Las Vegas

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Las Vegas, Nevada
City of Las Vegas
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Etymology: Spanish: Las vegas (English: The meadows)
"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"
Clark County Nevada Incorporated Areas Las Vegas highlighted.svg
Location within Clark County
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Las Vegas
Location within the state of Nevada
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Las Vegas
Location within the United States
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Las Vegas
Location within North America
Coordinates: 36°10′30″N115°08′11″W / 36.17500°N 115.13639°W / 36.17500; -115.13639 Coordinates: 36°10′30″N115°08′11″W / 36.17500°N 115.13639°W / 36.17500; -115.13639
Country United States
State Nevada
County Clark
FoundedMay 15, 1905
IncorporatedMarch 16, 1911
  Type Council–manager
   Mayor Carolyn Goodman (I)
   City Council
   City manager Scott D. Adams
   City 135.8 sq mi (352 km2)
  Land135.8 sq mi (352 km2)
  Water0.05 sq mi (0.1 km2)
2,001 ft (610 m)
 (2010) [4]
   City 583,756
(2019) [5]
  Density4,300/sq mi (1,700/km2)
2,211,315 (US: 23rd)
2,227,053 (US: 28th)
2,462,015 (US: 26th)
Demonym(s) Las Vegan
Time zone UTC−8 (PST)
  Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
Area code(s) 702 & 725
FIPS code 32-40000
GNIS feature ID 847388
Major airport LAS
Interstate Highways I-15, I-515
Other major highways US 93, US 95, NV 159, NV 599, NV 604, CC 215

Las Vegas (Spanish for "The Meadows"), 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. [6] 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. [7] [8] [9] Today, Las Vegas annually ranks as one of the world's most visited tourist destinations. [10] [11] The city's tolerance for numerous forms of adult entertainment earned it the title of "Sin City", [12] 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 was earned by Chicago in the 19th century). 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 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the city had 651,319 residents in 2019, [13] with a metropolitan population of 2,227,053. [4]

As with most major metropolitan areas, the name of the primary city ("Las Vegas" in this case) is often used to describe areas beyond official city limits. In the case of Las Vegas, this especially applies to the areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip, which is actually located within the unincorporated communities of Paradise and Winchester. [14] [15]


Southern Paiutes at Moapa wearing traditional Paiute basket hats with Paiute cradleboard and rabbit robe Southern Paiutes.jpg
Southern Paiutes at Moapa wearing traditional Paiute basket hats with Paiute cradleboard and rabbit robe

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. [16] [17] [18] [19] Trader Antonio Armijo led a 60-man party along the Spanish Trail to Los Angeles, California in 1829. [20] [21] 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. [22] 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 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 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. [23]

Golden Nugget and Pioneer Club along Fremont Street in 1952 Fremont Street 1952.JPG
Golden Nugget and Pioneer Club along Fremont Street in 1952

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 late 1941, the Las Vegas Army Airfield Gunnery School was established. Now known as Nellis Air Force Base, it is home to the United States Air Force Thunderbirds aerobatic team. [24]

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

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. NNSA-NSO-787.jpg
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.

In 1951, nuclear weapons testing began at the Nevada Test Site, 65 miles (105 km) northwest of Las Vegas. During this time, the city was nicknamed the "Atomic City". Residents and visitors were able to witness the mushroom clouds (and were exposed to the fallout) until 1963, when the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty required that nuclear tests be moved underground. [26] [27]

In 1955, the Moulin Rouge Hotel opened and became the first racially integrated casino-hotel in Las Vegas.

The iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign, which has never been located within municipal limits, was created in 1959 by Betty Willis. [28]

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Fremont Street in the late 1960s

During the 1960s, corporations and business tycoons such as Howard Hughes were building and buying hotel-casino properties. Gambling was referred to as "gaming", which transitioned it into a 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 at the top of each hour.

Due to the realization of many revitalization efforts, 2012 was dubbed "The Year of Downtown." Projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars made their debut at this time, including the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, the DISCOVERY Children's Museum, the Mob Museum, the Neon Museum, a new City Hall complex, and renovations for a new corporate headquarters in the old City Hall building. [22] [29]


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Astronaut photograph of Las Vegas at night
Downtown Las Vegas with Red Rock Canyon in the background. Las Vegas from Frenchman 3.jpg
Downtown Las Vegas with Red Rock Canyon in the background.

Las Vegas is situated within Clark County, in a basin on the floor of the Mojave Desert, [30] and is surrounded by mountain ranges on all sides. Much of the landscape is rocky and arid, with desert vegetation and wildlife. It can be subjected to torrential flash floods, although much has been done to mitigate the effects of flash floods through improved drainage systems. [31]

The peaks surrounding Las Vegas reach elevations of over 10,000 feet (3,000 m), and act as barriers to the strong flow of moisture from the surrounding area. The elevation is approximately 2,030 ft (620 m) above sea level. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 135.86 sq mi (351.9 km2), of which 135.81 sq mi (351.7 km2) is land and 0.05 sq mi (0.13 km2) (0.03%) is water.

After Alaska and California, Nevada is the third most seismically active state in the U.S. It has been estimated by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) that over the next 50 years, there is a 10–20% chance of a M6.0 or greater earthquake occurring within 50 km (31 mi) of Las Vegas. [32]

Within the city, there are many lawns, trees and other greenery. Due to water resource issues, there has been a movement to encourage xeriscapes. Another part of conservation efforts is scheduled watering days for residential landscaping. A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant in 2008 funded a program that analyzed and forecast growth and environmental impacts through the year 2019.


Desert scene at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in the Las Vegas area Majestic Mountain (3841029921).jpg
Desert scene at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in the Las Vegas area
Spring flowers at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in the Las Vegas area Spring Flowers in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.jpg
Spring flowers at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in the Las Vegas area
Las Vegas
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: [33]

Las Vegas has a subtropical hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification: BWh), typical of the Mojave Desert in which it lies. This climate is typified by long, very hot summers; warm transitional seasons; and short winters with mild days and cool nights. There is abundant sunshine throughout the year, with an average of 310 sunny days and bright sunshine during 86% of all daylight hours. [34] Rainfall is scarce, with an average of 4.2 in (110 mm) dispersed between roughly 26 to 27 total rainy days per year. [35] Las Vegas is among the sunniest, driest, and least humid locations in North America, [36] with exceptionally low dew points and humidity that sometimes remain below 10%.

The summer months of June through September are very hot, though moderated by extremely low humidity. July is the hottest month, with an average daytime high of 104.2 °F (40.1 °C). On average, 134 days per year reach or exceed 90 °F (32 °C), of which 74 days reach 100 °F (38 °C) and 7 days reach 110 °F (43 °C). During the peak intensity of summer, overnight lows frequently remain above 80 °F (27 °C), and occasionally above 85 °F (29 °C). [34] While most summer days are consistently hot, dry, and cloudless, the North American Monsoon sporadically interrupts this pattern and brings more cloud cover, thunderstorms, lightning, increased humidity, and brief spells of heavy rain. The window of opportunity for the monsoon to affect Las Vegas usually falls between July and August, although this is inconsistent and varies considerably in its impact from year to year. Summer in Las Vegas is marked by a significant diurnal variation; while less extreme than other parts of the state, nighttime lows in Las Vegas are often 30 °F (16.7 °C) or more lower than daytime highs. [37]

Las Vegas winters are short and generally very mild, with chilly (but rarely cold) daytime temperatures. Like all seasons, sunshine is abundant. December is both the year's coolest and cloudiest month, with an average daytime high of 56.6 °F (13.7 °C) and sunshine occurring during 78% of its daylight hours. Winter evenings are defined by clear skies and swift drops in temperature after sunset, with overnight minima averaging around 39 °F (3.9 °C) in December and January. Owing to its elevation that ranges from 2,000 feet to 3,000 feet, Las Vegas experiences markedly cooler winters than other areas of the Mojave Desert and the adjacent Sonoran Desert that are closer to sea level. Consequently, the city records freezing temperatures an average of 16 nights per winter. However, it is exceptionally rare for temperatures to reach or fall below 25 °F (−4 °C), or for temperatures to remain below 45 °F (7 °C) for an entire day. [34] Most of the annual precipitation falls during the winter months, but even February, the wettest month, averages only four days of measurable rain. The mountains immediately surrounding the Las Vegas Valley accumulate snow every winter, but significant accumulation within the city is rare, although moderate accumulations do occur every few years. The most recent accumulations occurred on February 18, 2019 when parts of the city received about 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5.1 cm) of snow [38] and on February 20 when the city received almost 0.5 inches (1.3 cm). [39] Other recent significant snow accumulations occurred on December 25, 2015 and December 17, 2008. [40] Unofficially, Las Vegas' largest snowfall on record was the 12 inches (30 cm) that fell in 1909. [41]

The highest temperature officially observed for Las Vegas, as measured at McCarran International Airport, is 117 °F (47 °C), reached on 3 days: July 24, 1942, July 19, 2005 and June 20, 2017. [42] [34] Conversely, the lowest temperature was 8 °F (−13 °C), recorded on 2 days: January 25, 1937 and January 13, 1963. [34] However, the highest temperature ever measured within the city of Las Vegas was 118 °F (48 °C) on July 26, 1931. [43]

Due to concerns about climate change in the wake of a 2002 drought, daily water consumption has been reduced from 314 gallons per resident in 2003 to around 205 gallons. [44]

Nearby communities

The entrance to the community of Summerlin. SummerlinEntrance.jpg
The entrance to the community of Summerlin.
Affluent neighborhoods are located throughout the Las Vegas Valley. Above is the entrance to MacDonald Highlands. MacDonaldHighlands1.jpg
Affluent neighborhoods are located throughout the Las Vegas Valley. Above is the entrance to MacDonald Highlands.



Historical population
1900 25
1910 8003,100.0%
1920 2,304188.0%
1930 5,165124.2%
1940 8,42263.1%
1950 24,624192.4%
1960 64,405161.6%
1970 125,78795.3%
1980 164,67430.9%
1990 258,29556.9%
2000 478,43485.2%
2010 583,75622.0%
Est. 2019651,319 [5] 11.6%
source: [13] [47]
Demographic profile2010 [48] 2000 [49] 1990 [50] 1970 [50]
White 62.1%69.9%78.4%87.6%
 Non-Hispanic 47.9%58.0%72.1%83.1% [51]
Black or African American 11.1%10.4%11.4%11.2%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race)31.5%23.6%12.5%4.6% [51]
Asian 6.1%4.8%3.6%0.7%
Map of racial distribution in Las Vegas, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic, or Other (yellow) Race and ethnicity 2010- Las Vegas (5559885507).png
Map of racial distribution in Las Vegas, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic, or Other (yellow)

According to the 2010 Census, the racial composition of Las Vegas was as follows: [52]

Source: [53]

The city's most populous ethnic group, non-Hispanic Whites, [48] have proportionally declined from 72.1% of the population in 1990 to 47.9% in 2010, even as total numbers of all ethnicities have increased with the population. Hispanics or Latinos of any race make up 31.5% of the population. Of those 24.0% are of Mexican, 1.4% of Salvadoran, 0.9% of Puerto Rican, 0.9% of Cuban, 0.6% of Guatemalan, 0.2% of Peruvian, 0.2% of Colombian, 0.2% of Honduran and 0.2% of Nicaraguan descent. [50]

According to research by demographer William H. Frey, using data from the 2010 United States Census, Las Vegas has the second lowest level of black-white segregation of any of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, after Tucson, Arizona. [54]

Hawaiians and Las Vegans sometimes refer to Las Vegas as the "ninth island of Hawaii" because so many Hawaiians have moved to the city. [55]

As of the census [56] of 2010, there were 583,756 people, 211,689 households, and 117,538 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,222.5/sq mi (1,630.3/km2). There were 190,724 housing units at an average density of 1,683.3/sq mi (649.9/km2).

As of 2006, there were 176,750 households, out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the city, the population age distribution was as follows:

The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 103.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $53,000 and the median income for a family was $58,465. [57] Males had a median income of $35,511 versus $27,554 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,060. About 6.6% of families and 8.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.4% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.

According to a 2004 study, Las Vegas has one of the highest divorce rates. [58] [59] The city's high divorce rate is not wholly due to Las Vegans themselves getting divorced. Since divorce is easier in Nevada than most other states, many people come from across the country for the easier process. Similarly, Nevada marriages are notoriously easy to get. Las Vegas has one of the highest marriage rates of U.S. cities, with many licenses issued to people from outside the area (see Las Vegas weddings).


The primary drivers of the Las Vegas economy are tourism, gaming and conventions, which in turn feed the retail and restaurant industries.

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign, welcoming tourists to the city Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas.jpg
Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign, welcoming tourists to the city


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World Market Center Building A
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Golden Nugget Las Vegas
The Las Vegas Strip, primarily located in Paradise. Night aerial view, Las Vegas, Nevada, 04649u.jpg
The Las Vegas Strip, primarily located in Paradise.
A view of the Las Vegas Valley looking north from the Stratosphere Tower Las Vegas at night (9118927988).jpg
A view of the Las Vegas Valley looking north from the Stratosphere Tower

The major attractions in Las Vegas are the casinos and the hotels, although in recent years other new attractions have begun to emerge.

Most casinos in the downtown area are located on Fremont Street, with The Stratosphere being one of the exceptions. Fremont East, adjacent to the Fremont Street Experience, was granted variances to allow bars to be closer together, similar to the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego, the goal being to attract a different demographic than the Strip attracts.

Downtown casinos

The Golden Gate Hotel and Casino, located downtown along the Fremont Street Experience, is the oldest continuously operating hotel and casino in Las Vegas; it opened in 1906 as the Hotel Nevada.

The year 1931 marked the opening of the Northern Club (now the La Bayou). [60] [61] The most notable of the early casinos may have been Binion's Horseshoe (now Binion's Gambling Hall and Hotel) while it was run by Benny Binion.

Boyd Gaming has a major presence downtown operating the California Hotel & Casino, the Fremont Hotel & Casino and the Main Street Casino. The Four Queens also operates downtown along the Fremont Street Experience.

Downtown casinos that have undergone major renovations and revitalization in recent years include the Golden Nugget Las Vegas, The D Las Vegas (formerly Fitzgerald's), the Downtown Grand Las Vegas (formerly Lady Luck), the El Cortez Hotel & Casino and the Plaza Hotel & Casino. [62]

Las Vegas Strip

The center of the gambling and entertainment industry is located on the Las Vegas Strip, outside the city limits in the surrounding unincorporated communities of Paradise and Winchester in Clark County. The largest and most notable casinos and buildings are located there. [63]


When The Mirage opened in 1989, it started a trend of major resort development on the Las Vegas Strip outside of the city. This resulted in a drop in tourism in the downtown area, but many recent projects have increased the number of visitors to downtown.

An effort has been made by city officials to diversify the economy by attracting health-related, high-tech and other commercial interests. No state tax for individuals or corporations, as well as a lack of other forms of business-related taxes, [64] have aided the success of these efforts.

The Fremont Street Experience was built in an effort to draw tourists back to the area, and has been popular since its startup in 1995.

The city purchased 61 acres (25 ha) of property from the Union Pacific Railroad in 1995 with the goal of creating a better draw for more people to the downtown area. In 2004, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman announced plans for Symphony Park, which could include a mixture of offerings, such as residential space and office buildings.

Already operating in Symphony Park is the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health (opened in 2010), The Smith Center for the Performing Arts (opened in 2012) and the DISCOVERY Children's Museum (opened in 2013). [65]

On land across from Symphony Park, the World Market Center Las Vegas opened in 2005. It currently encompasses three large buildings with a total of 5.1 million square feet. Trade shows for the furniture and furnishing industries are held there semiannually.

Also located nearby is the Las Vegas North Premium Outlets. A second expansion was completed in May 2015, with the mall currently offering 175 stores. [66]

A new Las Vegas City Hall opened in February 2013 on downtown's Main Street. The former City Hall building is now occupied by the corporate headquarters for the major online retailer,, which opened downtown in 2013. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh has taken an interest in the urban area and has contributed $350 million toward a revitalization effort called the Downtown Project. [67] [68] Projects funded include Las Vegas's first independent bookstore, The Writer's Block. [69]

Other industries

A number of new industries have moved to Las Vegas in recent decades. Online shoe retailer (now an Amazon subsidiary) was founded in San Francisco but by 2013 had moved its headquarters to downtown Las Vegas. Allegiant Air, a low-cost air carrier, launched in 1997 with its first hub at McCarran International Airport and headquarters in nearby Summerlin.

Planet 13 Holdings, a cannabis company, have opened the world's largest cannabis dispensary in Las Vegas at 112,000 square feet. [70] [71]

Impact of growth on water supply

A growing population means the Las Vegas Valley used 1.2 billion gallons more water in 2014 than in 2011. Although water conservation efforts implemented in the wake of a 2002 drought have had some success, local water consumption remains 30 percent more than in Los Angeles, and over three times that of San Francisco metropolitan area residents. The Southern Nevada Water Authority is building a $1.4 billion tunnel and pumping station to bring water from Lake Mead, has purchased water rights throughout Nevada, and has planned a controversial $3.2 billion pipeline across half the state. By law, the Las Vegas Water Service District "may deny any request for a water commitment or request for a water connection if the District has an inadequate supply of water.” However, limiting growth on the basis of inadequate water supply has been unpopular with the casino and building industries. [44]


The Smith Center for the Performing Arts & Discovery Museum The Smith Center for the Performing Arts & DISCOVERY Children's Museum.jpg
The Smith Center for the Performing Arts & Discovery Museum
Symphony Park in Downtown Las Vegas. LasVegasSymphonyPark1.jpg
Symphony Park in Downtown Las Vegas.

The city is home to several museums, including the Neon Museum (the location for many of the historical signs from Las Vegas's mid-20th century heyday), The Mob Museum, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, the DISCOVERY Children's Museum, the Nevada State Museum and the Old Las Vegas Mormon State Historic Park.

The city is home to an extensive Downtown Arts District, which hosts numerous galleries and events including the annual Las Vegas Film Festival. "First Friday" is a monthly celebration that includes arts, music, special presentations and food in a section of the city's downtown region called 18b, The Las Vegas Arts District. [72] The festival extends into the Fremont East Entertainment District as well. [73]

The Thursday prior to First Friday is known in the arts district as "Preview Thursday." This evening event highlights new gallery exhibitions throughout the district. [74]

The Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing and Visual Arts is a Grammy award-winning magnet school located in downtown Las Vegas.

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is situated downtown in Symphony Park. The world-class performing arts center hosts Broadway shows and other major touring attractions, as well as orchestral, opera, ballet, choir, jazz, and dance performances.

Las Vegas has earned the moniker Gambling Capital of the World, as the city currently has the largest strip of land-based casinos in the world. [75]


The Las Vegas Valley is the home of three major professional teams, the Vegas Golden Knights of the National Hockey League, an expansion team that began play in the 2017–18 NHL season out of T-Mobile Arena in nearby Paradise. [76] In 2020, the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League relocated to Las Vegas and became the Las Vegas Raiders but Allegiant Stadium is still currently under construction. [77] In 2018, the Las Vegas Aces of the Women's National Basketball Association played their inaugural season at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

There are two minor league sports teams that play in the Las Vegas area. The Las Vegas Aviators of the Pacific Coast League, the AAA farm club of the Oakland Athletics play at Las Vegas Ballpark in nearby Summerlin. [78] The Las Vegas Lights FC [79] of the United Soccer League, [80] play out of Cashman Field in Downtown Las Vegas.

List of teams

Major professional teams

TeamSportLeagueVenue (capacity)EstablishedTitles
Las Vegas Raiders Football NFL Allegiant Stadium (65,000)19603
Vegas Golden Knights Ice Hockey NHL T-Mobile Arena (17,500)20170
Las Vegas Aces Women's basketball WNBA Mandalay Bay Events Center (12,000)20180

Minor professional teams

TeamSportLeagueVenue (capacity)EstablishedTitles
Las Vegas Aviators Baseball MiLB (AAA-PCL) Las Vegas Ballpark (10,000)19832
Henderson Silver Knights Ice hockey AHL Orleans Arena (7,773)
Lifeguard Arena (6,000)
Las Vegas Lights FC Soccer USLC Cashman Field (9,334)20180
Sin City TrojansWomen's football WFA Desert Pines High School (N/A)20080
Las Vegas Knights SCIndoor soccer M2 Las Vegas SportsPark (N/A)20170

Amateur teams

TeamSportLeagueVenue (capacity)EstablishedTitles
Las Vegas JestersIce hockey MWHL City National Arena (600)20120
Las Vegas Thunderbirds USPHL 20190
Las Vegas Legends Soccer NPSL Peter Johann Memorial Field (2,500)20210

College teams

SchoolTeamLeagueDivisionPrimary Conference
University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) UNLV Rebels NCAA NCAA Division I Mountain West
College of Southern Nevada (CSN) CSN Coyotes NJCAA NJCAA Division I Scenic West

Parks and recreation

Las Vegas has 68 parks. The city owns the land for, but does not operate, four golf courses: Angel Park Golf Club, Desert Pines Golf Club, Durango Hills Golf Club, and the Las Vegas Municipal Golf Course. It is also responsible for 123 playgrounds, 23 softball fields, 10 football fields, 44 soccer fields, 10 dog parks, six community centers, four senior centers, 109 skates parks, six swimming pools, and more. [81]


Las Vegas City Hall in downtown Las Vegas Lasvegasnewcityhall.jpg
Las Vegas City Hall in downtown Las Vegas

The city of Las Vegas government operates as a council–manager government. The Mayor sits as a Council member-at-large and presides over all of the City council meetings. In the event that the Mayor cannot preside over a City Council meeting, the Mayor Pro-Tem is the presiding officer of the meeting until such time as the Mayor returns to his/her seat. The City Manager is responsible for the administration and the day-to-day operations of all municipal services and city departments. The City Manager maintains intergovernmental relationships with federal, state, county and other local governments.

Much of the Las Vegas metropolitan area is split into neighboring incorporated cities or unincorporated communities. Approximately 700,000 people live in unincorporated areas governed by Clark County, and another 465,000 live in incorporated cities such as North Las Vegas, Henderson and Boulder City. Las Vegas and Clark County share a police department, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, which was formed after a 1973 merger of the Las Vegas Police Department and the Clark County Sheriff's Department. North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City and some colleges have their own police departments.

A Paiute Indian reservation occupies about 1 acre (0.40 ha) in the downtown area.

Las Vegas, home to the Lloyd D. George Federal District Courthouse and the Regional Justice Center, draws numerous companies providing bail, marriage, divorce, tax, incorporation and other legal services.

City council

Carolyn Goodman Mayor Independent [82] Replaced her husband, Oscar Goodman, who was term-limited
Brian Knudsen1st Ward Council member Democratic [83] [84]
Victoria Seaman 2nd Ward Council member Republican [85] [84]
Olivia Diaz 3rd Ward Council member Democratic [86] [84]
Stavros S. Anthony4th Ward Council member Republican [87]
Cedric Crear5th Ward Council member Democratic [88] [89]
Michele Fiore 6th Ward Council member Republican [90] Mayor Pro Tem


Primary and secondary schools

Primary and secondary public education is provided by the Clark County School District, which is the fifth most populous school district in the nation. Students totaled 314,653 in grades K-12 for school year 2013–2014. [91]

Colleges and universities

The College of Southern Nevada (the third largest community college in the United States by enrollment) is the main higher education facility in the city. Other institutions include the University of Nevada School of Medicine, with a campus in the city, and the for-profit private school Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. Educational opportunities exist around the city; among them are the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Nevada State College run by the Nevada System of Higher Education, Desert Research Institute, The International Academy of Design & Technology Las Vegas and Touro University Nevada.



Las Vegas Review-Journal sign Las Vegas Review-Journal sign.jpg
Las Vegas Review-Journal sign


Las Vegas is served by 22 television and 46 radio stations. The area is also served by two NOAA Weather Radio transmitters (162.55 MHz located in Boulder City and 162.40 MHz located on Mount Potosi).



Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) provides public transportation RTC Bus Picture - Photo by June Johns.jpg
Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) provides public transportation
McCarran International Airport provides private and public aviation services to the city Mercedes Benz at CES 2014 (13896148599).jpg
McCarran International Airport provides private and public aviation services to the city
Inside Terminal 3 at McCarran International Airport in Paradise KLAS7.JPG
Inside Terminal 3 at McCarran International Airport in Paradise

RTC Transit is a public transportation system providing bus service throughout Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas and other areas of the valley. Inter-city bus service to and from Las Vegas is provided by Greyhound, BoltBus, Orange Belt Stages, Tufesa, and several smaller carriers. [95] Amtrak trains have not served Las Vegas since the service via the Desert Wind was discontinued in 1997, but Amtrak California operates Thruway Motorcoach dedicated service between the city and its passenger rail stations in Bakersfield, California, as well as Los Angeles Union Station via Barstow. [96]

The Union Pacific Railroad is the only Class I railroad providing rail freight service to the city. Until 1997, the Amtrak Desert Wind train service ran through Las Vegas using the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

A bus rapid-transit link in Las Vegas called the Strip & Downtown Express (previously ACE Gold Line [97] ) with limited stops and frequent service was launched in March 2010, and connects downtown Las Vegas, the Strip and the Las Vegas Convention Center.

In 2016, 77.1 percent of working Las Vegas residents (those living in the city, but not necessarily working in the city) commuted by driving alone. About 11 percent commuted via carpool, 3.9 percent used public transportation, and 1.4 percent walked. About 2.3 percent of Las Vegas commuters used all other forms of transportation, including taxi, bicycle, and motorcycle. About 4.3 of working Las Vegas residents worked at home. [98] In 2015, 10.2 percent of city of Las Vegas households were without a car, which increased slightly to 10.5 percent in 2016. The national average was 8.7 percent in 2016. Las Vegas averaged 1.63 cars per household in 2016, compared to a national average of 1.8 per household. [99]

With some exceptions, including Las Vegas Boulevard, Boulder Highway (SR 582) and Rancho Drive (SR 599), the majority of surface streets in Las Vegas are laid out in a grid along Public Land Survey System section lines. Many are maintained by the Nevada Department of Transportation as state highways. The street numbering system is divided by the following streets:

Interstates 15, 515, and US 95 lead out of the city in four directions. Two major freeways – Interstate 15 and Interstate 515/U.S. Route 95 – cross in downtown Las Vegas. I-15 connects Las Vegas to Los Angeles, and heads northeast to and beyond Salt Lake City. I-515 goes southeast to Henderson, beyond which US 93 continues over the Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge towards Phoenix, Arizona. US 95 connects the city to northwestern Nevada, including Carson City and Reno. US 93 splits from I-15 northeast of Las Vegas and goes north through the eastern part of the state, serving Ely and Wells. US 95 heads south from US 93 near Henderson through far eastern California. A partial beltway has been built, consisting of Interstate 215 on the south and Clark County 215 on the west and north. Other radial routes include Blue Diamond Road (SR 160) to Pahrump and Lake Mead Boulevard (SR 147) to Lake Mead.

East–west roads, north to south [100]
North–south roads, west to east

McCarran International Airport handles international and domestic flights into the Las Vegas Valley. The airport also serves private aircraft and freight/cargo flights. Most general aviation traffic uses the smaller North Las Vegas Airport and Henderson Executive Airport.

Notable people

Sister cities

Las Vegas has several sister cities:

See also


  1. Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the highest and lowest temperature readings during an entire month or year) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.

Related Research Articles

Clark County, Nevada U.S. county in Nevada

Clark County is located in the U.S. state of Nevada. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,951,269, with an estimated population of 2,266,715 in 2019. Most of the county population resides in the Las Vegas Census County Divisions, holding 1,771,945 people as of the 2010 Census, covering the 476 square miles (1,233 km2). It is by far the most populous county in Nevada, accounting for 7% of the state's land area but 74% of the state's population – thus making Nevada one of the most centralized states in the United States.

Las Vegas Strip 4 mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard with many resorts, shows, and casinos

The Las Vegas Strip is a stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard in Clark County, Nevada that is known for its concentration of resort hotels and casinos. The Strip, as it is known, is about 4.2 miles (6.8 km) long, and sits immediately south of the Las Vegas city limits in the unincorporated towns of Paradise and Winchester but is often referred to simply as Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Valley Metropolitan area in Nevada

The Las Vegas Valley is a major metropolitan area in the southern part of the U.S. state of Nevada. The state's largest urban agglomeration, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Statistical Area is coextensive since 2003 with Clark County, Nevada. The Valley is largely defined by the Las Vegas Valley landform, a 600 sq mi (1,600 km2) basin area surrounded by mountains to the north, south, east and west of the metropolitan area. The Valley is home to the three largest incorporated cities in Nevada: Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas. Eleven unincorporated towns governed by the Clark County government are part of the Las Vegas Township and constitute the largest community in the state of Nevada.

Fremont Hotel and Casino hotel and casino Las Vegas, Nevada

The Fremont Hotel & Casino is located in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada, on the Fremont Street Experience. The casino is operated by the Boyd Gaming Corporation.

Fremont Street Experience pedestrian mall and tourist attraction in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada

The Fremont Street Experience (FSE) is a pedestrian mall and attraction in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada. The FSE occupies the westernmost five blocks of Fremont Street, including the area known for years as "Glitter Gulch," and portions of some other adjacent streets.

Las Vegas Boulevard is a major road in the Las Vegas Valley of Nevada, best known for the Las Vegas Strip portion of the road and its casinos. Formerly carrying U.S. Route 91 (US 91), which had been the main highway between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, it has been bypassed by Interstate 15, and serves mainly local traffic with some sections designated State Route 604.

This history of Las Vegas covers both the city of Las Vegas, Nevada and the Las Vegas Valley.

Downtown Las Vegas Human settlement in United States of America

Downtown Las Vegas is the central business district and historic center of Las Vegas, Nevada. It is the original townsite and was the gambling district of Las Vegas prior to the Strip, and the area still incorporates downtown gaming. As the urban core of the Las Vegas Valley, it features a variety of hotel and business highrises, cultural centers, historical buildings and government institutions, as well as residential and retail developments. Downtown is located in the center of the Las Vegas Valley and just north of the Las Vegas Strip, centered on Fremont Street, the Fremont Street Experience and Fremont East. The city defines the area as bounded by I-15 on the west, Washington Avenue on the north, Maryland Parkway on the east and Sahara Avenue on the south.

Golden Gate Hotel and Casino hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada

The Golden Gate Hotel & Casino is located at One Fremont Street in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. A part of the Fremont Street Experience, it is the oldest and smallest hotel on the Fremont Street Experience.

State Route 589 (SR 589) comprised a large portion of Sahara Avenue, a major east–west section line road in the Las Vegas Valley. The road is named after the Sahara Hotel and Casino which is located on Las Vegas Boulevard where it intersects with Sahara Avenue.

Fremont Street Thoroughfare in Las Vegas, United States

Fremont Street is a street in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada that is the most famous street in the Las Vegas Valley, and Nevada, besides the Las Vegas Strip. Named in honor of explorer John Charles Frémont and located in the heart of the downtown casino corridor, Fremont Street is today, or was, the address for many famous casinos such as Binion's Horseshoe, Eldorado Club, Fremont Hotel and Casino, Golden Gate Hotel and Casino, Golden Nugget, Four Queens, The Mint, and the Pioneer Club.

El Cortez (Las Vegas) hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada

El Cortez, a hotel and casino, is a relatively small downtown Las Vegas gaming venue a block from the Fremont Street Experience and Las Vegas Boulevard. Slots, table games, and a race and sports book occupy one floor of the main pavilion. It opened on Fremont Street on November 7, 1941, and is one of the oldest casino-hotel properties in Las Vegas, along with the nearby Golden Gate Hotel and Casino. Primarily Spanish Colonial Revival in style, it reflects a 1952 remodel when the façade was modernized. On February 22, 2013, the structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

State Route 602 is a short state highway in Clark County, Nevada. Located entirely within the downtown area of Las Vegas, it comprises a small section of Casino Center Boulevard. The route was previously a part of State Route 5B. The highway now primarily serves as a connection between State Route 579 and Interstate 515.

Tropicana Avenue is a major east–west section line arterial in the Las Vegas area. The road is named after Tropicana Las Vegas which is located on the Las Vegas Boulevard where it intersects with Tropicana Avenue. Part of it is signed as Nevada State Route 593.

State Route 582 (SR 582) is a major 15.392-mile-long (24.771 km) highway in the Las Vegas Valley. The highway is the former route of U.S. Route 93 (US 93) and US 95 before they were moved to the current freeway alignment shared with Interstate 11 (I-11) and Interstate 515 (I-515). Known primarily as Boulder Highway, the route connects Downtown Las Vegas with Henderson and Boulder City to the southeast.

Las Vegas Club former casino in Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas Club was a casino in Las Vegas, Nevada established in 1930, and demolished in 2017 for the construction of a new resort. In January 2019, a new resort, Circa Resort & Casino, was announced for the site, to open by late 2020.

Downtown (Nevada gaming area) administrative designation of a gambling area including downtown Las Vegas

"Downtown Las Vegas Area" is the name assigned by the Nevada Gaming Control Board NGCB which includes the Downtown Las Vegas area casinos and the Stratosphere Tower which is located 2 miles (3.2 km) from Fremont Street. The city of Las Vegas uses the term Downtown Gaming for the casinos near the Fremont Street Experience. The land is part of the 110 acres (45 ha) that were auctioned on May 15, 1905 when the city was founded.

Las Vegas in the 1950s

The 1950s was a time of considerable change for Las Vegas. By the 1950s, there were 44,600 living in the Las Vegas Valley. Over 8 million people were visiting Las Vegas annually in 1954, pumping $200 million into casinos, which consolidated its image as "wild, full of late-night, exotic entertainment". The population grew dramatically from 8,422 during World War II to over 45,000. From 1952 to 1957, through money and institutional lending provided by the Teamsters Union and some Mormon bankers they built the Sahara, the Sands, the New Frontier, the Royal Nevada the Showboat, The Riviera, The Fremont, Binion's Horseshoe, and finally The Tropicana. Gambling was no longer the only attraction by the 1950s; the biggest stars of films and music like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, Andy Williams, Liberace, Bing Crosby, Carol Channing, and others performed in intimate settings and brought a whole new brigade of Hollywood film stars and others in the entertainment business to the city. In 1957, the first topless show "Minsky's Follies" was started here.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. The spanish Trader Antonio Armijo led a 60-man party along the Spanish Trail to Los Angeles, California in 1829 and found a natural steam water Land that was named Las Vegas.

The Meadows Casino & Hotel was the first resort hotel-casino in the Las Vegas area, opening in 1931. The Meadows was located at Fremont Street and East Charleston Boulevard near the Boulder Highway, and outside the Las Vegas city limits. Its location was designed to attract workers and tourists from the Hoover Dam. The hotel had 30 to 50 rooms. The hotel-casino operated a nightclub, featuring the Meadows Revue and the Meadow Larks band. It also had a landing strip for small airplanes.


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Further reading