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Las Vegas is the most populous city in Nevada, United States, the seat of Clark County, and an internationally-renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, and fine dining. Las Vegas, which bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, is famous for its casinoresorts and associated entertainment. HP 586006-321 Battery

A growing retirement and family city, it is the 28th-most populous city in the United States, with an estimated population by the U.S. Census Bureau of 583,756 as of 2010. The 2010 population estimate of the Las Vegas metropolitan area was 1,951,269.

Established in 1905, Las Vegas officially became a city in 1911. HP 586006-361 Battery

At the close of the 20th century, Las Vegas was the most populous American city founded in that century (a distinction held by Chicago in the 19th century). The city's tolerance for various forms of adult entertainment earned it the title of Sin City, and this image has made Las Vegas a popular setting for films and television programs. HP 586028-341 Battery

There are numerous outdoor lighting displays onFremont Street, as well as elsewhere in the city.

The name Las Vegas is often applied to unincorporated areas that surround the city, especially the resort areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip.HP h588178-141 Battery

The 4.2 mi (6.8 km) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard known as the Strip is mainly in the unincorporated communities of Paradise, Winchester, andEnterprise.


The first reported European visitor to the Las Vegas Valley was Raphael Rivera in 1829.HP 593553-001 Battery

Las Vegas was named by Spaniards in the Antonio Armijo party, who used the water in the area while heading north and west along the Old Spanish Trail from Texas. In the 19th century, areas of the valley contained artesian wells that supported extensive green areas or meadows (vegas in Spanish); hence the name Las Vegas.HP 593554-001 Battery

John C. Frémont traveled into the Las Vegas Valley on May 3, 1844, while it was still part of Mexico.  He was a leader of a group of scientists, scouts, and observers for the United States Army Corps of Engineers. On May 10, 1855, following annexation by the United States, HP HSTNN-CB0W Battery

Brigham Young assigned 30 missionaries of  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints led by William Bringhurst to the area to convert the Paiute Indian population toMormonism. A fort was built near the current downtown area that served as a stopover for travelers along the "Mormon Corridor" between Salt Lake and the briefly-thriving colony of saints at San Bernardino, California.HP HSTNN-CB0X Battery

Mormons abandoned Las Vegas in 1857, during the Utah War. Las Vegas was established as a railroad townon May 15, 1905, when 110 acres (45 ha) owned by the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad was auctioned off in what is now downtown Las Vegas. Among the railroad's most notable owners and directors wereMontana Senator William A. HP HSTNN-I79C Battery

Clark, Utah U.S. Senator Thomas Kearns, and R.C. Kerens of St. Louis.[8] Las Vegas was part of Lincoln County until 1908, when it became part of the newly-established Clark County. The St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church near 4th and Bridger in downtown was founded in 1910.HP HSTNN-I81C Battery

Las Vegas became an incorporated city on March 16, 1911; Peter Buol was the first mayor.

Las Vegas started as a stopover on the pioneer trails to the west, and became a popular railroad town in the early 20th century. It was a staging point for mines in the surrounding area, especially those around the town of Bullfrog, that shipped goods to the rest of the country. HP HSTNN-IB0N Battery

With the proliferation of the railroads, Las Vegas became less important, but the completion of the nearby Hoover Dam in 1935 resulted in growth in the number of residents and increased tourism. The dam, located 30 mi (48 km) southeast of the city, formed Lake Mead, the US's largest man-made lake and reservoir. HP HSTNN-IB0X Battery

Today, tours are offered into lesser-known parts of the dam. The legalization of gambling in 1931 led to the advent of the casino hotels for which Las Vegas is famous. Major development occurred in the 1940s, "due almost entirely" to the influx of scientists and staff from the Manhattan Project, an atomic bomb research project of World War II. HP HSTNN-LB0W Battery

Atomic test watching parties were sometimes thrown. American organized crime figures such as Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel and Meyer Lansky managed or funded most of the original large casinos. The rapid growth of Las Vegas is credited with dooming Galveston, Texas; Hot Springs, Arkansas; and other major gaming centers in the 1950s.HP HSTNN-OB0X Battery

Geography and climate

Las Vegas is situated within Clark County in an arid basin on the desert floor, surrounded by dry mountains. The Spring Mountains lie to the west. HP HSTNN-OB0Y Battery

Much of the landscape is rocky and dusty; the environment is dominated by desert vegetation and some wildlife, and the area is subject to torrential flash floods. The elevation is around 2,030 ft (620 m) above sea level. According to the United States Census Bureau, HP HSTNN-Q61C Battery

the city has a total area of 131.3 sq mi (340 km2), of which 131.2 sq mi (340 km2) is land and 0.1 sq mi (0.26 km2) (0.04%) is water.

Within the city there are many lawns, trees, and other greenery. Due to water resource issues, there is now a movement to encourage xeriscapes. HP HSTNN-Q62C Battery

Another part of the water conservation efforts include scheduled watering groups for watering residential landscaping. A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant in 2008 funded a program that analyzed and forecast growth and environmental impacts through the year 2019. HP HSTNN-YB0X Battery

This study resulted in an expansion of the sewage treatment capacity, which enabled rapid population growth.


Las Vegas' climate is a subtropical arid climate (Koppen climate classification BWh), typical of the Mojave Desert in which it lies.HP NBP6A174B1 Battery

The city enjoys abundant sunshine year-round: it has an average of about 300 sunny days per year with more than 3,800 hours of sunshine.

The summer months of June through September are very hot and mostly dry, with average daytime highs of 94 to 104 °F (34 to 40 °C) and night-time lows of 69–78 °F (21–26 °C). HP HSTNN-YB0X Battery

There are an average of 133 days per year above 90 °F (32 °C), and 72 days above 100 °F (38 °C), with most of the days in July and August exceeding that benchmark. Humidity is very low, often under 10%.

Las Vegas' winters are of short duration and the season is generally mild, with daytime highs near 60 °F (16 °C) and nighttime lows around 40 °F (4 °C). HP NBP6A174 Battery

The mountains surrounding Las Vegas accumulate snow during the winter but snow is rare in the Las Vegas Valley itself. Temperatures can sometimes drop to freezing 32 °F (0 °C) but winter nighttime temperatures will rarely dip below 30 °F (?1 °C).HP NBP6A174B1 Battery

Annual precipitation in Las Vegas is roughly 4.5 in (110 mm), which on average occurs on 29 days per year.[15] Most of the precipitation falls in the winter, but the driest month (June) has only 2.9 fewer average days of precipitation than the wettest month (March).HP NBP6A175 Battery


As of the census of 2010, there were 583,756 people, 211,689 households, and 117,538 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,222.5 /sq mi(1,630.3 /km2). There are 190,724 housing units at an average density of 1,683.3 /sq mi (649.9 /km2).HP NBP6A175B1 Battery

As of 2006, there were 176,750 households, out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. HP WD548AA Battery

The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years.HP WD549AA Battery

For every 100 females there were 103.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $53,000 and the median income for a family was $58,465.HP Envy 17 Notebook PC Battery

Males had a median income of $35,511 versus $27,554 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,060. About 6.6% of families and 8.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.4% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.HP Envy 17T Battery

Las Vegas has one of the highest suicide and divorce rates of the U.S.A study that found Las Vegas residents are 40% less likely to commit suicide if they leave Las Vegas and visitors are more than twice as likely to commit suicide there as elsewhere was published in the Las Vegas Sun newspaper in 2008.HP HSTNN-Q61C Battery

The city's high divorce rate is not wholly due to Las Vegans themselves getting divorced. Since divorce is easier in Nevada than most other states, many people come from across the country for the easier process.

For similar reasons, Las Vegas has one of the highest marriage rates of U.S. HP GSTNN-Q62C Battery

cities, with many licenses issued to people from outside the area (see Las Vegas weddings).


The primary drivers of the Las Vegas economy are tourism, gaming, and conventions, which in turn feed the retail and restaurant industries.HP HSTNN-IB1E Battery


When The Mirage opened in 1989, it started a trend of major resort development of the southern portion of the Las Vegas Strip outside of the city. This resulted in a drop in tourism in the downtown area, but many recent projects and condominium construction have increased the number of visitors to downtown.HP HSTNN-IB0X Battery

A effort has been made by city officials to diversify the economy by attracting light manufacturing, banking, and other commercial interests. The lack of state individual and corporate income tax and very simple incorporation requirements have fostered the success of this effort.HP HSTNN-OB0X Battery

With the Strip expansion in the 1990s, Downtown Las Vegas (which has maintained an old Las Vegas feel) began to suffer. The city made an effort to turn around the fortunes of downtown. The city successfully lured the Internal Revenue Service operations from western side of the city to a new downtown area building that opened in April 2005.HP HSTNN-YB0X Battery

The IRS move was expected to create a greater demand for additional businesses in the area, especially in the daytime hours. The Fremont Street Experience (FSE) was built in an effort to draw tourists back to the area, and has been popular. Since the recession began in 2008, many of these shops have closed. HP 586006-361 Battery

The multi-level Neonopolis closed their 11 theaters and nearly all retail stores. Many high-rise condo projects have been under construction, but one of the highest profile buildings, The Streamline Towers, went into bankruptcy.HP NBP6A174 Battery

The city purchased 61 acres (25 ha) of property from the Union Pacific Railroad in 1995 with the goal of creating something to draw more people to the downtown area. In 2004 Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman announced plans for Symphony Park, which will include residential and office high-rises,HP NBP6A174B1 Battery

the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, an academic medical center, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, and a new City Hall. After failed negotiations with The Related Co. on the development of Union Park in October 2005, San Diego-based Newland Communities was chosen by the city as the new development firm. HP 588178-141 Battery

The Newland contract calls for Dan Van Epp, Newland's regional vice president and former president of The Howard Hughes Corporation, to oversee his company's work on Symphony Park. The Lou Ruvo Brain Institute was completed in 2009.HP Pavilion dv5 Adapter

In 2004 the city partnered with Cheetah Wireless Technologies and MeshNetwork to pilot a wide-area mobile broadband system. The pilot system is installed downtown, around the Fremont Street Experience. On a lot adjacent to the city's 61 acre site, the World Market Center opened in 2005. Sony NP-F330 Battery

It was intended as a preeminent furniture wholesale showroom and marketplace to compete with the current furniture market capital of High Point, North Carolina.

On October 23, 2006, plans were unveiled to build a World Jewelry Center in Symphony Park. Asus Eee PC 904HA Adapter

Similar to the World Market Center, the WJC will be a one stop shop for jewelry trade shows from around the world. The project proposes a 57-story, 815 ft (248 m) office tower.As of 2009 the project was still on hold.

Las Vegas decided to build a new city hall in the late 2000s. This had several consequences.Nikon D80  Battery

One being that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, which shared city hall, would have to find a new location. The second being that the old building would be vacated with the potential negative impact on the downtown area. The police department elected to build a headquarters building in another part of the city and consolidate most of its operations in one place. Sony PCGA-AC19V9 Adapter

This increased the departments presence with in the city since it would be moving in employees not presently working in the city. The second problem was address when the city and Zappos reached an agreement for Zappos to move its headquarters into the old city hall.Dell T555C Battery


The major attractions in Las Vegas are the casinos and the hotels. There are many hotel casinos in the city's downtown area, which was the focal point of the city's gaming industry in its early days.HP Pavilion DV6-3013SL Battery

Most major downtown casinos are downtown on the Fremont Street Experience, The Stratosphere being the major exception. Fremont East, adjacent to the Fremont Street Experience, was granted variances to allow bars to be closer together, similar to the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego.HP Pavilion DV7-2085EL Battery

The goal being to attract a different demographic then the strip attracts.

Downtown area casinos

Las Vegas got its start with casinos in 1931 with the opening of the Northern Club (now the La Bayou).HP Pavilion DV9700 Battery

The most notable of the early casinos may have been Binion's Horseshoe (now Binion's Gambling Hall and Hotel) while it was run by Benny Binion. Boyd Gaming has a major presence downtown operating the California Hotel and Casino, Fremont Hotel and Casino and the Main Street Casino. HP Mini 702EA Battery

The Golden Gate Hotel and Casino is the oldest hotel in the Fremont Street Experience. The Golden Nugget is the largest hotel and casino in the city. The Plaza Hotel & Casino on Main Street was the railway station untilAmtrak discontinued service. Other casinos include the El Cortez, Fitzgeralds, Four Queens, Gold Spike Hotel and Casino and the Las Vegas Club.HP Pavilion DV7-1120EO Battery


The city is home to several museums including the Neon Museum home to many of the historical signs from the valley, The Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, Lied Discovery Children's Museum and the Old Las Vegas Mormon State Historic Park.HP Compaq 491278-001 Battery

On the first Friday of each month, the "First Friday" celebration is held, which exhibits the works of local artists and musicians in a section of the city's Downtown region called the "Arts District".

The Thursday prior to First Friday is known in the 18b Arts District as "Preview Thursday". HP Pavilion DV6-1030US Battery

This evening event highlights new gallery exhibitions just opening throughout the district.

The Southern Nevada Zoological-Botanical Park, also known as the Las Vegas Zoo, exhibits over 150 species of animals and plants.HP Compaq 490306-001 Battery

The $485 million Smith Center for the Performing Arts (scheduled for completion in 2012) is located downtown in Symphony Park. The center will host Broadway shows and other major touring attractions as well as orchestra, opera, and dance performances.

The city hosts annual events like the Helldorado Days (Las Vegas).HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM Battery


Las Vegas does not have major-league sports, although the metropolitan population is as large or larger than many cities that have them. The two main reasons are concern about legal sports betting and competition for the entertainment dollar. HP EliteBook 2530P Battery

The only minor league sports team that plays in the City of Las Vegas is baseball's Las Vegas 51s of the Pacific Coast League, the AAA farm club of theToronto Blue Jays.

Parks and recreation

Las Vegas has dozens of parks,  including Las Vegas Springs Preserve, a recreational and educational facility, and Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs. HP Pavilion DV4385EA Battery

The city operates 4 golf courses (Angel Park Golf Club, Desert Pines Golf Course, Durango Hills Golf Club and the Las Vegas Municipal Golf Course), 5 dog parks, 9 community centers, 8 senior centers and 20 sports facilities including 9 skate parks and 6 swimming pools.Compaq PP2100 Battery


Las Vegas is a popular destination for Hawaiians. In 2002, almost 80,000 former residents of Hawaii lived in Las Vegas, and nearly 3,000 Hawaiians visited Las Vegas every week.Las Vegas is sometimes referred to as Hawaii's Ninth Island. The city is the home to the first ABC Stores branch outside the state of Hawaii.HP Compaq KU532AA Battery


The City of Las Vegas government operates as a council-manager government. The Mayor sits as a Council member-at-large and presides over all of the City Council meetings. In the event that the Mayor cannot preside over a City Council meeting, the Mayor Pro-Tem is the presiding officer of the meeting until such time as the Mayor returns to his seat.HP Pavilion DV6-1270EQ Battery

The City Manager is responsible for the administration and the day-to-day operation of all of the municipal services and city departments. The City Manager maintains intergovernmental relationships with federal, state, county, and other local governments.HP Pavilion DV4385EA Battery

Much of the Las Vegas metropolitan area is split into neighboring incorporated cities or unincorporated communities. Approximately 700,000 people live in unincorporated areas governed by Clark County, and another 465,000 live in incorporated cities such as North Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City. HP Compaq Business  NC4400 Battery

Las Vegas and nearly all of the surrounding metropolitan area share a police department, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, which was formed after a 1973 merger of the Las Vegas Police Department and the Clark County Sheriff's Department. North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, and some colleges have their own police departments.HP Pavilion ZD8227 Battery

A Paiute Indian reservation occupies about 1 acre (0.40 ha) in the downtown area.

Las Vegas, as the county seat and home to the Lloyd D. George Federal District Courthouse, draws numerous legal service industries providing bail, marriage, divorce, tax, incorporation, and other legal services.HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM Battery

Primary and secondary public education is provided by the Clark County School District, which is the fifth most populous school district in the nation (projected enrollment for the 2007–2008 school year was 314,000 students in grades K–12).Nikon D200 Battery

Colleges and universities

The College of Southern Nevada (the third largest community college in the United States by enrollment) is the main higher education facility in the city. Other institutions include the University of Nevada School of Medicine, with a campus in the city, and the for-profit private school Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. Acer PA-1650-02 Adapter

Many educational opportunities exist around the city. These includeUniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas and Nevada State College run by the Nevada System of Higher Education, Desert Research Institute, The International Academy of Design & Technology Las Vegas,Touro University Nevada and the University of Southern Nevada.Sony CYBER-SHOT DSC-T10  Battery


RTC Transit is a public transportation system providing bus service throughout Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, and other suburban areas of the valley. Inter-city bus service to Las Vegas is provided by Greyhound, many charter services, including Green Tortoise, and several Chinatown bus lines.HP Compaq Business 6715b Battery

Amtrak California operates Deluxe Express Thruway Motorcoach dedicated service between the City and its passenger rail station in Bakersfield, California.Kodak KLIC-7004 Battery

A bus rapid transit link in Las Vegas called the Strip & Downtown Express (previously ACE Gold Line ) with limited stops and frequent service was launched in March 2010, and connects Downtown Las Vegas, the Strip, the Las Vegas Convention Center, and Town Square.Acer Aspire 5920G Adapter

With some exceptions, including Las Vegas Boulevard, Boulder Highway (SR 582), and Rancho Drive (SR 599), the majority of surface streets in Las Vegas are laid out in a grid along Public Land Survey System section lines. Many are maintained by the Nevada Department of Transportation as state highways. Canon Digital IXUS 90 IS Battery

The street numbering system is divided by the following streets:

  • Westcliff Drive, US 95 Expressway, Fremont Street, and Charleston Boulevard divide the north-south block numbers from west to east.HP 2133 Mini-Note PC Adapter
  • Las Vegas Boulevard divides the east-west streets from the Las Vegas Strip to near the Stratosphere, then Main Street becomes the dividing line from the Stratosphere to the North Las Vegas border, after which the Goldfield Street alignment divides east and west.Toshiba PA3536U-1BRS Battery
  • On the east side of Las Vegas, block numbers between Charleston Boulevard and Washington Avenue are different along Nellis Boulevard, which is the eastern border of the city limits.

Interstates 15, 515, and US 95 lead out of the city in four directions. HP Compaq Business NX6110 Battery

Two major freeways – Interstate 15 and Interstate 515/U.S. Route 95 – cross in downtown Las Vegas. I-15 connects Las Vegas to Los Angeles, and heads northeast to and beyond Salt Lake City, Utah. I-515 goes southeast to Henderson, beyond which US 93 continues over the Mike O'Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridgetowards Phoenix, Arizona. HP Pavilion DV9000 Adapter

US 95 connects the city to northwestern Nevada, including Carson City and Reno. US 93 splits from I-15 northeast of Las Vegas and goes north through the eastern part of the state, serving Ely and Wells. US 95 heads south from US 93 near Henderson through far eastern California. Dell Studio 1537 Battery

A partial beltway has been built, consisting of Interstate 215 on the south and Clark County 215 on the west and north. Other radial routes include Blue Diamond Road (SR 160) to Pahrump and Lake Mead Boulevard (SR 147) to Lake Mead.

McCarran International Airport handles international and domestic flights into the Las Vegas Valley.HP PPP009H Adapter

The airport also serves private aircraft and freight/cargo flights. Most general aviation traffic uses the smaller North Las Vegas Airport and Henderson Executive Airport.

The Union Pacific Railroad is the only class-one railroad to provide rail freight service to the city.Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery

Until 1997, the Amtrak Desert Wind train service ran through Las Vegas using the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. Amtrak service to Las Vegas goes to Needles, California and continues on Amtrak's Thruway Motorcoach bus service. Plans to restore Los Angeles to Las Vegas Amtrak service using a Talgo train were discussed in the late 1990s,Dell PA-12 Adapter

but the plan was not implemented. The Las Vegas Amtrak station was located in the Plaza Hotel; it held the distinction of being the only train station in the US that was located in a casino.

The Las Vegas Strip is an approximately 4.2-mile (6.8 km) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard in Clark County, Nevada; adjacent to, but outside thecity limits of Las Vegas proper. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T7/B  Battery

The Strip lies within the unincorporated townships of Paradise and Winchester. Most of the Strip has been designated an All-American Road.

Many of the largest hotel, casino and resort properties in the world are located on the Las Vegas Strip.Dell LATITUDE M65 Battery

Nineteen of the world's 25 largest hotels by room count are on the Strip, with a total of over 67,000 rooms. One of the 19, the Las Vegas Hilton, is an "off-Strip" property but is located less than 0.5 miles (0.8 km) east of the Strip.

One of the most visible aspects of Las Vegas' cityscape is its use of dramatic architecture. HP Compaq 6720s Adapter

The modernization of hotels, casinos, restaurants, and residential high-rises on the Strip has established the city as one of the most popular destinations for tourists.


Historically, the casinos that were not in Downtown Las Vegas along Fremont Street were restricted to outside of the city limits on Las Vegas Boulevard.Acer AS07B41 Battery

In 1959 the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas signwas constructed exactly 4.5 miles (7.2 km) outside of the city limits. The sign is today about 0.4 miles (0.64 km) south of the southernmost entrance to Mandalay Bay (the southernmost casino).Dell Vostro 1310 Battery

In the strictest sense, "the Strip" refers only to the stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard that is roughly between Sahara Avenue and Russell Road, a distance of 4.2 miles (6.8 km). However, the term is often used to refer not only to the road but also to the various casinos and resorts that line the road, and even to properties which are not on the road but in proximity. HP Compaq Business 6910p Battery

Certain government agencies, such as the Nevada Gaming Commission, classify properties as "Las Vegas Strip" for reporting purposes, although these definitions can include properties which are 1 mile (1.6 km) or more away from Las Vegas Boulevard (such as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino). Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ4S Battery

Phrases such as Strip Area, Resort Corridor or Resort District are sometimes used to indicate a larger geographical area.

The Nevada Gaming Commission considers the Strip's northern terminus as the Sahara Casino. At one time, the southern end of the Strip was Tropicana Avenue, but continuing construction has extended this boundary to Russell Road.Sony NP-FH100 Battery

Mandalay Bay is located just north of Russell Road and is the southernmost resort considered to be on the Strip by the Nevada Gaming Commission.

Because of the number and size of the resorts, the Resort Corridor can be quite wide.Toshiba Equium M50-192 Battery

Interstate 15 runs roughly parallel and 0.5 to 0.8 mile (0.80 to 1.3 km) to the west of Las Vegas Boulevard for the entire length of the Strip. Paradise Road runs to the east in a similar fashion, and ends at St. Louis Avenue. The eastern side of the Strip is bounded by McCarran International Airport south of Tropicana Avenue. Apple MacBook Pro Battery

North of this point, the Resort Corridor can be considered to extend as far east as Paradise Road, although some consider Koval Lane as a less inclusive boundary. Interstate 15 is sometimes considered the western edge of the Resort Corridor from Interstate 215 to Spring Mountain Road. North of this point, Industrial Road serves as the western edge.Apple PowerBook G4 Battery

The Nevada Gaming Commission defines the Strip gaming area as encompassing all resorts located on Las Vegas Boulevard South between Russell Road and Sahara Avenue, as well as several nearby properties not directly located on Las Vegas Boulevard. This includes The Rio, Acer BATBL50L6 Battery

The Palms, and several other smaller resorts west of Las Vegas Boulevard and Interstate 15, but does not includeThe Orleans one block further west. Properties located east of Las Vegas Boulevard on Paradise Road, such as the Las Vegas Hilton, Terrible's Casino, Westin Casuarina Las Vegas Hotel,Canon EOS 450D Battery

Casino & Spa, Hooters Casino Hotel, and the Hard Rock, are also included in this area. The Stratosphere, however, is not included in the Nevada Gaming Commission definition of the Strip since it lies north of Sahara Avenue on Las Vegas Boulevard.Acer Travelmate 2400 Battery

The famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is located in the median just south of Russell Road, across from the now-defunct Klondike Hotel & Casino; another similar sign is in the median at the north end of the Strip near the intersection of east St. Louis and south Main Streets.Dell Inspiron 1525 Adapter

Newer resorts such as South Point and the M Resort are on Las Vegas Boulevard South as distant as 8 miles south of the Welcome to Las Vegas sign. Marketing for these casinos usually states that they are on southern Las Vegas Boulevard and not "Strip" properties. However this area is frequently referred to as the South Strip.Compaq Presario 2100 Adapter


The first casino to be built on Highway 91 was the Pair-o-Dice Club in 1931, but the first on what is currently the Strip was the El Rancho Vegas, opening on April 3, 1941, with 63 rooms. That casino stood for almost 20 years before being destroyed by a fire in 1960.Acer Aspire 1362 Battery

Its success spawned a second hotel on what would become the Strip, the Hotel Last Frontier, in 1942. Organized crime figures such as New York's Bugsy Siegel took interest in the growing gaming center leading to other resorts such as the Flamingo, which opened in 1946, and the Desert Inn, which opened in 1950. Toshiba Equium M50-192 Battery

The funding for many projects was provided through the American National Insurance Company, which was based in the then notorious gambling empire of Galveston, Texas.

Several decades ago, Las Vegas Boulevard South was called Arrowhead Highway, or Los Angeles Highway. Dell XPS M1330 Battery

The Strip was reportedly named by Los Angeles police officer Guy McAfee, after his hometown's Sunset Strip.

In 1968, Kirk Kerkorian purchased the Flamingo and hired Sahara Hotels Vice President Alex Shoofey as President. Alex Shoofey brought along 33 of Sahara's top executives. The Flamingo was used to train future employees of the International Hotel, which was under construction. Acer Travelmate 2200 Adapter

Opening in 1969, theInternational Hotel, with 1,512 rooms, began the era of mega-resorts. The International is known as the Las Vegas Hilton today.

The first MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, also a Kerkorian property, opened in 1973 with 2,084 rooms. At the time, this was one of the largest hotels in the world by number of rooms.HP Compaq 6735b Adapter

The Rossiya Hotelbuilt in 1967 in Moscow, for instance, had 3200 rooms; however, most of the rooms in the Rossiya Hotel were single rooms of 118 sq. ft (roughly 1/4 size of a standard room at the MGM Grand Resort). On November 21, 1980, the MGM Grand suffered the worst resort fire in the history of Las Vegas,Dell Vostro 1000 Battery

killing 87 people as a result of electrical problems. It reopened eight months later. In 1986, Kerkorian sold the MGM Grand to Bally Manufacturing, and it was renamed Bally's.

The Wet 'n Wild water park opened in 1985 and was located on the south side of the Sahara hotel. The park closed at the end of the 2004 season and was later demolished.HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

The opening of The Mirage in 1989 set a new level to the Las Vegas experience, as smaller hotels and casinos made way for the larger mega-resorts. These huge facilities offer entertainment and dining options, as well as gambling and lodging. This change affected the smaller, well-known and now historic hotels and casinos, like The Dunes, The Sands the Stardust, and the Sahara.Asus f82 Battery

In 1995, following the death of Dean Martin, the lights along the Strip were dimmed in a sign of respect to him. This was repeated in 1998 in honor of the recently deceased Frank Sinatra. In 2005, Clark County renamed a section of Industrial Road (south of Twain Avenue) Dell XPS M1330 Battery

as Dean Martin Drive, also as a tribute to the famous Rat Pack singer, actor, and frequent Las Vegas entertainer.

In an effort to attract families, resorts offered more attractions geared toward youth, but had limited success. HP Compaq Business 6910p Battery

The (current) MGM Grand opened in 1993 withGrand Adventures amusement park, but the park closed in 2000 due to lack of interest. Similarly, in 2003 Treasure Island closed its own video arcade and abandoned the previous pirate theme, adopting the new ti name.Compaq PRESARIO R3000 Battery

In addition to the large hotels, casinos and resorts, the Strip is home to a few smaller casinos and other attractions, such as M&M World, Adventuredomeand the Fashion Show Mall. Starting in the mid-1990s, the Strip became a popular New Year's Eve celebration destination.HP Compaq Business NX6110 Battery

In 2004, MGM Mirage announced plans for Project CityCenter, a 66-acre (27 ha), $7 billion multi-use project on the site of the Boardwalk hotel and adjoining land. It consists of hotel, casino, condo, retail, art, business and other uses on the site. City Center is currently the largest such complex in the world.Dell Latitude D610 Adapter

Construction began in April 2006, with most elements of the project opened in late 2009.

In 2006, the Las Vegas Strip lost its longtime status as the world's highest-grossing gambling center, falling to second place behind Macau.Asus Eee PC 701 Adapter


While not on the Strip itself, the Las Vegas Monorail runs on the east side of the Strip from Tropicana Avenue to Sahara Road.

RTC Transit (formerly CAT or Citizens Area Transit 1992–2008) provides service on the Strip with double decker buses known as The Deuce.HP Compaq Business NX6325 Battery

The Deuce runs between Mandalay Bay at the southern end of the Strip to the Downtown Transportation Center (DTC) near the Fremont Street Experience, with stops near every casino. RTC also operates an express bus called the ACE Gold Line. Dell Studio XPS 16 Battery

This route connects the Strip to the Las Vegas Convention Center and Downtown Las Vegas, with stops at selected hotels and shopping attractions.

A tourist trolley service travels up and down the Strip and stops at various, but not all, Strip hotels, along with a stop at the Fashion Show Mall.Acer Aspire 5520 Battery

The fare is $3 for a one way ride, regardless how far you travel down the Strip. Alternatively, a 24-hour pass is $7, and exact change is required. Trolleys are scheduled to arrive every 15 minutes.

Several free trams operate on the west side of the Strip: Acer TravelMate 5720 Adapter

  • Mandalay Bay Tram connecting the Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and Excalibur
  • CityCenter Tram connecting the Monte Carlo, Crystals, and Bellagio
  • Between Treasure Island and The Mirage  HP Compaq 6735s Adapter

Taxis can only stop at hotel entrances or designated spots, so when planning to get somewhere ask which is the closest hotel.

Before CAT Bus came on in 1992, mass transit on the Strip was provided by a private transit company, Las Vegas Transit. The Strip route was their only profitable route and supported the whole bus system.Dell XPS M1330 Battery

Walking around

Several Strip hotels have undertaken efforts to make the street more pedestrian-friendly. New casinos design their façades to attract walk-up customers, and many of these entrances have become attractions themselves—the Fountains at Bellagio, the volcano at The Mirage, and the Sirens of TI show at Treasure Island. HP Compaq nc6230 Adapter

Spectators gather on the sidewalks in front of the casinos to watch these shows.

To alleviate traffic issues at popular intersections, several footbridges have been installed to help pedestrians safely traverse the roads. Dell T117C Battery

The Tropicana – Las Vegas Boulevard footbridges were the first to be installed, and based on the success of this project additional footbridges have been built on Las Vegas Boulevard at the Flamingo Road intersection; between The Mirage/Treasure Island and The Venetian; Asus x5dij-sx039c Battery

at the Las Vegas Boulevard-Spring Mountain and Sands Avenue intersection connecting the Wynn with the Fashion Show Mall and The Palazzo; and the latest one being constructed to connect Planet Hollywood with CityCenter.Dell Inspiron 1464 Battery

Golf courses

In recent years, all but one of the on-Strip golf courses (the Desert Inn Golf Course) have fallen prey to the mega-resorts' need for land and have closed. Developer Steve Wynn, founder of previously owned Mirage Resorts, purchased the Desert Inn and golf course for his new company Wynn Resorts. HP Compaq 6720s Adapter

In 2005, he opened Wynn Las Vegas, complete with remodeled golf course providing tee times to hotel guests only.

In 2000, Bali Hai Golf Club opened just south of Mandalay Bay and the Strip.Dell Latitude D630 Adapter

This history of Las Vegas covers both the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, and the Las Vegas Valley. Las Vegas was coined by Rafael Rivera, a scout for a Mexican trading party headed to Los Angeles, in 1829 who used the water in the area while heading north and west along the Old Spanish Trail from New Mexico.HP Pavilion dm4 Battery

In the 19th century, small parts of the Las Vegas Valley contained artesian wells that supported extensive green areas, hence the name Las Vegas, Spanish for The Meadows. The flows from these wells fed the Las Vegas Wash which runs to the Colorado River.Sony NP-FS11 Battery


The prehistoric landscape of what is now the Las Vegas Valley and most of Southern Nevada was a virtual marsh of abundant water and vegetation. Over the course of hundreds of thousands of years, rivers that were present sank into the ground, and the marsh receded.Dell Inspiron 1520 Adapter

The valley evolved into a parched, arid landscape that only supported the hardiest of animals and plants. At some point in the valley's geologic history, the water that had been submerged below the terrain sporadically resurfaced and flowed into what is now the Colorado River. Toshiba PA3399U-1BRS Battery

This helped proliferate luxurious plant life, creating a wetland oasis in the Mojave Desert landscape.

Evidence of prehistoric life in Las Vegas Valley manifested in 1993 when construction workers discovered the remains of a Columbian mammoth. Paleontologists estimate that the mammoth roamed the area some 8,000 to 15,000 years ago.Acer Aspire 5920G Adapter

Native Americans lived in the Las Vegas Valley, beginning over 10,000 years ago. Archeologists have discovered baskets, petroglyphs, pictographs and other evidence in diverse locations, includingGypsum Cave and Tule Springs. Paiutes moved into the area as early as AD 700, migrating between nearby mountains in the summer and spending winter in the valley, near Big Springs.Acer Aspire 5920 Battery

1829–1905: origins

The Las Vegas valley was found by American explorer and mountain man Jedediah Smith and his party in 1827. The maps and routes discovered by Smith and others later were stolen by Mexican authorities and combined with other maps created by the Pike expedition which previously had been captured by Spanish authorities in 1807.IBM Thinkpad T40 Adapter

The combined map was then confirmed in 1829 by a trade caravan of 60 men led by the Mexican merchant Antonio Armijo charged with establishing a trade route to Los Angeles. By following the Pike and Smith routes through a tributary of Colorado River they came upon the Las Vegas Valley described by Smith as the best point to re-supply before going onto California. tery-pack.co.uk/digital-camera-battery/nikon-coolpix-4300.html">Nikon COOLPIX 4300 Battery

The travelers named the area "Las Vegas" which was Spanish for "The Meadows".

John C. Frémont traveled into the Las Vegas Valley on May 3, 1844, while it was still part of Mexico. He was appointed by the President to lead a group of scientists, scouts, and spies for the United States Army Corps of Engineers who were preparing for a possible war with Mexico. Apple MB771 Battery

Upon arriving in the valley they made camp at the Las Vegas Springs, establishing a clandestine fort there. A war with Mexico did occur, resulting in the region becoming United States territory. The fort was used in later years by travellers, mountain men, hunters, and traders seeking shelter, but was never permanently inhabited.Sony DSC-P5 Battery

In 1855, William Bringhurst led a group of 29 Mormon missionaries from Utah to the Las Vegas Valley. The missionaries built a 150-square-foot adobe fort near a creek and used flood irrigation to water their crops, a process still used at the park.Dell Inspiron 6400 Adapter

However, because of tensions rising between leaders of the small Mormon community, the summer heat and difficulty growing crops, the missionaries returned to Utah in 1857, abandoning the fort.

For the next few years the area remained unoccupied by Americans except for travelers and traders.Toshiba PA3534U-1BRS Battery

Then the U.S. Army, in an attempt to deceive Confederate spies in 1864, falsely publicized that it reclaimed the fort and had renamed it Fort Baker, briefly recalling the area to national attention. Subsequently at the end of the war in 1865, with a commission from the federal government, Octavius Gass re-occupied the fort. Sony NP-FP50 Battery

The Paiute nation had declined in numbers and negotiated a new treaty with the United States, ceding the area around the fort to the United States in return for relocation and supplies elsewhere. Consequently, Gass started irrigating the old fields and renamed the area 'Los Vegas Rancho.'HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

Gass produced wine at his ranch and Las Vegas became known as the best stop on the Mormon Trail. By 1872, Gass expanded his ranch to 640 acres (260 ha), and used his position as a legislator to have the territory his ranch occupied included as part of Nevada instead of Arizona. Dell Latitude D820 Adapter

In 1881, as a result of mismanagement and intrigue with a Mormon syndicate, Gass lost the title to his ranch to Archibald Stewart, who acquired it to pay off a lien he had on the property. In 1884, Archibald's wife, Helen J. Stewart became the Las Vegas Postmaster.Toshiba PA3399U-1BRS Battery

The property (which was expanded to 1,800 acres (730 ha)), stayed with the Stewart Family (despite Archibald's murder in July 1884) until it was acquired in 1902 by the San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Railroad, then being built across southern Nevada. The railroad was a project of Montana Senator William Andrews Clark.Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery

Clark enlisted Utah's U.S. Senator and mining magnate Thomas Kearns to ensure the line's completion through Utah to Las Vegas. The State Land Act of 1885 offered land at $1.25 per acre ($309/km²). Clark and Kearns promoted the area to American farmers who quickly expanded the farming plots of the areas. Dell Latitude D830 Battery

Not until 1895 did the first large-scale migration of Mormons begin in the area, at long last fulfilling Brigham Young's early dream. Through wells and arid irrigation, agriculture became the primary industry for the next 20 years and in return for his development, the farmers named the area in honor of the railroad tycoon and Senator, Clark County, Nevada.Dell Inspiron E1505 Adapter

1905–1929: birth, growth and crisis

By the early 20th century, water from wells was piped into the town, providing both a reliable source of fresh water and the means for additional growth. The increased availability of water in the area allowed Las Vegas to become a water stop, first for wagon trains and later railroads, on the trail between Los Angeles, California, and points east such as Albuquerque, New Mexico.Asus Eee PC 1201PN Battery

The San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad was completed in 1905, linking Salt Lake City to southern California. U.S. Senator William Andrews Clarkwas the majority owner of the railroad, which was a corporation based in Utah. Among its original incorporators were Utah's U.S. Senator Thomas Kearns and his business partner David Keith.Asus Eee PC 701 Adapter

Kearns, one of the richest and most powerful men in Utah and David Keith were the owners of Utah's Silver King Coalition Mine, several mines in Nevada and owners of The Salt Lake Tribune newspaper. Kearns and Keith helped Clark ensure the success of the new railroad across Utah and into Nevada to California. Dell XPS M1330 Battery

Curiously, for a time there were two towns named Las Vegas. The east-side Las Vegas (which encompassed the modern Main Street and Las Vegas Boulevard) was owned by Clark, and the west-side Las Vegas (which encompassed the area north of modern day Bonanza Road) was owned by J.T. McWilliams, fujifilm np95 Battery

who was hired by the Stewart family during the sale of the Los Vegas Rancho and bought available land west of the ranch. It was from their property that Las Vegas took form.

With the revenue coming from the rails and the mining town of Bullfrog, the area was quickly growing. Asus Eee PC 900 Adapter

On May 15, 1905, Las Vegas officially was founded as a city, when 110 acres (45 ha), in what would later become downtown, were auctioned to ready buyers. Las Vegas was the driving force in the creation of Clark County, Nevada in 1909 and the city was incorporated in 1911 as a part of the county. Sony VAIO PCG-713 Battery

The first mayor of Las Vegas was Peter Buol who served from 1911 to 1913.

Shortly after incorporation, the State of Nevada reluctantly became the last western state to outlaw gaming. This occurred at midnight, October 1, 1910, when a strict anti-gambling law became effective in Nevada. Dell Latitude D830 Adapter

It even forbade the western custom of flipping a coin for the price of a drink. Nonetheless, Las Vegas had a diversified economy and a stable and prosperous business community, and therefore continued to grow until 1917. Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery

In that year, a combination of economic influences and the redirection of resources by the federal government in support of the war effort forced the Las Vegas and Tonopah Railroad to declare bankruptcy. Although William Clark sold the remains of the company to the Union Pacific Railroad, a nationwide strike in 1922 left Las Vegas in a desperate state.Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ4S  Battery

A welcome relief arrived with U.S. Route 91 reaching Las Vegas in 1926, and Las Vegas was finally connected to California with a road. Nonetheless, even the addition of a modern road did not help to fully revitalize Las Vegas. Instead, the city became notorious as a place for speakeasies catering to tourists and traveling businessmen. HP Compaq Business NX6320 Battery

With these illicit saloons, crime figures with connections to theIrish mob, Italian, and Jewish mafias began arriving in significant numbers. With its seedy reputation, in 1929, John Calhan, a newspaperman, said "People in the city of Reno, or northern Nevada would have been very happy if Las Vegas had seceded from the state ..."Canon POWERSHOT G2 Battery

1930–1941: Hoover Dam and the first casinos

On July 3, 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed the appropriation bill for the Boulder Dam. The dam was later renamed the Hoover Dam during the Truman administration. Work started on the dam in 1931 and Las Vegas' population swelled from around 5,000 citizens to 25,000, with most of the newcomers looking for a job building the dam.Dell Latitude E6500 Battery

However, the demographic of the work force consisting of males from across the country with no attachment to the area created a market for large scale entertainment. A combination of local Las Vegas business owners, Mormon financiers, and Mafia crime lords helped develop the casinos and showgirl theaters to entertain the largely male dam construction workers. Dell LATITUDE D630 Battery

Despite the influx of known crime figures, the local business community tried to cast Las Vegas in a respectable light when the Secretary of the Interior Ray Lyman Wilbur visited in 1929 to inspect the dam site. However a subordinate was found with alcohol on his breath (this was during the time of Prohibition) after a visit to Block 16 in Las Vegas. Asus R33030 Adapter

The government ultimately decided that a federal-controlled town, Boulder City, would be erected for the dam workers.

Realizing that gambling would be profitable for local business, the Nevada state legislature legalized gambling at the local level in 1931. Dell Mini 1011 Battery

Las Vegas, with a small but already well established gambling industry, was poised to begin its rise as the gambling capital of the world. The county issued the first gambling license in 1931 to the Northern Club, and soon other casinos were licensed on Fremont Street like the Las Vegas Club and the Apache Hotel.toshiba pa3332u-1brs Battery

Fremont Street became the first paved street in Las Vegas  and received the city's first traffic light in 1931.

In reply, the federal government restricted movement of the dam workers to Las Vegas. Smuggling and circuitous routes then were developed. HP Compaq 6710b Adapter

In 1934, to curtail these activities and the resulting growth of criminal figures in the gambling industry the city's leading figures purged gambling dens and started an effort to stem the flow of workers from the dam. This only emboldened some dam workers who still contrived to visit Las Vegas. A celebration of this era has become known as Helldorado Days.HP Compaq nx6325 Adapter

Although the suppression efforts resulted in declines at gambling venues and resulted in a business downturn, the city was recharged, literally, when the dam was completed in 1935. In 1937, Southern Nevada Power became the first utility to supply power from the dam, and Las Vegas was its first customer. Acer Aspire 5720 Adapter

Electricity flowed into Las Vegas and Fremont Street became known as Glitter Gulch due to the many bright lights powered by electricity from Hoover Dam. Meanwhile, although the dam worker population disappeared, Hoover Dam and its reservoir, Lake Mead, turned into tourist attractions on their own and the need for additional higher class hotels became clear.Toshiba Equium A110-252 Battery

In 1940, U.S. Route 95 was finally extended south into Las Vegas, giving the city two major access roads. Also in 1940 Las Vegas's first permanent radio station, KENO, began broadcasting replacing the niche occupied earlier by transient broadcasters.Acer Aspire 5052ANWXMi Battery

1941–1945: war years

On January 25, 1941 the U.S. Army established a flexible gunnery school for the United States Army Air Corps in Las Vegas. Mayor John L. Russell signed over land to the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps for this development. Dell Mini 1011v Battery

The gunnery school later would become Nellis Air Force Base. The U.S Army was not pleased with the legal prostitution in Las Vegas and in 1942 forced Las Vegas to outlaw the practice, putting Block 16, the local red light district permanently out of business.HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

On April 3, 1941, hotel owner Thomas Hull opened the El Rancho Vegas. It was the first resort on what would become the Las Vegas Strip. The hotel gained much of its fame from the gourmet buffetthat it offered.

On October 30, 1942, R. E. Griffith rebuilt on the site of a nightclub called Pair-O-Dice,Dell Vostro 1510 Battery

that first opened in 1930, and renamed it Hotel Last Frontier. A few more resorts were built on and around Fremont Street but the next hotel on the Strip publicly demonstrated the influence of organized crime on Las Vegas. Although ethnic organized crime figures had been involved in some of the operations at the hotels, Toshiba PA3534U-1BRS Battery

the mafias never owned or controlled the hotels and clubs which remained monopolized by hard-bitten local Las Vegas families who were unwilling to accede ground to the crime bosses and proved strong enough to push back. This changed in post-war Las Vegas when Jewish gangster Bugsy Siegel, Asus M50 Battery

with help from friend and fellow mob boss Meyer Lansky poured money through Mormon owned banks for cover of legitimacy and built The Flamingo in 1946.

1947–1963: postwar boom and organized crime

The Flamingo initially lost money and Siegel died in a hail of gunfire in Beverly Hills, California.Asus Eee PC 901 Battery

Additionally, local police and Clark County Sheriff deputies were notorious for their heavy-handed tactics toward mobsters who "grew too big for their pants." However, many mobsters saw the potential that gambling offered in Las Vegas. From 1952 to 1957,Dell Inspiron 6400 Battery

through money and institutional lending provided by the Teamsters Union and some Mormon bankers they built the Sahara, the Sands, the New Frontier, the Royal Nevada, the Showboat, The Riviera, The Fremont, Binion's Horseshoe (which was theApache Hotel), and finally The Tropicana.HP Compaq Business NC6220 Battery

Owned and operated by a joint combine of Mormon elders who provided political and business legitimacy and people involved with organized crime who provided unreported income and street muscle, such as Meyer Lansky these crime hotels became regarded as the epitome of gambling entertainment. Sony VGP-BPS9 Battery

Even with the general knowledge that some of the owners of these casino resorts had dubious backgrounds, by 1954, over 8 million people were visiting Las Vegas yearly pumping 200 million dollars into casinos. Gambling was no longer the only attraction; Sony VGP-BPS13 Battery

the biggest stars of films and music like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Abbott and Costello, Bing Crosby, Carol Channing, and others performed in intimate settings. After coming to see these stars, the tourists would resume gambling, and then eat at the gourmet buffets that have become a staple of the casino industry.HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

However, the confluence of various marginal and/or suspected groups such as Jews, Sicilians, and Mormons into the gambling enterprises in Las Vegas and the subsequent cornering of the gambling market in the city by these groups sparked a two-yearHP Compaq 2510p Adapter

investigation by Senator Estes Kefauver and his Senate Special Committee to Investigate Crime in Interstate Commerce in 1950–51. The hearing concluded that organized crime money was incontrovertibly tied to the Las Vegas casinos and was becoming the controlling interest in the city thereby earning for theDell Studio PP39L Battery

groups vast amounts of income which was strengthening their influence in the country. This led to a proposal by the Senate to institute federal gambling control. Only through the power and influence of Nevada's Senator Pat McCarrandid the proposal die in committee.Nikon COOLPIX 5700  Battery

Along with their connections in Hollywood and New York City, these interests in Las Vegas were able to use publicity provided by these media capitals to steer the rapid growth of tourism into Las Vegas thereby dooming Galveston, Texas; Hot Springs, Arkansas; and other illegal gaming centers around the nation.[9] Nevada's legal gaming as well as the paradoxical increased scrutiny by local and federal law enforcement in these other locales during the 1950s made their demise inevitable.

1950s: atomic testing

While the Strip was booming, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission on January 27, 1951 detonated the first of over a hundred atmospheric explosions at theNevada Test Site. These atmospheric tests would continue until enactment of the Partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963 when the tests moved underground.Dell Studio XPS 16 Battery

The last test explosion was in 1992. Despite the dangers and risks, greatly under-estimated at the time, of radiation exposure from the fallout, Las Vegas advertised the explosions as another tourist attraction and offered Atomic Cocktails in Sky Rooms that offered a great view of the mushroom clouds.HP Compaq nx7400 Adapter

The influx of government employees for the Atomic Energy Commission and from the Mormon-controlled Bank of Las Vegas spearheaded by E. Parry Thomasduring those years funded the growing boom in casinos. But Las Vegas was doing more than growing casinos. In 1948, McCarran Field was established for commercial air traffic.HP Pavilion DV6500 Adapter

In 1957 The University of Las Vegas was established. In 1959 the Clark County Commission built the Las Vegas Convention Center, which would become a vital part of the area's economy. A new utility company, Southwest Gas expanded into Las Vegas in 1954.Dell T117C Battery

Howard Hughes

In 1966, Howard Hughes, the eccentric hero of the American aviation industry, and noted American entrepreneurial financier with vast connections to long established networks in the country, moved to Las Vegas. Acer PA-1650-02 Adapter

Initially staying in the Desert Inn, he refused to vacate his room and instead decided to purchase the entire hotel. Hughes extended his financial empire to include Las Vegas real estate, hotels and media outlets, spending an estimated $300 million and using his considerable powers to take-over many of the well known hotels,Asus S1 Adapter

especially the organized crime connected venues and he quickly became one of the most powerful men in Las Vegas. He was instrumental in changing the image of Las Vegas from its Wild West roots into a more refined cosmopolitan city.HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery

Hank Greenspun

The local newspaper Las Vegas Sun and its editor Hank Greenspun led a crusade in those days to expose all the criminal ties, activities, and government corruption in Las Vegas. Ibm Thinkpad T30 Battery

His investigative reporting and editorials led to the exposure of Clark County Sheriff Glen Jones' ownership of a brothel and the resignation of Lieutenant Governor Clifford A. Jones as the state's national committeeman for the Democratic Party.Dell Studio PP39L Battery

Local government

One problem for the City of Las Vegas was that the Strip did not reside in Las Vegas proper. Because of this, the city lost tax revenue. There was a push to annex the Strip by the City of Las Vegas, but The Syndicate used the Clark County Commissioners to pull a legal maneuver by organizing the Las Vegas Strip properties into an unincorporated township called Paradise. HP Pavilion dv5 Adapter

Under Nevada Law, an incorporated town, Las Vegas, cannot annex an unincorporated township. To this day, virtually all of the Strip remains outside the City of Las Vegas.


Much like other American settled counties and towns throughout the United States, HP Compaq Business NC6400 Battery

entertainment venues were segregated between black and white owned businesses. With almost all of the businesses owned and operated by whites, Black Americans were segregated from entry into the venues which remained focused, regardless of their legitimacy or criminality, on entertaining a white only clientele.HP Compaq 490306-001 Battery

As a result of property deeds, non-white owned or customer oriented businesses were confined to clubs on the "west side" of the tracks. This also was enforced in many of the work positions thus, African Americans except those who provided the labor for low-paying menial positions or entertainment and Hispanics were limited in employment occupations at the white owned clubs.Compaq Presario CQ35-100 Battery

However, because of employment deals with black worker groups, many clubs favored Black American workers and the Hispanic population actually decreased ninety-percent from 2,275 to just 236 by the middle 1950's.

However, organized crime-owned groups saw a business opportunity in not dividing their clientele by race and despite property deeds and city and county codes disbarring such activities,HP Compaq HSTNN-LB51 Battery

made several attempts at de-segregating their businesses in the hopes putting out of operation the non-white owned clubs and expanding their own market share. An attempt at forming an all-integrated night-club modeled on the Harlem Clubs of New York City during the 1920s and 1930s like those owned by Jewish gangster Dutch Schultz was made.HP Pavilion ZE4500 Battery

On May 24, 1955, Jewish crime bossWil Max Schwartz, along with other investors, opened the Moulin Rouge. It was a very upscale and racially integrated casino that actually competed against the resorts on the Strip especially the non-white owned strips on the west side.HP G62-100EB Battery

However, by the end of the year, the casino closed as Schwartz and his partners had a falling out. But the seeds for racial integration were sown.

Many sources have credited Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack as a significant driving force behind desegregation in the casinos.HP Pavilion DV6-1211AX Battery

One famous story tells of Sinatra's refusal to perform at the Sands Hotel unless the hotel provided Sammy Davis Jr. with a room. The famed performing group made similar demands at other venues forcing owners to amend their policies over time.HP Pavilion DV6-1220SO Battery

However, it took political action most often supported by Jewish crime groups for racial desegregation to occur. In 1960, the NAACP threatened a protest of the city's casinos for their policies. A meeting between the NAACP, the mayor and local businessmen resulted in city wide casino HP EliteBook 6930P Battery

desegregation first starting with the employees and many whites were attritioned from positions and their jobs given to the black unions. Along with the rest of the country, Las Vegas experienced the struggle for civil rights. Activists like James B. McMillan, Grant Sawyer, Bob Bailey, and Charles Kellerdragged Las Vegas to racial integration.HP Pavilion DV6-1210SA Battery

Another big force for equality was another criminally connected Jewish activist Mayor Oran Gragson. Spurred into local politics by a vigilante ring of cops who repeatedly broke into his appliance store, he implemented infrastructure improvements for the minority neighborhoods in Las Vegas,Compaq Presario CQ71 Battery

backed the NAACP in its actions, and promoted black workers for jobs. He also championed the cause of the Pauite tribe that owned a small portion of Las Vegas and stopped the U.S. government from evicting the tribe and actually made infrastructure improvements for them. HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO Battery

His work helped reverse the decrease of minority populations in Las Vegas. Local legislation kept up with the national legislation and integration was finally established. The only real violence came as a result of school integration, with violent riots and fights occurring in Clark High School when black gangs and  HP G6000 Battery

youths began attacking the whites and sparking white flight from the school district from 1965 to 1971.

MGM fire

On November 21, 1980 the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, suffered a devastating fire. A total of 85 people died and 785 were injured in what remains the worst disaster in Nevada history.HP HDX X18-1005EA Battery

Since 1970: explosive growth

On a percentage basis, Las Vegas and Clark County have experienced incredibly high growth rates since the 1930s; the population of the city more than doubled in each decade. The rate slowed down in the 1970s with the decrease of the white birth rate, but never dropped below 60% (1980–1990), and has even accelerated since 1990 due to immigration. HP Pavilion DV6-3013SL Battery

By 2000, Las Vegas was the largest city founded in the 20th century, and by 2006 it was the 28th largest city in the US with a population of 552,000 in the city, and nearly 1.8 million in Clark County. The explosive growth has resulted in rapid development of commercial and residential areas throughout the Las Vegas Valley. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB62 Battery

The strong boom in the resort business led to many new condominium developments all across the strip and downtown area. Also suburban sprawl development of single-family homes continued across the valley building the areas of Henderson, North Las Vegas, Centennial Hills, and Summerlin. HP Pavilion DV6100 Battery

During this period of time, American author and journalist Hunter S. Thompson wrote and published his seminal novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, detailing the experience of his 1971 trip to the city.

Since 1989: the megaresort era

The megaresort era began in 1989 with the construction of The Mirage. HP EliteBook 2730P Battery

\Built by developer Steve Wynn, it was the first resort built with money from Wall Street, selling $630 million in junk bonds. Its 3,044 rooms, each with gold tinted windows, set a new standard for Vegas luxury and attracted tourists in droves, leading to additional financing and rapid growth on the Las Vegas Strip. HP Pavilion DV9000 Battery

Numerous landmark hotels and other structures were razed to make way for ever-larger and more opulent resorts including:

  • 1990: Rio and Excalibur
  • 1993: MGM Grand Las Vegas, Treasure Island, and Luxor,
  • 1996: Stratosphere Tower and Monte Carlo
  • 1997: New York-New York  HP Pavilion DV7 Battery
  • 1998: Bellagio
  • 1999: Mandalay Bay, The Venetian, and Paris
  • 2000: Aladdin (now Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.)
  • 2001: Palms
  • 2005: Wynn Las Vegas (opened in April by Wynn Resorts Limited opened its new flagship, the constructed at a cost of US$2.7 billion.)  HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO Battery
  • 2007: The Palazzo, Las Vegas
  • 2008: Encore
  • 2009: CityCenter
  • 2010: The Cosmopolitan

Helldorado Days was resumed in 2005 for the City of Las Vegas' centennial celebration.HP Compaq Business 6735S Battery

Late 2000s towards 2010s: the economic bust

Despite the success, the home mortgage crisis and the Late 2000s Recession affected the economic success. Unaffordable housing led to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sub-prime mortgage lending that was unstable and risky, not to mention the speculation and extra loan borrowing influenced by the low interest rates of the Federal Reserve.HP 540 Battery

Soon after, properties were foreclosed, new home construction was stalled, and construction projects were either canceled, postponed, or continued with financial troubles. Some of these projects included the MGM Mirage property of CityCenter,Fontainebleau, Echelon, and The Plaza.HP Compaq Business NW9440 Battery

Even worse, the global financial situation had a negative effect on gaming and tourism revenue, thus allowing many of the companies to report net loss.

While the city seems to be weathering the unprecedented recession, a slow recovery is predicted,HP Compaq Business  TC4400 Battery

and future concerns such as the water supply in the ongoing drought, diversification of the area economy from tourism and competition from other gaming hot spots continue to be major issues.

Las Vegas has still managed to host many conventions and major events. Las Vegas will be hosting the Latin Grammy Awards up until 2012.HP Compaq 491278-001 Battery

On November 20, 2010, Forbes listed Las Vegas as the worst major city in America to find a job, citing 8.86 unemployed people per advertised job. Las Vegas has been continuously ranked as having the highest unemployment for a major city during the Late-2000s recession,as well as the highest foreclosure rate in the nation. HP HSTNN-LB31 Battery

Downtown Las Vegas is the central business district of Las Vegas, Nevada. It is the original gambling district of Las Vegas, prior to the Strip, and the area still incorporates downtown gaming.


Downtown Las Vegas is centered on Fremont Street (Fremont Street Experience and Fremont East).HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM  Battery

The Fremont Street Experience is a canopied-street of the Downtown area where casinos have been connected to the street and to each other in a unique visual manner. With more than 2 million lights and a state-of-the-art sound system, the Fremont Street Experience brings nightly shows through the world's largest audio-video system.HP Pavilion DV3-4000  Battery

The $70 million attraction features the ultimate in multi-sensory entertainment. It also brings a variety of exciting special events, cuisine, special entertainment and live concerts throughout the year.

Film and media history

  • The 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever featured a chase scene in which James Bond, running from Las Vegas police, side-rolls a car through an alley exiting onto Fremont Street.HP Pavilion TX1000 Battery
  • The 1987 music video for the song "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2 was filmed on Fremont Street and featured the band members wandering around, while The Edge played an acoustic guitar.
  • 1998's Very Bad Things featured Fremont Street in the movie. HP Pavilion DV6-1210SA  Battery
  • 1992's Honey, I Blew Up the Kid prominently featured Fremont Street in the movie.
  • 1992's Cool World showed all the animation coming out of the Plaza hotel and going down Fremont Street.
  • In 1994, Glitter Gulch was featured prominently in the TV Miniseries The Stand.  HP 448007-001 Battery
  • The 1997 comedy Vegas Vacation includes a few scenes on Fremont Street.
  • In the 2004 movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Steve the Pirate is seen along the Plaza near the Fremont Street Experience.  HP Compaq Business  6530B  Battery
  • In a 2005 release, Panic! at the Disco released a song about cheap motels on Fremont Street called "Build God, Then We'll Talk."
  • The 2007 film Next, has Nicolas Cage's character entering the Golden Nugget from the Fremont Street Experience.
  • Ice Cube's music video for "Chrome and Paint" took place on Fremont Street, with Ice Cube in a lowrider. HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM  Battery
  • In the video game, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas, Logan Keller, and his teammates Jung and Michael, infiltrate Fremont Street to find a news van, which they find by going through the maintenance tunnels under the "Stocco Casino."
  • Heavily referenced in the Tom Waits song "Mr. Siegal."  HP Pavilion DV5-1015EA  Battery
  • Featured at the beginning of the TV Series CSI season 7 finale episode 24.
  • Featured in the opening credits of the TV series Vega$.
  • Magician & illusionist Criss Angel has done many demonstrations and TV specials there.HP Pavilion DV6-1230SB Battery

Revitalization and future

The Downtown area in recent years has played second fiddle to the larger and more famous Las Vegas Strip. The city has begun three major revitalization efforts.HP Pavilion ZD8181EA  Battery

In 2006 the city revealed plans to redevelop Fremont Street east of the Experience. Detailed plans for the redevelopment were released early in 2007 and included 4 street scape neon signs. The $5.5 million plan is part of an effort to revitalize the downtown area.HP Pavilion DV9500  Battery

A three block section of Fremont Street just east of the Fremont Street Experience opened on August 24, 2007. The area is intended to increase the draw of downtown Las Vegas by offering a compact entertainment area of bars and clubs. HP Pavilion DV4-1125BR  Battery

World Market Center is the second project. In 2002, WMC was announced on a lot adjacent to the City of Las Vegas' redevelopment parcel, as an 8 building, 7,500,000 square feet (697,000 m2) facility designed by Jon Jerde.

The square footage of World Market Center is greater than the Willis Tower in Chicago (the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere), and the Empire State Building in New York City.HP Pavilion DV5-1111EA Battery
The last effort put into place is Symphony Park, a mixed use development in downtown Las Vegas. The city of Las Vegas is undertaking the development on 61 acres (25 ha) located on land purchased from the Union Pacific Railroad. The city acquired the land in 1995 as part of a redevelopment effort to draw tourists and locals to downtown Las Vegas. HP Pavilion DV6-1234TX Battery

The Symphony Park development will be one of the largest urban redevelopment projects in the country.

Symphony Park is being planned by the city of Las Vegas. This is a major project for the Office of Business Development and the city.HP Pavilion DV3-2008TX  Battery

Las Vegas Valley is in the main, the valley of Las Vegas north section,  and drained by the Las Vegas Wash. The valley in the northwest section, is a northwest-by-southeast trending area, and trending parallel to Las Vegas Wash, lays at the northeast of the Spring Mountainsmassif.HP Pavilion DV8  Battery

U.S. Route 95 leaves Las Vegas' northwest and goes northwesterly through the northwest valley section, with Las Vegas Wash about 2 miles (3 km)[2]northeast. U.S. 95 lies on the southwest perimeter of the valley bottomlands, and small alluvial fan areas from the northeast Spring Mountains border southwest.HP Pavilion DV6-1215SA  Battery

A 'distorted surface',[3] a playa-like region occurs at the farthest northwest area, for about 15 to 18 miles (24 to 29 km), starting from Nevada Route 157. At Nevada Route 156, 10 miles (16 km) northwest, the distorted surface, bottom land turns north, a 6 miles (9.7 km) area in length and about 3 miles (4.8 km) wide. It lays at the south drainage section of the Three Lakes Valley, where a water divide separates Dog Bone Lake in the valley's center from the southwest washes that drain into the Las Vegas Valley, (upland Las Vegas Wash).

The Corn Creek Dunes lie about 5 miles (8.0 km) southwest of Route 156's intersection with U.S. 95, and they are slightly northeast of Las Vegas Wash.

Las Vegas Valley

The Las Vegas Valley is an area about 20–25 square miles (52–65 km2). All perimeters, except the northwest, are foothills or mountain ranges, with all highway routes entering the foothills;HP Compaq 490306-001  Battery

this includes the Interstate 15 to the southwest, as it climbs to Jean Pass (north), before traversing Ivanpah Valley. Only the U.S. Route 95 northwest follows an actual valley. The northwest section, thus describes the entire landform as a central, and large valley with an attached feeder valley northwest, and in this case the northwest source, and actual course of the Las Vegas Wash.Compaq Presario CQ50  Battery

Great Basin Divide

The Great Basin Divide is represented in southeast Nevada by a circuitous path, that in the east, enters Nevada at the Clover-Bull Valley Mountains, and in the south leaves Nevada at the New York Mountains.HP Pavilion DV6-1223EO  Battery

At the northwest of the entire Las Vegas region, and also the northwest section upland area of the watershed of Las Vegas Wash, the Great Basin Divide, changes direction in the Spring Mountains, from a north-south transect, to leave the massif at the northeast, in the foothills,HP Compaq 490306-001  Battery

and enter the east-west transect, mostly at the southern perimeter of the north-south mountain ranges, on the Las Vegas north perimeter.

Located in the desert southwest, in the Mojave Desert, North Las Vegas is north of Las Vegas and north of the unincorporated town of Sunrise Manor.Compaq Presario CQ35-100 Battery

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 78.5 square miles (203 km2), all of it land.

North Las Vegas is a city in Clark County, Nevada, United States, located in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The city was incorporated on May 16, 1946. HP Compaq HSTNN-LB51  Battery


Located in the desert southwest, in the Mojave Desert, North Las Vegas is north of Las Vegas and north of the unincorporated town of Sunrise Manor.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 78.5 square miles (203 km2), all of it land.HP Pavilion ZE4500  Battery


The population of North Las Vegas was estimated at 224,387 in July 2009,making it the third largest city in Nevada after Las Vegas and Henderson.

As of the censusof 2000, there were 115,488 people, 34,018 households, and 27,112 families residing in the city. HP G62-100EB  Battery

The population densitywas 1,471.0 people per square mile (568.0/km²). There were 36,600 housing units at an average density of 466.2 per square mile (180.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 55.93% White, 19.02% African American, 0.82% Native American, 3.24% Asian, HP Pavilion DV6-1211AX  Battery

0.53% Pacific Islander, 15.78% from other races, and 4.68% from two or more races. 37.61% was Hispanic or Latino, of any race.

There were 34,018 households out of which 47.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.3% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.3% were non-families. HP EliteBook 6930P Battery

13.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.36 and the average family size was 3.67.HP Pavilion DV9500  Battery

In the city the population was spread out with 33.9% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 34.3% from 25 to 44, 16.4% from 45 to 64, and 5.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 104.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.1 males.Compaq Evo N610C  Battery

The median income for a household in the city was $46,057, and the median income for a family was $46,540. Males had a median income of $32,205 versus $25,836 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,023. About 11.8% of families and 14.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.6% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over.HP Pavilion DM3-1050EO Battery

The United States Census Bureau listed North Las Vegas as the fastest growing city in the United States.

Government and infrastructure

The Florence McClure Women's Correctional Center of the Nevada Department of Corrections is located in North Las Vegas.Compaq Presario 1245  Battery

The facility, originally the Southern Nevada Women's Correctional Facility opened September 1, 1997. It was built and operated by Corrections Corporation of America. Since then the state took direct control of the facility. It houses the female death row. HP G6000  Battery


North Las Vegas Airport, formerly known as Sky Haven Airport, was established on December 7, 1941. Vision Airlines, aregional airline and sightseeing airline, maintains its hub here. International and domestic airline travel for the entire metropolitan area is handled at McCarran International Airport, south of North Las Vegas and Las Vegas.HP Compaq 451086-661  Battery

RTC Transit provides bus service in the city, as it does throughout the Las Vegas metropolitan area.

The major highways/roads serving North Las Vegas are I-15 and CC-215.HP Pavilion DV2166EA  Battery

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