History of Las Vegas
You may be at Las Vegas to attend a tradeshow and the purpose may be absolutely official. However, you can’t help but stop and stare at the unique desert metropolis. If it makes you wonder how it turned out to be a casino city, run through the timeline of the city. Here is a list of interesting events.
The discovery: The city was discovered in 700 A.D by Paiute tribe. But it became significant when a European named Rafael Rivera took a round up of the city for building a trade route between California and New Mexico. He was impressed with the springs and green grasses. He named it Las Vegas which can be translated as the meadows. Since then many settlements came and abandoned the city. Very few were successful in finding a happy living there. In fact, it is said that unhappy couples came to Las Vegas for a quick divorce.
First Casino: In 1905 the infrastructure of the city got better. Many railroads were built and this was a turning point in history. The city was officially named in 1911. The city soon became infected with crime and underworld activity. Lot of black money entered inside and it was channelised into casinos. Gambling was not legal in Nevada but Las Vegas had hidden venues to gamble. Gambling was accepted by Nevada in 1931 and Las Vegas naturally became the hub of all casino activity. Soon, prostitution entered the city. Girls tried to attract the casino players and construction workers who came to the city for work.
The Strip: 1941 the first El Rancho Vegas Resort was built. And that trend continued with more and more resorts being opened. The official Las Vegas highway turned into ‘The Strip’, the famous pavement where the best casinos and resorts still exist. Each resort was built around a theme – Egyptian, Parisien etc. The turning point yet again was the opening of Flamingo resort, hollywood style. It was funded by drug money and had luxury dripping from every corner. Soon, more and more luxury resorts flooded the city. Even white money investors started showing interest. Soon the city of springs became the city of casinos.
Tourists came in large numbers. The economy thrived on tourism. 8 million visitors every year came to witness the glamour and glitz. A small time in history – from 1951 to 1963 there was also military high point. Las Vegas was used as cold war facility.
Casino Era: Back to the casino era, Las Vegas once again was seen as an entertainment city. In 1966 even corporates showed interest in investing at Las Vegas. Howard Hughes was the first one to buy out the hotel he was staying in. Many more corporates followed suite. Steve Wynn built the Mirage, a mega resort with everything under its roof. The resorts became so popular, the old casinos saw a fall in visitors. The city decided to bomb the old casinos and make new resorts instead. The resorts had everything from shopping centres to casinos inside it. The city thrived on tourism with 40 million visitors every year. Tourists love the idea of experiencing luxury at throw-away prices. The casinos are extremely competitive and the tourists take advantage of the price wars. The city thus offers everything from luxury to thrills.
Did the history enthrall you? Discover more while you are there for tradeshows or any other business. You will see traces of all that is discussed here somewhere in the buildings, streets and resorts of the city. You can live history by doing deeper into what you see.
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