I hear Prada paid a pretty penny to film a commercial overnight this week at East Fremont Street, between Seventh Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. 

Heavy security was everywhere, making sure the commercial was kept under wraps.  There was buzz that Oscar winner Nicole Kidman was involved in the shoot, but Australian entertainment writer Peter Ford contacted me to say she was in Sydney.


No photography was allowed close to the epicenter of the action near the El Cortez Hotel and the Silver Slipper neon sign. Metro patrol cars blocked intersections and pedestrians were turned away on the El Cortez side of the street.

When I pulled out my iPhone near the set where workers were busy setting up neon props of palm trees and an illuminated showgirl (of course), a security guard moved in quickly to block the view and bark, “no photos!”

Prada went to great lengths to keep the commercial super secret. Up on the top floor of the El Cortez parking lot were two security guys were positioned to chase away photographers.

A casino executive told me the shoot would feature the El Cortez in the background. 

Fremont Street has been a favorite backdrop for Hollywood over the years. Famous as the first paved street in Las Vegas, it was featured in a chase scene in the 1971 James Bond film “Diamonds Are Forever.”

On April 12, 1987, the Irish rock band U2 brought new life to Fremont Street when they shot the video for “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” near the Golden Nugget and Binion’s. Five days earlier they had launched their “Joshua Tree” tour in Phoenix.  The video was released six weeks later, on May 25. It became the band’s second consecutive No. 1 single on Billboard’s Hot 100. “With or With You” was their first chart topper, both in the U.S. and U.K.

The Imagine Dragons did a live Grammy appearance three years ago near the same site as the Prada commercial.