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Las Vegas, Nevada Vacation and Travel Information

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First settled in 1854 by Mormon farmers (who abandoned it in 1857), Las Vegas' Spanish name means "The Fertile Valleys" because of the artesian springs found in the lower areas of the land. It was a water stop in the late 1800's for wagon trains, and later for railroads between Los Angeles and Albuqueque. It was founded in 1905, and officially incorporate in 1911. Gambling was legalized in 1931, however, the city began its intitial climb to fame in 1941, when gangsters Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel and Meyer Lansky began financing early development. Las Vegas celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2005.

Las Vegas City Info

  • Largest City in Nevada
  • Land Area: 50 square miles
  • Parks (local and national): Nearby: Flamingo Hilton Wildlife Habitat, Bellagio Conservatory/Botanical Gardens, Floyd Lamb State Park, Red Rock Canyon, Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, Hoover Dam, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Valley of the Fire State Park National: Grand Canyon (300 miles), Death Valley (150 miles), and Zion National Park (150 miles)
  • Number of radio stations: 30 FM, 12 AM
  • Number of television stations: 1 (KCLV)
  • Number of newspapers: 5 (Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas Sun, Las Vegas Business Press, Las Vegas Weekly, and Gaming Today).
  • Elevation: 2,030 feet
  • Transportation: Las Vegas McCarren International Airport, Robert N. Broadbent Monorail, 965 cabs, 325 limousines, 16 bus/charter firms, CAT public transportation with 31 routes

You can also find general information about Las Vegas at:

VacationsMadeEasy.com when you put Las Vegas in the destination bar

Las Vegas Weather and Climate:

  • Average daily temperature — 66 ° F
  • Average annual rainfall — 4.1"

Distances to other Metropolitan Areas from Las Vegas (in miles):

  • Los Angeles - 250
  • Miami - 2,550
  • Minneapolis - 1,650
  • New Orleans - 1,750
  • New York - 2,550
  • Orlando - 2,350
  • Philadelphia - 2,500
  • Phoenix - 300
  • Pittsburgh - 2,200
  • Salt Lake City - 400
  • San Diego - 350
  • San Francisco - 550
  • Santa Fe - 600
  • Seattle - 1,200
  • St. Louis - 1,600
  • Washington, DC - 2,400

Las Vegas Safety Phone # and Major Hospitals:

  • Police/Fire/Ambulance: 911
  • Desert Springs Hospital (2075 E. Flamingo Rd., 702-733-8800)
  • University Medical Center (1800 W. Charleston Blvd......, 702-383-2000)
  • Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center (3186 Maryland Pkwy., 702-731-8080)

Las Vegas Top Tourism Draws and Seasons:

  • The Strip
  • Fremont Street Experience
  • Stratosphere Tower
  • Siegfried & Roy Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat
  • Magical Forest
  • Haunted Vegas Tour & Show
  • Casinos
  • Wedding Chapels
  • Hoover Dam/Lake Mead
  • Liberace Museum
  • M&M's World
  • Elvis-a-Rama Museum
  • Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum
  • Wynn Collection of Fine Art
  • Guggenheim & Hermitage Museum
  • World of Coca-Cola
  • Magic and Movie Hall of Fame
  • NASCAR/NEXTEL Cup (March)
  • World Series of Poker (April)
  • Las Vegas Centennial Celebration (May)
  • CineVegas International Film Festival (June)
  • Oktoberfest (September)
  • International Mariachi Festival (September)
  • Invensys Classic Golf Tournament (October)
  • National Finals Rodeo (December)
  • Las Vegas Bowl Week (December)
  • Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Football Championship (December)
  • New Year's Eve (December)

Las Vegas Major Shopping Areas:

  • Caesar's Place Forum Shops
  • Venetian Resort's Grand Canal Shops
  • The Fashion Show Mall
  • The Boulevard Mall
  • The Meadows Mall
  • The Galleria at Sunset Mall
  • Showcase Mall
  • Neonoplis
  • Chinatown Plaza
  • Las Vegas Outlet Center
  • Las Vegas Premium Outlets
  • Fashion Outlets at Las Vegas
  • Belz Factory Outlet
  • Bellagio Fine Art Gallery
  • Desert Passage Shops

Las Vegas Major Dining Areas:

  • Buffets at most major hotels and casinos both on/off the strip
  • Kahunaville (Treasure Island)
  • ESPN Zone (New York, New York)
  • Bahama Breeze (Hughes Center)
  • Crazy Armadillo Tex-Mex Grille & Osyter Bar (Stratosphere)
  • Oilo (MGM Grand)
  • NASCAR Cafe (Sahara Hotel)
  • Hard Rock Cafe
  • Rainforest Cafe (MGM Grand)
  • Harley-Davidson Cafe
  • Restaurant Row (Flamingo/Paradise): Ferraro's Las Vegas, Lawry's The Prime Rib, McCormick and Schmick's, Morton's of Chicago, Ruth's Chris Steak House East, Yolie's Brazilian Steakhouse
  • The Strip "Stand Alone" Restaurants: Alan Albert's Steakhouse, Alberto's Mexican Food, Battista's Hole in the Wall, Cafe Ba Ba Reeba, Cili - A Wolfgang Puck Experience Fine Dining, Golden Steer Steakhouse, Lobster House, Pamplemousse, Rosewood Grille, Smith and Wollensky Steakhouse.
  • Northwest Area (Summerlin): Buca Di Beppo West, Ferraro's Summerlin, Steiner's, Via Veneto.
  • Southeast and Green Valley: Andiamo, Blue Wave Seafood, Bootlegger Ristorante, Buca Di Beppo East, Cafe Heidelberg, Gandhi, Hofbrauhaus, Inka, La Scala Ristorante Italiano, Marrakech Moroccan, Piero's, Renata's, Sergio's Italian Gardens Ristorante, Trumpets Restaurant.

Las Vegas Famous Landmarks & Historic Places:

  • Hoover Dam & Lake Mead National Recreational Area
  • Fremont Street Experience
  • Paris/Las Vegas Eiffel Tower
  • Bellagio Fountains
  • Stratosphere Hotel/Casino
  • Old Las Vegas Morman Fort
  • A Special Memory Wedding Chapel
  • Candlelight Wedding Chapel
  • Little Church of the West

Las Vegas Famous Natives and Residents:

  • Howard Hughes
  • Bugsy Siegal (Gangster)
  • Liberace (Entertainer)
  • Wayne Newton (Musician)
  • Siegfried and Roy (Magicians)
  • Andre Agassi (Tennis Player)
  • Oscar B. Goodman (Former Mayor and lawyer to "The Mob")
  • Steve Wynn (Entrepreneur and one of the "First 100" people who had an impact on a major city)
  • Randall Cunningham (NFL Football Player)
  • Larry Johnson (NBA Basketball Player)
  • Greg Maddux (Former Atlanta Braves Baseball Player)

Notable Moments in Las Vegas History:

  • 1829 — Discovered by Spanish explorers.
  • 1855 — First settlement by Mormons in Las Vegas.
  • 1905 — Town of Las Vegas established by auctioning of land.
  • 1911 — The City of Las Vegas is incorporated.
  • 1926 — First commercial airline flight, Western Airlines.
  • 1931 — Gambling legalized in Nevada.
  • 1935 — Hoover Dam dedicated by President Franklin Roosevelt.
  • 1941 — El Rancho Vegas opens on the Strip. El Cortez Hotel opens in downtown Las Vegas.
  • 1942 — Last Frontier Hotel opens. (Later called New Frontier and Frontier.)
  • 1946 — Bugsy Siegel opens Flamingo Hotel. State levies first gaming taxes.
  • 1966 — Howard Hughes arrives to live at Desert Inn.
  • 1975 — Nevada gaming revenues first crack $1 billion mark.
  • 1985 — First National Finals Rodeo held in Las Vegas.
  • 1989 — Mirage opens November 22, with 3,039 rooms.
  • 1990 — Excalibur opens June 19, to date the world's largest resort hotel with 4,032 rooms.
  • 1993 — Money won by Nevada casinos tops the $6 billion mark for the first time.
  • 1993 — Dunes Hotel imploded October 27.
  • 1993 — Grand Slam Canyon Adventuredome opens August 23.
  • 1993 — Luxor Hotel opens October 15 with 2,526 rooms.
  • 1993 — Treasure Island Hotel opens October 27 with 2,900 rooms.
  • 1993 — MGM Grand Hotel and Theme Park opens December 18, with 5,005 rooms and a 171,500- square-foot casino.
  • 1994 — Four skywalks are built over the intersection of Tropicana Boulevard and the Las Vegas Strip.
  • 1994 — The Fiesta, the first hotel-casino in North Las Vegas, opens with 100 rooms.
  • 1995 — The first Hard Rock Hotel opens March 10.
  • 1995 — $25 million monorail begins running between MGM Grand and Bally's hotel-casinos on June 14.
  • 1995 — December 13 opening of the $70 million Fremont Street Experience.
  • 1995 — Landmark Hotel imploded November 7.
  • 1996 — Wayne Newton celebrates 25,000th Las Vegas performance. Siegfried and Roy celebrate 15,000th Las Vegas performance.
  • 1996 — Stratosphere Tower, the tallest free-standing observation tower in the U.S. and the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River, opens April 30.
  • 1996 — Monte Carlo, a joint venture between Circus Circus Enterprises Inc. and Mirage Resorts Inc. opens June 21.
  • 1996 — $72 million, 1,100-acre Las Vegas Motor Speedway with tracks for drag, stock car and formula car races opens in September.
  • 1996 — The Sands Hotel, after 44 years of continuous operation, imploded November 26.
  • 1997 — New York-New York Hotel Casino opens on the Las Vegas Strip January 3.
  • 1997 — The U.S. Air Force celebrates its 50th anniversary in an unequaled display of military aviation might attended by 80 foreign, high-ranking NATO and Pacific Air command officials, and 300,000 spectators.
  • 1997 — Coca Cola Co. opens its World of Coca Cola' store in the Showcase Mall marked by a 100-foot-tall glass Coca Cola bottle.
  • 1997 — The Forum Shops at Caesars on August 29 opened 35 new shops, stores and restaurants in a 276,000-square-foot expansion.
  • 1997 — The Desert Inn Hotel Casino completes $200 million renovation and expansion.
  • 1997 — Harley Davidson Cafe opens on the Las Vegas Strip, continuing the theme restaurant proliferation.
  • 1997 — Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino opens Masquerade Village and new 41-story, 1,025-room tower giving the resort a total of 2,556 suites.
  • 1998 — "Star Trek: The Experience" opens January 4 at the Las Vegas Hilton.
  • 1998 — The Aladdin Hotel is imploded on April 27.
  • 1998 — Bellagio, billed as the most expensive hotel in the world ($1.7 billion) opens October 15 on the Las Vegas Strip and initiates a policy barring persons under 18 years of age who are not registered guests of the hotel.
  • 1998 — A 66-year-old Las Vegas resident hits a $27.58 million progressive Megabucks jackpot November 15 at the Palace Station Hotel Casino.
  • 1998 — Annual gross gaming revenue in Nevada hits the $8.1 billion mark.
  • 1998 — Annual number of visitors to Las Vegas totals 30.6 million people.
  • 1999 — Mandalay Bay Resort opens March 2 with 3,300 rooms.
  • 1999 — Four Seasons Hotel opens March 2 with 424 rooms.
  • 1999 — Phase I of the Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino opens May 3 with 3,036 suites.
  • 1999 — The Las Vegas Convention Center celebrates its 40th birthday.
  • 1999 — Paris Las Vegas Casino Resort opens September 1.
  • 1999 — Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Tina Turner, Wayne Newton and Don Rickles are among the many entertainers booked by Las Vegas resorts to ring in the new century.
  • 2002 — NEONOPOLIS entertainment center opens downtown at the Fremont Street Experience.
  • 2003 — The $105 million '40s themed property, The Cannery, opens its doors.
  • 2003 — Las Vegas Premium Outlets open in downtown Las Vegas.
  • 2003 — McCarran International Airport introduces new electronic ticketing kiosk system.
  • 2003 — Mandalay Bay opens new 1,120-suite tower, THEhotel.
  • 2004 — Park Place Entertainment Corp. officially changes its name to Caesars Entertainment.
  • 2004 — Harrah's Entertainment purchases Binion's Horseshoe.
  • 2004 — Boyd Gaming Corporation merges with Coast Resorts.
  • 2004 — Mergers abound in Las Vegas. MGM MIRAGE announces plans to purchase the Mandalay Resort Group. One month later, Harrah's Entertainment announces its plans to purchase Caesars Entertainment.
  • 2004 — The Strip dims its lights for President Ronald Reagan's passing. Other dignitaries to receive such a remembrance upon their passing have included President John F. Kennedy; Rat Pack members Sammy Davis, Jr., Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin; and George Burns.
  • 2004 — The Las Vegas Monorail, a $654 million mass transit system, opens to the public.
  • 2005 — Las Vegas celebrates is Centennial year throughout 2005.
  • 2005 — Wynn Las Vegas, the destination's newest mega-resort, is scheduled open April 28, 2005.

Interesting facts about Las Vegas:

  • Las Vegas is one of the largest cities in the United States to have no major-league level professional sports teams.
  • Las Vegas is sometimes called "Sin City" due to the popularity of legalized gambling, availability of alcoholic beverages any time of the day and night (like all of Nevada), various forms and degrees of adult entertainment, and legalized prostitution in nearby counties. However, it has more churches per capita than any other city in America.
  • Illusionists Siegfried & Roy have sawed a woman in half more times than anyone else.
  • Visitors on a trail ride once brought a horse into the crowded casino of the Thunderbird Hotel. They put a pair of dice between his lips at the craps table and he threw a natural 7.
  • In January, a Las Vegas visitor can ski the snowy slopes of Mount Charleston and water-ski on Lake Mead in the same day.
  • Former president Ronald Reagan performed at the Last Frontier in 1954. Those who saw him said he was a pretty good song-and-dance man.
  • Bandleader Xavier Cugat and Spanish bombshell singer Charo were the first couple to exchange vows at Caesars Palace, 2 days after its 1966 opening.
  • Las Vegas mega resorts are common today, but the first major resort built on the Las Vegas Strip was the El Rancho in 1947
  • The Riviera was the first high-rise hotel on the Las Vegas Strip
  • Nevada has more mountain ranges than any other state. The highest point is at the 13,145 foot top of Boundary Peak.
  • The famous Las Vegas Strip is not located in the city of Las Vegas.
  • The strip actually comes under the jurisdiction of Clark County.
  • All-time single concert box-office record occurred in Las Vegas. The show took place on New Years Eve 1999 for the Barbra Streisand concert production, at the MGM Grand, it grossed $14,694,750.00 from 12,477 tickets sold.
  • There is one operating slot machine in Las Vegas for every 8 residents.
  • The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, founded in 1911, is the 4th largest Chamber in the United States.
  • Seventeen of the top twenty hotels in the world are located in Las Vegas.
  • On the average, approximately 230 marriage licenses are issued per day in Las Vegas
  • The largest single public works project in the history of the United States was the Hoover Dam, located about 40 miles from Las Vegas. Hoover Dam contains 3.25+ million cubic yards of concrete.
  • The beginning of the Las Vegas Strip could be contributed to the Pair-O-Dice Club, in 1931, it was the first casino to open on Highway 91.
  • In 1959 marked the beginning of the longest running show in Las Vegas, Follies Bergere at the Tropicana Hotel.
  • New York-New York, the hotel-casino, has been the only Strip destination casino without a marquee of its own.

Las Vegas Population and Demographics:

  • City of Las Vegas Population — 535,395
  • White — 374,776 (70%)
  • Black — 53,540 (10%)
  • Asian — 26,770 (5%)
  • Native American — 5,353 (1%)
  • Other race, or two or more races — 74,955 (14%)
  • Population 18 and under — 26%
  • 65 and over — 11%
  • Median age — 34 years
  • Average household size — 3.2
  • Median family income - $44,069

Las Vegas Colleges and Universities:

  • Community College of Southern Nevada
  • Las Vegas College
  • Nevada Institute of Technology
  • University of Nevada — Las Vegas (UNLV)

Las Vegas Economy & Business — Notable Employers and Industries:

  • Casino hotels account for 7 of the city's top 10 employers and 30 of the city's top 50 employers.
  • Other major industries in Las Vegas — all of which are associated with entertainment — include the retail industry, restaurants and construction.

Las Vegas Hispanic Community Media and Churches:

  • Radio Stations: AM - KLSQ, KDOX, KRLV; FM — KISF, KQMR, KRRN
  • Television: Univision, Telemundo
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