Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada
City of Las Vegas
Downtown Las Vegas
Las Vegas Springs Preserve
Stratosphere Tower
World Market Center
Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health
Clark County Government Center
Flag of Las Vegas, Nevada
Official seal of Las Vegas, Nevada
Etymology: Spanish: Las vegas (The meadows)
Nickname(s): "Vegas",[1] "Sin City", "City of Lights", "The Gambling Capital of the World",[2] "The Entertainment Capital of the World", "Capital of Second Chances",[3] "The Marriage Capital of the World", "The Silver City", "America's Playground"
Location of the city of Las Vegas within Clark County, Nevada
Location of the city of Las Vegas within Clark County, Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada is located in the US
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada
Location in the contiguous United States
Coordinates: 36°10′30″N 115°08′11″W / 36°10′30″N 115°08′11″W / 36.17500; -115.13639
CountryUnited States
FoundedMay 15, 1905
IncorporatedMarch 16, 1911
 • TypeCouncil–manager
 • MayorCarolyn Goodman (I)
 • Mayor Pro TemSteve Ross (D)
 • City managerBetsy Fretwell
 • City135.8 sq mi (352 km2)
 • Land135.8 sq mi (352 km2)
 • Water0.05 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation2,001 ft (610 m)
Population (2010)[4]
 • City583,756
 • Estimate (2017)[5]648,224
 • Density4,300/sq mi (1,700/km2)
 • Urban2,211,315
 • Metro2,248,390
 • CSA2,362,015 (US: 26th)
Demonym(s)Las Vegan
Time zonePST (UTC−8)
 • Summer (DST)PDT (UTC−7)
Area code(s)702 & 725
FIPS code32-40000
GNIS feature ID0847388
Major airportLAS
Interstate HighwaysI-15, I-515
Other major highwaysUS 93, US 95, NV 159, NV 599, NV 604, CC 215

Las Vegas (s/,[6] Spanish for "The Meadows"; Spanish: [laz ˈβeɣas]), officially the City of Las Vegas and often known simply as Vegas, is the 28th-most populated city in the United States, the most populated city in the state of Nevada, and the county seat of Clark County. The city anchors the Las Vegas Valley metropolitan area and is the largest city within the greater Mojave Desert.[7] Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city, known primarily for its gambling, shopping, fine dining, entertainment, and nightlife. The Las Vegas Valley as a whole serves as the leading financial, commercial, and cultural center for Nevada.

The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and is famous for its mega casino–hotels and associated activities. It is a top three destination in the United States for business conventions and a global leader in the hospitality industry, claiming more AAA Five Diamond hotels than any other city in the world.[8][9][10] Today, Las Vegas annually ranks as one of the world's most visited tourist destinations.[11][12] The city's tolerance for numerous forms of adult entertainment earned it the title of Sin City, and has made Las Vegas a popular setting for literature, films, television programs, and music videos.

Las Vegas was settled in 1905 and officially incorporated in 1911. At the close of the 20th century, it was the most populated American city founded within that century (a similar distinction earned by Chicago in the 1800s). Population growth has accelerated since the 1960s, and between 1990 and 2000 the population nearly doubled, increasing by 85.2%. Rapid growth has continued into the 21st century, and according to a 2017 estimate, the population is 648,224[13] with a regional population of 2,248,390.[4]

"Las Vegas" is often used to describe areas beyond official city limits—especially the areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip, which is actually located within the unincorporated communities of Paradise, Winchester, and Enterprise.[14][15]


Southern Paiutes at Moapa wearing traditional Paiute basket hats with Paiute cradleboard and rabbit robe
Fremont Street in the late 1960s
This view of downtown Las Vegas shows a mushroom cloud in the background. Scenes such as this were typical during the 1950s. From 1951 to 1962 the government conducted 100 atmospheric tests at the nearby Nevada Test Site.[16]

Perhaps the earliest visitors to the Las Vegas area were nomadic Paleo-Indians, who traveled there 10,000 years ago, leaving behind petroglyphs. Anasazi and Paiute tribes followed at least 2,000 years ago.

A young Mexican scout named Rafael Rivera is credited as the first non-Native American to encounter the valley, in 1829.[17][18][19][20] Trader Antonio Armijo led a 60-man party along the Spanish Trail to Los Angeles, California in 1829.[21][22] The area was named Las Vegas, which is Spanish for "the meadows," as it featured abundant wild grasses, as well as the desert spring waters needed by westward travelers.[23] The year 1844 marked the arrival of John C. Frémont, whose writings helped lure pioneers to the area. Downtown Las Vegas's Fremont Street is named after him.

Eleven years later members of the LDS Church chose Las Vegas as the site to build a fort halfway between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, where they would travel to gather supplies. The fort was abandoned several years afterward. The remainder of this Old Mormon Fort can still be seen at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Washington Avenue.

Las Vegas was founded as a city in 1905, when 110 acres (45 ha) of land adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks were auctioned in what would become the downtown area. In 1911, Las Vegas was incorporated as a city.[24]

1931 was a pivotal year for Las Vegas. At that time, Nevada legalized casino gambling and reduced residency requirements for divorce to six weeks. This year also witnessed the beginning of construction on nearby Hoover Dam. The influx of construction workers and their families helped Las Vegas avoid economic calamity during the Great Depression. The construction work was completed in 1935.

In 1941, the Las Vegas Army Air Corps Gunnery School was established. Currently known as Nellis Air Force Base, it is home to the aerobatic team called the Thunderbirds.

Following World War II, lavishly decorated hotels, gambling casinos, and big-name entertainment became synonymous with Las Vegas.

In the 1950s the Moulin Rouge opened and became the first racially integrated casino-hotel in Las Vegas.

In 1951, nuclear weapons testing began at the Nevada Test Site, 65 miles (105 km) northwest of Las Vegas. City residents and visitors were able to witness the mushroom clouds (and were exposed to the fallout) until 1963, when the limited Test Ban Treaty required that nuclear tests be moved underground.[25][26]

The iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign, which was never located within municipal limits, was created in 1959 by Betty Willis.[27]

During the 1960s, corporations and business powerhouses such as Howard Hughes were building and buying hotel-casino properties. Gambling was referred to as "gaming" which transitioned into legitimate business.

The year 1995 marked the opening of the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas's downtown area. This canopied five-block area features 12.5 million LED lights and 550,000 watts of sound from dusk until midnight during shows held on the top of each hour.

Due to the realization of many revitalization efforts, 2012 was dubbed "The Year of Downtown." Hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of projects made their debut at this time. They included The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and DISCOVERY Children's Museum, Mob Museum, Neon Museum, a new City Hall complex and renovations for a new corporate headquarters in the old City Hall building.[23][28]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Las Vegas
አማርኛ: ላስ ቬጋስ
العربية: لاس فيغاس
aragonés: Las Vegas
asturianu: Las Vegas
azərbaycanca: Las-Veqas
تۆرکجه: لاس‌وقاس
bamanankan: Las Vegas
বাংলা: লাস ভেগাস
Bân-lâm-gú: Las Vegas
беларуская: Лас-Вегас
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Лас-Вэгас
български: Лас Вегас
bosanski: Las Vegas
brezhoneg: Las Vegas
català: Las Vegas
Cebuano: Las Vegas
čeština: Las Vegas
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Las Vegas
corsu: Las Vegas
Cymraeg: Las Vegas
dansk: Las Vegas
Deutsch: Las Vegas
Diné bizaad: Naʼazhǫǫsh Hatsoh
eesti: Las Vegas
Ελληνικά: Λας Βέγκας
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Las Vegas
español: Las Vegas
Esperanto: Lasvegaso
euskara: Las Vegas
فارسی: لاس وگاس
føroyskt: Las Vegas
français: Las Vegas
Frysk: Las Vegas
Gĩkũyũ: Las Vegas
ગુજરાતી: લાસ વેગાસ
Հայերեն: Լաս Վեգաս
हिन्दी: लास वेगास
Ilokano: Las Vegas
Bahasa Indonesia: Las Vegas, Nevada
interlingua: Las Vegas (Nevada)
Interlingue: Las Vegas
íslenska: Las Vegas
italiano: Las Vegas
עברית: לאס וגאס
Kapampangan: Las Vegas, Nevada
ქართული: ლას-ვეგასი
Kirundi: Las Vegas
Kreyòl ayisyen: Las Vegas, Nevada
kurdî: Las Vegas
Ladino: Las Vegas
latviešu: Lasvegasa
Lëtzebuergesch: Las Vegas
lietuvių: Las Vegasas
lingála: Las Vegas
Luganda: Las Vegas
lumbaart: Las Vegas
magyar: Las Vegas
मैथिली: लस भेगास
македонски: Лас Вегас
მარგალური: ლას-ვეგასი
Bahasa Melayu: Las Vegas, Nevada
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Las Vegas
မြန်မာဘာသာ: လပ်ဗီးဂပ်စ်မြို့
Dorerin Naoero: Las Vegas
Nederlands: Las Vegas (Nevada)
नेपाली: लस भेगस
日本語: ラスベガス
нохчийн: Лас-Вегас
norsk: Las Vegas
norsk nynorsk: Las Vegas
occitan: Las Vegas
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਲਾਸ ਵੇਗਸ
Papiamentu: Las Vegas
Piemontèis: Las Vegas
polski: Las Vegas
português: Las Vegas
Qaraqalpaqsha: Las Vegas
reo tahiti: Las Vegas
română: Las Vegas
Romani: Las Vegas
русский: Лас-Вегас
саха тыла: Лас Вегас
Sängö: Las Vegas
sardu: Las Vegas
Scots: Las Vegas
Sesotho: Las Vegas
shqip: Las Vegas
sicilianu: Las Vegas
Simple English: Las Vegas
slovenčina: Las Vegas
slovenščina: Las Vegas
ślůnski: Las Vegas
Soomaaliga: Las Vegas
Sranantongo: Las Vegas
српски / srpski: Лас Вегас
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Las Vegas, Nevada
suomi: Las Vegas
svenska: Las Vegas
тоҷикӣ: Лас Вегас
Türkçe: Las Vegas
українська: Лас-Вегас
vepsän kel’: Las Vegas
Tiếng Việt: Las Vegas, Nevada
Volapük: Las Vegas
Winaray: Las Vegas
ייִדיש: לאס וועגאס
Yorùbá: Las Vegas
Zeêuws: Las Vegas