Las Vegas is the most populous city in the southern part of the state of Nevada, about 50 miles east of the California border and 30 miles west of the Arizona border, the seat of Clark County, and an internationally renowned major resort city for the gaming industry, shopping, and entertainment. The city is divided into two main parts: a compact downtown called Glitter Gulch and the Strip, a corridor of hotels and casinos.
Las Vegas travel, Las Vegas Tourist Attractions
Las Vegas, billed as The Entertainment Capital of the World, is famous for the number of large casino resorts and their associated entertainment. 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. Outdoor lighting displays are everywhere on the Las Vegas Strip and are seen elsewhere in the city as well; as seen from space, Las Vegas is the brightest city on earth.
Las Vegas attractions
The only natural feature to account for the location of Las Vegas is a spring north of downtown. Once used by Paiute Indians on their seasonal visits to the area, it was re-discovered by Mexican scout Rafael Rivera in 1829. The area became known to overland travelers as las vegas - 'the meadows' - a place with reliable water and feed for horses. Las Vegas became a regular stop on the southern emigrant route to California, the Spanish Trail. In the 1850s, Mormons built the town's first structures, a small mission and fort; the fort became a ranch house, but there was little development until 1902, when much of the land was sold to a railroad company. The area that is now downtown was subdivided when the tracks came through, with 1200 lots sold on 15 May 1905 alone - a date now celebrated as the city's birthday.
Established in 1905, Las Vegas officially became a city in 1911. With the growth that followed, at the close of the century Las Vegas was the most populous American city founded in the 20th century (a distinction held by Chicago in the 19th century). It was the 28th most populous city in the United States during the 2000 census. The population of the city was estimated at 552,539 and the Las Vegas metropolitan area exceeds 2.0 million residents.
Las Vegas tourism
The name Las Vegas is often applied to the unincorporated areas of Clark County that surround the city, especially the resort areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip. This 4.5-mile (7.2-km) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard is mostly outside the city limits, in the unincorporated towns of Paradise and Winchester.
Some technology companies have either relocated to Las Vegas or were created there. For various reasons, the Las Vegas area has had a high concentration of technology companies in electronic gaming and telecommunications industries. Some current technology companies in southern Nevada include Bigelow Aerospace, CommPartners, Datanamics, eVital Communications, Petroglyph, SkywireMedia, Switch Communications, and WorldDoc. Companies that originally were formed in Las Vegas, but have since sold or relocated include Westwood Studios (sold to Electronic Arts), Systems Research & Development (Sold to IBM), Yellowpages.com (Sold to Bellsouth and SBC), and MPower Communications.
Las Vegas attractions
Constant population growth means that the housing construction industry is vitally important. In 2000 more than 21,000 new homes and 26,000 resale homes were purchased. In early 2005 there were 20 residential development projects of more than 300 acres (1.2 km2) each underway.
The major attractions in Las Vegas are the casinos. The most famous hotels are located on Las Vegas Boulevard, better known as the Las Vegas Strip. Many of these hotels carry thousands of rooms. There are, of course, large casino areas in these hotels as well. There are many hotel casinos in the city's downtown area as well, which was the original focal point of the city's gaming industry in its early days. Several large hotels and casinos are also located somewhat off the Strip but adjacent to it, as well as in the county around the city.
Las Vegas tourism
As a railroad town, Las Vegas had machine shops, a good number of hotels, saloons and gambling houses. The railroad laid off hundreds in the mid 1920s, but one Depression-era development gave the city a new life. The huge Hoover Dam project commenced in 1931, providing jobs and growth in the short term and water and power for the city's long-term growth.
Also in 1931, Nevada legalized gambling and simplified its divorce laws, paving the way for the first big casino, El Rancho, which was built by Los Angeles developers and opened in 1941. The next wave of investors, also from out of town, were mobsters like Bugsy Siegel, who built the Flamingo in 1946 and set the tone for the new casinos - big and flashy, with lavish entertainment laid on to attract high rollers.
Las Vegas travel
The glitter that brought in the high rollers also attracted smaller spenders, but in larger numbers. Southern California provided a growing market for Las Vegas entertainment, and improvements in transport made it accessible to the rest of the country. Thanks to air conditioning and reliable water supplies, Vegas became one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. In recent years, Vegas has bent over backwards to remake itself into a family resort destination, building theme parks inside its hotels. Hotels have outdone each other with working volcanoes, million-gallon fishtanks and miniature Manhattans. All of which - along with dozens of artificial lakes in the suburbs - has put a huge strain on the city's water supply, but it hasn't slowed the development juggernaut.
Today Las Vegas boasts 19 of the world's 20 largest hotels, attracts 33 million visitors per year, earns over US.25 billion in annual gaming revenue, and marries over 100,000 people each year. There are other cities witih terrific entertainment and gaming opportunities, but there is no place in the world like Las Vegas, and no city even pretending to be.