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Las Vegas Facts And Fun

Aug 17, 2007
Las Vegas celebrated its 100th birthday in 2005. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, growing at a rate of over 5,000 new residents every month! As of the 2004 census, there were just over a half million residents in Las Vegas proper, however Clark County is home to nearly two million. The big casino building boom began in the mid 1980's. The population of Vegas actually doubled in the ten years between 1985 and 1995.

Las Vegas is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world. In 2004, there were more than 22,000 conventions held in the city. More than 37 million people visited the area, more than five times as many as visited in 1970. If you are like most, you will stay 3 to 4 nights there during your vacation.

You can expect to find lots of sunshine in Vegas and warm temperatures. The average minimum temperature is 56 degrees F. and the average high is 80 degrees F. There are fun things to do in the area parks, golf courses and pools all year.

The first hotel and casino to open in Las Vegas was the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino in 1906. It ran into some trouble a few years later, in 1910 when law made it illegal to gamble. Fortunately, in 1931 the Nevada Legislature approved a legalized gambling bill. The first racially integrated hotel, The Moulin Rouge, opened in 1955. Two years later, the first topless showgirls debuted on the Strip at the Dunes in Minsky's Follies. The famous "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign was created by Betty Willis in 1959. Most of The famous Las Vegas Strip is not actually inside the Las Vegas city limits. Most of it is in Clark County. There are over 1700 licensed gambling establishments in operation today.

If you like visiting historic sites, you can stay busy taking in such places as the Huntridge Theater, JD Smith house, Old Spanish Trail, Bonanza Underpass, Eureka Locomotive, Frank Wait House, John S. Park Historic District Walking Tour, Fifth Street School, Moulin Rouge and Big Springs. These are just a few of Las Vegas' many historic attractions. The Mormon Fort, built by missionaries in 1855, was the first non-Indian settlement in the region and is still located on the corner of Washington Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. The goal of the missionaries was to teach the Paiute Indians farming techniques. The Indians rejected the teachings and raided the fort, so the missionaries abandoned it just two years after it was built.

The construction of the Hoover Dam began in 1931. This brought an influx of construction workers which started a population boom and gave the Depression Era economy a much needed boost. It is a short 30-mile drive southeast of Las Vegas on Highway 93 at the Nevada-Arizona border. A major engineering feat, the dam was built by a total of 21,000 men over a five-year period. It was actually finished two years ahead of schedule! Close to one million visitors take the tour every year and millions more drive over the dam. The Tourist Center is open every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Las Vegas is famous for its weddings. A marriage license costs $55 in Nevada. Many couples choose to marry in this state because there is no blood test or waiting period required. In addition to the Las Vegas Chapels, there are outdoor weddings, gazebo weddings, Grand Canyon weddings, Valley of Fire weddings, limousine drive-through weddings, renew your vow weddings, Red Rock Canyon weddings, helicopter ride over the Strip weddings and live internet WebCam weddings. You can even register online! The city of Las Vegas issues over 123,000 marriage licenses per year, or over 300 per day.

Whether you stay on or off the Strip, or if you are a gambler or non-gambler, a golfer, food fanatic, show lover, sports fanatic, teenager, thrill seeker, bargain hunter, bar hopper, grandparents or just a kid, there is plenty of fun and entertainment waiting for you in Las Vegas!
About the Author
Terry Gates is a freelance writer with experience on Las Vegas Vacations and Las Vegas weddings.
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