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Las Vegas: Entertainment capital of the world

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Native Americans inhabited Las Vegas for hundreds of years before the first westerners arrived. The new arrivals were believed to be a trading party led by Antonio Armijo in 1829. Other explorers followed. By the 1830s, the Old Spanish Trail led through the area was dubbed Las Vegas, or the meadows. The name Las Vegas derived from the abundant water found in the valley - a welcome relief for many early traders.

Fast forward to the ‘30s. Abandoned by the railroad and feeling the effects of the Great Depression, the future of the town was uncertain. However, three events would soon change the face of Las Vegas. Gambling became legal in Nevada in 1931, and the first legal casino, called the Northern Club, was opened. At the same time, divorce laws were liberalized, making a quickie divorce attainable after only six weeks of residency. These events combined with construction of Boulder Dam - later named Hoover Dam - brought an influx of Federal dollars and construction workers into the fledgling city.

After World War II, many new hotels and casinos were built, mostly on the Strip. These resort properties offered unmatched entertainment and accommodations. Tourism became the lifeblood of the community. In the 1960s, another transition occurred when an act of the Nevada Legislature allowed publicly traded corporations to obtain gambling licenses. Gambling developed into gaming and evolved into a legitimate business opportunity. Corporate investment in the hotel/casino industry kept the economy strong throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

Today, Las Vegas is known as the “entertainment capital of the world” thanks to its impressive roster of world-class shows, spas, resorts, dining, golf, shopping and much more.

More than 80 percent of Las Vegas’ visitors are repeat visitors. The reasons behind this statistic are simple: visitors know the next time they return to the destination, there will be something to new to see and experience – whether it is a Tony-award-winning show, new restaurant helmed by a celebrity chef or an innovative new resort that sets the bar for the rest of the hospitality industry.

If you would like to participate in the “Destination of the Month” column please contact: Mr Michael Verikios [email protected]

 

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