For so many years, Las Vegas is highly-renowned for its touristic attractiveness due to the spectacular hotels, resorts, casinos and other entertainment sites that are located there. In order to reach the fame that it has in our days, it had to start from the bottom, obviously; fame isn’t acquired automatically. Thus, knowing how Las Vegas turned into what it is in our days taking a look at its history and the legal issues that influenced its rapid growth is very interesting.
The history of Las Vegas Strip
First of all, most people relate “Las Vegas” with the bright, colorful streets filled with lights and luxurious hotels and casinos. The truth is that this isn’t actually Las Vegas city; it is really an area called “Las Vegas Strip” that embraces part of Paradise and Winchester, Nevada, that limits with Las Vegas. So this article will give details about Las Vegas Strip history, not Las Vegas city specifically.
The Las Vegas Strip started with Pair-O-Dice, the first casino of the Strip (how the Las Vegas Strip is colloquially called). Pair-O-Dice was opened in 1931. Incredibly, the entire area would grow due to the great success that this casino had. On another hand, the first hotel of the area was the El Rancho Vegas, which had 63 rooms. This hotel was inaugurated 10 years after the casino, in April 1941.
As we mentioned previously, due to the success of the Pair-O-Dice casino, it was rebuilt and renamed further on as Last Frontier Hotel & Casino. After this construction, other projects started to appear, like the Flamingo Hotel & Casino, which was opened in 1946, and the Desert Inn, inaugurated in 1950. Due to the success that the casinos and hotels were obtaining in the area, more and more hotels were built progressively. One interesting facts about the Las Vegas Strip’s growth is that many organized crime members participated in the construction of many of the zone’s first hotels and casinos. For example, Bugsy Siegel was the responsible of building and opening the Flamingo and Desert Inn.
Perhaps the most attractive characteristic of the Strip for tourists is the legalization of gambling. All the hotels and casinos of the area have taken advantage of the legal gambling to attract most amounts of visitors as possible.
Noticeably, the area’s name was given by the Los Angeles police officer called Guy McAfee, inspired on his hometown, called Sunset Strip.
Some of the Strip’s landmarks
The Strip has a great number of important sites that have catapulted its fame; in other words, the Strip’s fame is thanks to these sites, considered landmarks. Considering the importance that the different landmarks have in the Las Vegas Strip area, which are the Las Vegas Strip’s landmarks? Let’s see some of them in the following list:
- Caesars Palace. This is definitely one of the Strip’s landmarks, because of the importance it had in its history and the fame it still enjoys of. It is ranked by the AAA as a four-diamond hotel, and it is one of the most prestigious hotel & casinos in the Strip. Its whole theme is based on the Roman Empire; it even has a large number of statues and columns that resemble those of the Roman Empire. These sculptures include a 20-foot high Julius Caesar statue in the place’s entrance. It has a huge convention center and an enormous casino, which disposes of 000 square feet of gaming space.
- MGM Grand Las Vegas. Undoubtedly, this site has to be considered a Las Vegas Strip Landmark. By the time it was opened, in1993, it was the largest hotel complex in the world. Nowadays, it is the third-largest hotel complex, with 5.124 rooms. Its casino is even larger than the Caesars Palace’s casino, having 171.500 square feet of gaming area. Plus, the impressive swimming pools, waterfalls and rivers that surround the place make it one-of-a-kind.
- Stratosphere Tower, Hotel & Casino. The hotel complex that owns the tallest structure of Las Vegas (and the tallest observation tower in America) couldn’t pass by unnoticed. It holds the world’s second-highest thrill ride, the Big Shot, which rises 081 feet in the air. Besides, the rotating restaurant and other thrill rides make this hotel complex a place filled with amusement; and, of course, is considered a landmark.