Situated in Nevada’s Mojave Desert, Las Vegas is a well known resort city for its ever glowing energy, round-the-clock casino and unlimited entertainment facilities. The Strip, being the key center, is packed with elegant hotels including the Venetian and pyramid-shaped Luxor. Luxury resorts also include Bellagio backed with the landmark dancing fountains and numerous casinos.
LAS VEGAS, NV – Oct 26: McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas NV on Oct 26, 2012. Located 5 miles south of downtown, it is the principal airport serving Las Vegas. (Usa-Pyon / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS, NV, USA-JAN 16: Las Vegas Famous Signboard, January 16, 2014 (EarthScape ImageGraphy / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MAY 7, 2014: Venetian Palazzo Resort Casino with Grand Canal and gondola in view. This luxury hotel opened in 1999. (littleny / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUN 22: World famous Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada as seen on June 22, 2012. Stretching 4.2 miles, the Strip is home to the largest hotels and casinos in the world. (CristinaMuraca / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, USA – APRIL 16, 2014 : Las Vegas Premium Outlets North is a 540,000-square-foot shopping mall located near Downtown Las Vegas located on 40 acres. (OLOS / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, USA – APRIL 16, 2014 : New York-New York Hotel & Casino is a hotel and casino located on Las Vegas Boulevard South, in Paradise, Nevada. It is owned and operated by MGM. (OLOS / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS, USA – June 28 : Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino on June 28, 2015. The resort opened on May 3, 1999 located on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, USA on June 28, 2015 (OLOS / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS, NV – OCT 29: Las Vegas Strip view in Nevada, as seen on Oct 29, 2015. The Las Vegas Strip is an approximately 4.2-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard South in Clark County, Nevada. (Usa-Pyon / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MAY 10:Las Vegas newest attraction The High Roller Ferris Wheel stands tall 550-foot, located near Las Vegas Strip on May 10, 2014. It opened to the public on March 31, 2014 (Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock)
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA – Sept 22, 2014: Tourist overlooking the Las Vegas Strip on the High Roller Ferris Wheel in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on Sept 22, 2014 (Aneese / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA- OCTOBER 3, 2015: Three women, one screaming, fly over Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas on the SlotZilla zip line attraction. (Meister Photos / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA- OCTOBER 3, 2015: Three women fly over Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas on the SlotZilla zip line attraction. (Meister Photos / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS, USA – SEP 15: Starbucks Coffee at Premium Outlet on September 15, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The largest coffeehouse company in the world with 18,887 stores. (Filipe Frazao / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS NEVADA USA – APRIL 16,2014 : In the United States, many 7-Eleven locations previously had filling stations with gasoline distributed by Citgo. (OLOS / Shutterstock)
Las Vegas, NV: July 2015: firearms instructor at the The Vegas Machine Gun Experience store gives safety instructions. Machine guns have become a popular tourist attraction in Las Vegas. (Michael Gordon / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS, CIRCA MARCH 2016. Despite many newer resort venues being built, both new and old Casinos reliably attract millions of visitors a year, with many gamblers hoping to hit the jackpot. (robert cicchetti / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS, NV, USA – MARCH 25, 2016: Founded in May 1905 and incorporated as the city in 1911. The first casino was legaized in 1931. Pictured is the historic casino in ‘Main Street Station.’ (Josef Hanus / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS – FEB 18 : The interior of Bellagio hotel and casino on February 18 2015 in Las Vegas. Bellagio is a luxury hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip. The Bellagio opened on 1998. (Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS, USA – APRIL 14, 2014: People visit Caesar’s Palace casino resort in Las Vegas. The famous casino resort has almost 4,000 rooms. (Tupungato / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, USA – OCTOBER 23, 2013 :Casino in Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Caesar’s Palace hotel opened in 1966 and has a Roman Empire theme. (Nick_Nick / Shutterstock)
People betting on horse race, South Point Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada (Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS – FEB 18 : The interior of MGM hotel and casino on February 18, 2015 in Las Vegas. The MGM Grand is the third largest hotel in the world and the largest hotel resort complex in the USA. (Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS – JUN 1 2005: Vintage view of the Las Vegas Strip MGM. There are many cityscape change since there for this view doesn’t exist any longer. (GTS Productions / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS – JAN 23 : The 2016 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 23, 2016 in Las Vegas. (Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS – JAN 18 : Dancers perform at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo on January 18 2014 in Las Vegas , Nevada (Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS, NV, SEPTEMBER 13: New-York New-York Casino waiter women – Las Vegas, Unites States. Nevada. 2012 (Michel Piccaya / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS – NOV 07 : Japanese model at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Navada, on November 07, 2014. The SEMA Show is the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world. (Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, USA – OCTOBER 23, 2013 : Beijing Noodle No. 9 – Chinese restaurant in Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Caesar’s Palace hotel opened in 1966 and has a Roman Empire theme. (Nick_Nick / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS, NV – OCT 25: Bass Pro Shop at Silverton Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, as seen on Oct 25, 2015. A $150-million renovation in 2004 included opening of a 145,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shop. (Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS, NV – March 07: Las Vegas Follies at the NASCAR Sprint Kobalt 400 practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas on March 07, 2015 (Daniel Huerlimann-BEELDE / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS, NV, USA – MARCH 24, 2016: Fountain by Bellagio and Caesars palaces has 1200 dancing fountains, producing on the lake beautiful show of water, lights and music.Las Vegas was founded in 1905. (Josef Hanus / Shutterstock)
LAS VEGAS – MARCH 26 : View of the Paris hotel on strip on March 26 , 2015 in Las Vegas. Paris Las Vegas hotel, The Flamingo and Bally’s casino are in the back ground. (Lucky-photographer / Shutterstock)
A Brief Introduction to the History of Las Vegas
By Sagar Agarwal
“Las Vegas” and “History” in the same sentence? That doesn’t sound right! However, the truth is that Las Vegas does have a history, albeit Vegas style. Once you learn about it, your next trip to Vegas will take on a new meaning. This article will take you through the important developments in each decade, starting in the 20s, that are responsible for making Las Vegas what it is today.
Vegas in the 30s: Come See the Eighth Wonder of the World
In the early 1920s, Las Vegas was just another desert on the map. However, the wheels of change started turning in 1928 when the construction of Boulder Dam (now called Hoover Dam) began. This project brought with it a large number of construction workers who had money to spend but nowhere to spend it. Enterprising individuals saw this as an opportunity and legalized gambling in the state of Nevada.
However, when the workers left, the casinos lost a lot of business. The chamber of commerce did whatever it could to attract tourists by touting Hoover Dam as the “Eight wonder of the world” but it was not until the late 1940s that Las Vegas started developing its charm.
Vegas in the 40s: I Want to Stay at the El Rancho
If you were a celebrity visiting Las Vegas then you were expected to stay at the El Rancho. That was the reputation that the hotel had. Furthermore, it was responsible for starting a chain reaction which led others to follow suit and start building luxury hotels. The name of the game was to outdo the other by building something more luxurious and extravagant, a trend that continues till date.
Hollywood stars did not mind, in fact they appreciated this effort and came in droves to the city. This gave Las Vegas the reputation of a glamor town. The stronghold of the mafia also grew during this time which became apparent when a gangster by the name of Bugsy Siegel started the development of the Flamingo.
Vegas in the 50s: Bombs and Glamor
This was the decade in which the base for modern-day Las Vegas was formed.
- 1950 – The Desert In: Featured a 18-hole Golf course bringing country-club elegance to the strip.
- 1951 – Benny Binion’s Horseshoe Club: This was formerly known as the Eldorado Club Downtown. It was the coveted site for the annual world series of poker.
- 1954 – The Showboat shifted to a new area and featured round the clock bingo and a bowling alley. It was also the first joint to introduce buffet meals.
- 1955 – The Cote d’Azur themed Riviera broke the ranch style mode and became the ninth big hotel on the strip. This Hotel was also the strip’s first high-rise.
- 1958 – Showbiz got a new meaning when Stardust (a 1065-rooms hotel) imported the Lido De Paris show from France. This show is amongst the longest running shows to play in Las Vegas.
Venues were competing for glamor, the competition was tough and headliners were paid huge amounts for their performances. Frank Sinatra and Wayne Newton are amongst the performers who debuted in Las Vegas. This invention of big-name strip entertainment led to the demise of glamorous nightclubs as the salary paid to these performers was not in the reach of nightclub owners.
Businessmen were looking for new ways to get their share of tourist money which led them to bring sporting events such as the PGA tournament to Vegas. This was also the decade when people started associating Vegas with weddings which was largely due to famous celebrity weddings such as Joan Crawford and Alfred Steele, Carol Channing and Charles Lowe and Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.
However, everything was not peaches and cream during this decade. This was the time when the government was developing its atomic bomb program. There was a test almost every month in an area about 65 miles from Vegas. Ironically this event also attracted a lot of tourists.
Vegas in the 60s: Hughes to the Rescue
Things slowed down a little in the 1960s. The lull in the construction sector was broken after 9 years with the construction of the Aladdin in 1966. Unfortunately, this was also the decade when the hotel that started it all, the El Rancho, was burned down. The city’s name was disdained due to its connection with the mob. Out of the 11 casinos in Vegas, 10 were thought to have been financed with mob money.
If it wasn’t for Howard Hughes and his buying spree which amounted to $300 million, Las Vegas would not be what it is. Hughes gave credibility and respect to the city in a time of scandals and smear campaigns.
Later on, Vegas made its first attempt to develop itself as a family-vacation destination with the opening of Circus Circus in 1968. A year later Elvis made a comeback, 13 years after his first unsuccessful attempt. This time the artist was able to find crowds that adored him. He became one of the biggest performers of Las Vegas, in fact, he became a legend. Live shows also started taking a new turn when the Thunderbird Hotel presented Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song. Others followed suit – the Riviera introduced Bye, Bye Birdie while Caesars’ Palace came into the mix with Mae and The Odd couple.
Vegas in the 70s: Merv Griffin and White Tigers
The decade started well with the construction of the World’s largest casino at that time. This casino was built in the year 1971 in The Union Plaza Hotel. Also, in 1971, Merv Griffin came up with the idea of using Las Vegas headliners in his show. This was free and powerful advertising that made Las Vegas a household name.
What’s Vegas without some magic? In 1973, Illusionists Sigfried and Roy started their famous white tigers and lions shows. These shows were a huge success and placed these 2 gentlemen in the category of Legends of Las Vegas. This was also a bad time for Vegas as it was hit by a flash flood that led to damages amounting to more than $1 million. On top of that another American city, Atlantic City, legalized gambling which distracted tourists away from Las Vegas.
Vegas in the 80s: A Bigger Airport and Steve Wynn The city recovered quickly after being struck by the two disasters in the late 70s and business was better than ever. McCarran Airport embarked on a 20 year expansion program running into the hundreds of millions.
Steve Wynn changed the city forever by building speculator waterfalls and volcanoes at his hotel, The Mirage. He also gave tons of money to illusionists Siegfried and Roy to create the best shows that Las Vegas had ever seen.
Vegas in the 90s: It’s a Family-Vacation Destination
The 90s was a good time to be in Vegas as a kid because during this period the aim of the majority of businessmen was to promote the city as a family-vacation destination. New hotels were being built on the strip with a view of promoting this very idea. For instance, the MGM Grand featured a full theme park. This period was the beginning of an era where mega hotels would be built, destroyed and re-built in ever increasing numbers.
In the year 1995, the “World’s First Rock ‘n’ Roll” hotel was created by Peter Morton, the co-founder of Hard Rock cafe. A year later the French-Riviera themed Monte Carlo and Stratosphere Casino Hotel and Tower came into existence. All this was negligible and menial compared to what was about to happen in 1998-99 when Vegas realized that it cannot sell itself as a family-vacation destination. This was the time when a number of new hotels, including the famous Bellagio, were built.
Five years later Las Vegas would have completely re-positioned itself as a “luxury resort.” Far from the “family-vacation destination” image that it was trying to build. However, the game still remains the same – outdo the other by building something more lavish and extravagant. In this quest a number of hotels and casinos have been built, destroyed and re-built which means that the operations and construction costs are very high. As a result, accommodation expenses form a significant part of the bill for tourists staying at Las Vegas. If you want to reduce this bill and spend more money on entertainment then a good approach can be to go for timeshares in Las Vegas [http://www.should-i-buyatimeshare.com/timeshares-in-las-vegas.html].