Las Vegas


Las Vegas, Nevada

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Profile

Las Vegas (often abbreviated to "Vegas") is the most populous city in the state of Nevada, United States, the seat of Clark County, and an internationally known vacation, shopping, entertainment, and gambling destination. It was established in 1905 and officially became a city in 1911. It is the largest U.S. city founded in the 20th century.

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 4½ mi (7.2 km) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard is mostly outside the Las Vegas city limits, in the unincorporated towns of Paradise and Winchester.

The center of gambling in the United States, Las Vegas is marketed as The Entertainment Capital of the World, also commonly known as Sin City, due to the popularity of legalized gambling, availability of alcoholic beverages at any time (as is true throughout Nevada), and various forms and degrees of adult entertainment. The city's glamorous image has made it a popular setting for films and television programs.

Las Vegas started as a stopover on the pioneer trails to the west and became a popular railroad town in the early 1900s. It was a staging point for all the mines in the surrounding area, especially those around the town of Bullfrog, that shipped their goods out to the rest of the country. With the growth of the railroads, Las Vegas became less important, but the completion of the nearby Hoover Dam resulted in substantial growth in tourism, which, along with the legalization of gambling, led to the advent of the casino-hotels for which Las Vegas is famous.

The city owes almost all its current status and reputation to the American mafia. All of the original large casinos were managed or at least funded under mob figures Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky.

The constant stream of tourist dollars from the hotels and casinos was augmented by a new source of federal money. This money came from the establishment of what is now Nellis Air Force Base. The influx of military personnel and casino job-hunters helped start a land building boom which still goes on today.

Tourism

The major attractions in Las Vegas are the hotels. The most famous hotels line Las Vegas Boulevard South, also known as the Las Vegas Strip. Many of these hotels carry thousands of rooms and are featured on various themes. 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.

Some of the most notable casinos located downtown are on the Fremont Street Experience and include:

* Golden Nugget
* Four Queens
* Binion's Gambling Hall and Hotel
* Fremont Casino
* Plaza Hotel & Casino
* Las Vegas Club
* Fitzgeralds Las Vegas
* Golden Gate Hotel and Casino
* California Hotel and Casino

Sports

Sports in Las Vegas

Currently, Las Vegas is without any major-league level sports teams although the city's metropolitan population is as large or larger than current cities with professional sports teams such as Buffalo, New York; San Antonio; Pittsburgh; Portland, Oregon; Indianapolis; Milwaukee; and Green Bay, Wisconsin. The hurdle the city needs to overcome is professional leagues being concerned about legalized sports betting in the city and the competition for residents' entertainment budget. High profile one-time sporting events, though, have had success. For example the Las Vegas metropolitan area hosted the NBA 2007 All-Star Game. The NASCAR Sprint Cup series race in the area has drawn up to 165,000 fans. Neither of these events have taken place directly in Las Vegas city limits (although that is no different than most cities teams that play in suburban areas).

Economy

The primary drivers of the Las Vegas economy have been the confluence of tourism, gaming, and conventions which in turn feed the retail and dining industries. Several companies involved in the manufacture of electronic gaming machines, such as slot machines, are located in the Las Vegas area. In the 2000s retail and dining have become attractions of their own.

Tourism marketing and promotion are handled by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, a county wide agency. Its annual Visitors Survey provides detailed information on visitor numbers, spending patterns and resulting revenues

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.

Many 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.

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 currently underway. (Credit: Wikipedia).

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