ridiculous attractions - all of which the strip offers in abundance.