Las Vegas Travel Guide

Understand

Compared with other cities in the western US, Las Vegas is a relatively recent arrival. It was founded in 1905, and for many years it was merely a small settlement in the middle of the desert. However, several pivotal events would come together in less than twenty years that would help Las Vegas grow into what it is today:

The construction of Hoover Dam in 1928 brought thousands of workers to the area. What is now known as Boulder City was established for the workers.
Nevada legalized gambling in 1931, and downtown Las Vegas became an entertainment center for the dam workers, with casinos and speakeasies. Business became so good that it surpassed Reno as the gambling capital of the world in less than 10 years.
In 1941, the luxurious El Rancho Vegas resort opened on what would later become the Las Vegas Strip. Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel later opened the Flamingo Hotel in 1946, starting the building boom and one-upmanship that would still continue today and creating a precedent of organized crime involvement in Nevada's gambling industry. By the 1990s, federal regulations and enforcement, and investments by established corporations would virtually wipe out any mob involvement.

The city is laid out as follows: Main Street as well as the numbered streets run north-south, starting with Main Street in the west. The bus station is on Main Street. Downtown has several hotel-casinos, as well as the "Fremont Street Experience", a pedestrian mall lined with casinos, near the western end of Fremont Street. A couple miles south of downtown starts the "Strip" (Las Vegas Boulevard South), a north-south street lined with large casino-hotels, shopping malls, and other attractions. The northern end of the Strip is marked by the tall Stratosphere tower. Frequent city buses run up and down the Strip and connect the Strip to downtown. The Las Vegas monorail and the convention center sit just east of the Strip, and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) is located slightly more east of the Strip on Maryland Parkway. The airport is at the southern end of the Strip.


source: Wikivoyage

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