Is Las Vegas a good city

Las Vegas

From indigenous peoples and Mormons

The state of Nevada is located in the southwest of the USA, in close proximity to California. In 1848, Mexico ceded this area to the United States. With over 285,000 square kilometers, Nevada is a good four times the size of Bavaria. A large part of the country's area is taken up by the barren desert landscape.

The capital of Nevada is Carson City, a name familiar from Wild West films. Las Vegas is located in the southernmost tip, in the immediate vicinity of the Colorado River. A fertile and water-rich area, which is ideal for a settlement.

The natives of North America also used this geographical advantage: The Paiute tribe set up their tents in the region a few hundred years ago.

In the middle of the 19th century, the white settlers also discovered this area. It was Mormons who set up a permanent trading post there in 1855 and secured it with a defensive fort. They established close contacts with the indigenous peoples and made barter deals with them.

The onset of the gold rush brought this life to an abrupt end after only two years. The hunt for gold brought unrest, violence and crime to the area. The Mormons were driven out. The fort itself, however, has stood the test of time. Parts of it can still be visited today at the corner of Washington Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard.

Las Vegas is born and grows

After the gold rush had gradually subsided and the adventurers had withdrawn, the mining companies came and mined silver, copper, mercury, zinc, iron and lead on a large scale. The burgeoning industry in the USA had to be supplied with raw materials.

Workers' settlements emerged, a functioning infrastructure was built and the region was finally connected to the railway network for the rapid transport of mineral resources. In 1905 the city of Las Vegas was officially founded.

The Spanish "Las Vegas" means "the meadows". With this melodious name one wanted to take into account the fertility of the water-rich region in the otherwise desert landscape. The young city became an important train station and steadily gained economic importance. More and more people settled there.

Another boost for the region came in 1931 with the construction of the huge Hoover Dam, which is still essential for the water and electricity supply of the greater region. Today Las Vegas has a population of more than 600,000. It is the fastest and fastest growing city in the United States in terms of population and development.

Economic boom and gambling fever

The mine and dam workers poured into Las Vegas by the thousands and populated the burgeoning desert metropolis in a very one-sided way. Most of them were single young men. Hard work full of privation dominated their day, but after the shift, in their few free hours, they sought distraction.

Clever business people sensed the opportunity. Bars, hotels and nightclubs sprang up. And when gambling was finally legalized in Las Vegas, casinos completed the collection of tempting temples of pleasure.

A city emerged that couldn't be more untypical. No inner city area in the conventional sense with shopping streets and residential areas, but a series of amusement establishments were decisive for the cityscape.

In 1932 the first luxury hotel opened in Las Vegas. With the "Apache" a new dimension in the development of Las Vegas had dawned. Not only the workers in the lower wage groups were now targeted as customers, but the rich and super-rich were also wanted to lure into the sinful city. Las Vegas was on the way to becoming a tourist attraction.

One armed bandits and show stars

When World War II broke out in 1939, the booming arms industry made the unreal city of Las Vegas continue to grow. The region offered enough space, enough water and enough energy for new factories that could settle here without any problems.

With them came new workers, new residents, new customers. The high income of the entertainment businesses also attracted the mafia, which wanted to earn money from this steadily growing branch of business.

A real gang war broke out over the distribution of power in Las Vegas, which claimed its victims. No one can really say whether and how much influence criminal structures still have today in the gambler's paradise in Nevada.

Bugsy Siegel, who opened the city's first luxury casino with the legendary "Flamingo" in 1946, was also a man of the Mafia. Because he incorrectly accounted for his bosses, he was liquidated a year later.

But he was still able to witness the grand opening ceremony of his club. Frank Sinatra was a star guest at the time. It also paved the way for other show greats, such as Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin, who established Las Vegas' reputation as an entertainment mecca from the mid-1950s. The trio went down in the city's annals as the “Rat Pack” with their joint appearances in the infamous “Sands” casino.

The shows of Elvis Presley, the King of Rock’n’Roll, who set a musical monument to the El Dorado of gambling with the song "Viva Las Vegas", also became legendary.

The sinful gamer paradise had risen to a new class with such shows. In addition to the one-armed bandits, the rotating roulette balls and the playing cards, Las Vegas had gained a new attraction - the show stage.

Dollar factory in the desert

Recent great artists include Elton John, Madonna and the Canadian singer Celine Dion, who staged more than 1000 shows in the legendary hotel and casino "Caesars Palace" for 16 years. The stars are hired by the game clubs to attract guests from home and abroad with their shows.

The guests are vied for with ever more extravagant attractions. The various themed hotels await you with lavishly staged pirate battles, lure you with the kitschy reconstructed Venice backdrop, a journey through time into the world of ancient Rome, the Eiffel Tower and original-size triumphal arches. The imagination of the facade builders in this artificial glittering world seems limitless.

With all the effort, the overnight prices are astonishingly low. Cheap offers should keep the tourists in the mood for a game, because the main thing for the operators is the income from the games of chance.

Las Vegas casinos generate billions of dollars in profits each year. Most of it comes from slot machines. Steve Wynn, one of the city's hotel kings, once said: "The only way to make money gambling is to own a casino".