Nicknamed the Entertainment Capital of the World, Las Vegas is a city located at the southern tip of Nevada, in the Mojave Desert. "Vegas" is known across the globe as a world-class destination, receiving over 40 million visitors each year. The Las Vegas metropolitan area is home to over 2 million residents, and the city itself is home to over 600,000 residents. While Las Vegas is best known for its lavish casinos and entertainment centers, the city also features more than 70 public parks, more than 60 golf courses, and a moderate cost of living that makes the area great for raising a family or retiring in comfort. While the largest employers in Las Vegas are tied to the tourism, entertainment, and convention industries, major employers in Las Vegas also include Wal-Mart Stores, Southwest Airlines, Home Depot, and Walgreens Co. Recently, Las Vegas entered the Guinness World Record book as the location for the world's tallest Ferris wheel. The Las Vegas High Roller observation wheel is 550' tall, over 100' taller than Europe's tallest Ferris wheel on the River Thames in London.
Las Vegas History
Las Vegas began as a Mormon colony shortly after being annexed into the United States. Despite the desert conditions, vegetation was able to flourish due to underground springs and artesian wells. Las Vegas was established as a railroad town in 1905, and incorporated as a city in 1911. Construction of the Hoover Dam began in 1928, and since Boulder City did not allow gambling or alcohol, construction workers traveled to nearby Las Vegas for entertainment. The first casino opened in 1931, and for the next decade, Las Vegas grew continually, attracting visitors from the surrounding states. Casino development was mainly centered around Fremont Street until the opening of the El Rancho Vegas resort to the south of downtown in a 4 mile area that became known as "The Strip". With the major casino resort development located just south of the city limits, downtown Las Vegas began to languish. The city responded by developing The Fremont Experience, a five block canopied entertainment district and pedestrian mall where visitors walk among the original casinos, attend free concerts, and enjoy shopping and nightlife. Learn more about Las Vegas, Nevada history with the following links.
Las Vegas Weather
The entertainment capital of the world could also be the sunshine capital, with 320 days of annual sunshine. Las Vegas is arid and extremely dry. Winters are mild and summers are hot, with average high temperatures over 100°F during the peak summer months. Winter temperatures often fall below freezing at night, but due to the dry climate, snowfall is rare. Get more local weather information using these links.
Las Vegas Transportation
City-operated bus service in Las Vegas is convenient, inexpensive, and air-conditioned. When traveling between the casino hotels along the Las Vegas Strip, the Las Vegas Monorail provides convenient transportation with door-to-door service. Several bus lines, including Greyhound, LuxBus, and Megabus, offer service to regional cities, including Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. Air travel is handled by McCarran International Airport, which is conveniently located at the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip.
Cost of Living in Las Vegas
When you consider the variety of world-class entertainment and plentiful tourist attractions, it’s hard to believe that the cost of living in Las Vegas is close to the national average on housing, food, utilities, and amenities. Use these cost of living calculators to determine your budget needs in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Schools
There are 209 public schools and 65 private schools in Las Vegas. The Clark County School District is the fifth most populous school system in the nation, with over 300,000 students enrolled in grades K-12. In addition to the general schools, the district operates 25 alternative schools and programs.
Las Vegas Hospitals
In North Las Vegas, Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center provides a wide range of medical and surgical procedures, but is particularly well-known for its comprehensive women’s services including digital mammography, gynecologic care and surgery, and the special attention it gives to new mothers. Complex Care Hospital at Tenaya is located in Northwest Las Vegas and is a member of LifeCare, a network of hospitals with locations in nine states. LifeCare is a national leader in long-term and acute care. If you have recently moved to Las Vegas, be sure to get to know the medical resources available to you:
Las Vegas Real Estate
The median home value in Las Vegas is $165,600 with a median list price per square foot of $104. Most homes are less than 50 years old, and the majority are single-story dwellings. Explore the real estate marketing in Las Vegas with these links.
Las Vegas Hotels
From exotic and exciting resorts to funky throwback road motels, there is no shortage of places to stay in Las Vegas. You should book well in advance because Las Vegas has a year-round occupancy rate of over 90%. The Flamingo is the oldest hotel in Las Vegas and features a 15 acre Caribbean-style pool area. The SLS Hotel is one of the newest resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, featuring 1,600 contemporary and stylish rooms with a sophisticated atmosphere. Discover all the places to stay using the following links.
Las Vegas Restaurants
Foodies who are looking for a distinctive Las Vegas dining experience have a dizzying array of choices. With more than 3,700 restaurants in Las Vegas, the biggest challenge is deciding what to try first. Buffets reign in Vegas but some are far from ordinary. The Bacchanal Buffet has plenty of choices for everyone, serving more than 500 different dishes from a catalog of over 800 recipes. For a more romantic dining experience, Andre’s at the Monte Carlo Resort serves Four Diamond-rated French cuisine and features a wine list with more than 15,000 vintages. If you want to experience the local flavor off the beaten path, Nora’s Italian Cuisine is a "mom and pop shop" with great food, casual atmosphere, and an excellent value. Explore more dining discoveries with these links.
Things to Do in Las Vegas
Las Vegas is famous for over-the-top entertainment and experiences. From magicians to comedians and crooners, the biggest names in show business perform nightly on The Strip. No trip to Las Vegas is complete until you visit the Fremont Street Experience, a five-block pedestrian mall in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas, featuring a nightly light-and-sound show on the largest overhead video screen in the world. For an adrenaline-packed experience, take a few laps around the track in an exotic sports car, or experience a free fall jump from the 108th floor of the Stratosphere tower. If you’re afraid of heights, enjoy a leisurely gondola ride on the canals of the Venetian, then stroll the cobblestone streets and explore the shops and cafés. Plan your Las Vegas trip using these links.