Sin City, or the City of Lights, or the top destination for tourism attraction. The city of love and the city of everything you can imagine. Those are all synonyms of Las Vegas Trip. CIty, which once was nothing but the desert, and had nothing but sand. Now, it is one of the biggest tourist attractions all over the world and it has all of it. Millions of tourists annually, the most exclusive shows, and the most flamboyant life.
Modern Las Vegas is the product of something which was started a long time ago and did not have any intention of becoming any of the above-mentioned adjectives. Yet, it managed to become the biggest, the brightest, and the most exciting cities not only in the US but all over the world. While modern Las vegas are obviously very appealing for everyone, it is still very interesting to know what it looked like centuries ago and how it came to the point where it stands now. The whole history of Las Vegas is indeed very interesting, and full of many historic facts, though we will outline some of the game-changers.
Why did all of this start?
It all started because of the Hoover Dam. This is a very long story short. The initial project for Vegas was all about the Dam and the electricity. This is what brought the whole city to the light and to the bright side basically. As mentioned before, there was nothing, but the desert and the wind and sand in that place. It is rumored that there were oases and some fountains and water, at some places, but no one knows for sure.
The document reading a bill authorizing the construction of the Hoover Dam was signed in the first half of the 20th century. This project required a lot of strength and a lot of workers. Those mainly turned out to be men from different regions and states of the US, who were single and needed money to support themselves and their families. You got the idea where we are leading to don’t you?
Las Vegas got its official name in the 19th century, when the Mexican merchant, Antonio Armijo led a small caravan to the valley. The man who was present in the caravan Rafael Rivera named the place Las Vegas, which in translation from Spanish means “The Meadows”. Despite the fact that this happened at the beginning of the century, it was not until the middle of the 19th century that anyone inhabited the place at all. The first ones to settle there were Mormon missionaries traveling from Utah. Those Mormons established the fort, for staying for the summer, yet then abandoned it.
For some more time, Las Vegas was left as a desert, until the massive migration of Mormons began into the area, at the beginning of the 20th century. They managed to build pipelines and make settlements, which enables the growth of the local population. This process began in 1902, and the official Las vegas were formed in 1905. This was the year when the first hotel in Las Vegas was built as well. The hotel was named the Golden Gate Hotel.
The hotel was very popular and can even be considered as a symbol of Las Vegas, or at least the initial version of Las Vegas, which is the big start for many. Thus, many industries and activities have been inspired by the Golden Gate Hotel, its style, and its mission. Many online casino games have taken up the theme and the style of the first hotel in Las Vegas as the base for their games. Online casino slots for real money have not once presented the first hotel-inspired slot games, which have been popular among many players. This is very symbolic as well. As Las Vegas is the city of casinos and gambling, many slots represent Las Vegas in its themes games.
Talking about gambling, Nevada was the last state to make gambling in the state illegal. Thus happened in 1911. Obviously the prohibition of gambling led the whole state to underground casinos and underground gambling. This means that a lot of income and benefit was wasted as well as taxes that could have been collected from the gambling activities and gambling venues. The state has even considered making drinking illegal. This right sounds very dubious and unbelievable, yet there was really a period like this.
Illegal gambling led to crimes and mafias
The activities, which were very important to people and businesses became illegal, and thus the rate of crimes and mobs increased. This was especially in common, once the Hoover Dam or the Boulder Dam was authorized in 1930. The population began to boom in the whole state and especially in Las Vegas. Because of the building process, many workers and businessmen have moved to Las Vegas. They all needed to somehow entertain themselves during the working off-hours. This is how the criminals and mobs used their opportunity.
The businesses that wanted to develop their own businesses all started investing in casinos and showgirls. This was the best option to entertain local workers and make them spend their money. The plan was great, as the majority of workers were single and were happy to spend their money on pleasure activities.
Despite the fact that everyone knew what was happening in Vegas, no one paid attention to that and tried to maintain a good reputation in the city. Everyone knew that the crime figures were behind that kind of business but it did not matter by that time, as one as no one was shouting any names out loud.
One scandal stood as a reason for the prohibition of gambling. This was the federal official on a tour to dam construction who fought with the odor of alcohol on his breath and was charged for that. Since then, the officials decided to prohibit prostitution, as they considered this harmful for the local society. Thus, the decision has been made to move the prostitution outside of the Las Vegas zone to Block 16, which was already known as a very ill-reputable state. As the construction of the Dam was in peak, the government was in charge of the worker and decided to build a work area, with the federal control over it. Thus the workers officially were not allowed to leave the area, but obviously managed to do so just any way.
It is legal all over again
The legalization of gambling in Nevada State happened in 1931. This happened due to the reason that the government acknowledged the loss of the benefits via prohibitions. The underground gambling became one of the main industries in the state and became one of the main incomes for people as well. Very soon after this time, casinos officially started popping up from Fremont Street. This is now one of the most famous and popular casino streets in the city. This was the first street to be paved as well and had the first traffic lights installed. Las Vegas officially became the gambling capital of the whole world.
The construction of the dam was finally completed in 1935. This was when Las Vegas became known as the City of Lights. Vegas was the first to introduce to society electronic lights, colorful lights, different neons, and be as bright as none of the cities have ever been before. This was the moment when everyone understood that Las vegas would simply never be the same ever again. Vegas became the first customer of the dam and the power flowed onto Fremont Street. This meant that tourists also had their eye on Fremont Street. The street became known as the Glitter Gulch, because of the immense and the vibrant lights and visuals it offered to the tourists.
Even though the workers all went back home, after the construction was finished, the high-class tourists from all over the world began visiting Vegas systematically. The city accommodated all of the tourists and soon became very populated and top tourism destinations.
Post World War II
During World War II the US Army moved to Las Vegas and developed the gunnery school there for the Air Corps. Prostitution was illegal during this period as it was considered as a major distribution fo the educational and development of the Army forces. The business was put in Block 16.
El Rancho Vegas became the first official resort on the Las Vegas Strip. It was founded back in 1941. It was famous for the lavish property, the cuisine, the territory, and of course for services as well. The resort involved casino properties as well. Everyone knew that the casinos and similar businesses were all owned by the mobs, yet no one could prove it as mobs did never own the properties directly. This was until The Flamingo, founded by Bygsy Siegel, in 1946.
Flamingo soon lost all of its money, and Siegel died in the shooting as well. Though, his death and The Flamingo were only the beginning of the era of gambling and the legalization of businesses owned by the mobsters. Many famous mob families continued Segel’s work and have invested a lot of money into the development of this sector as well as the tourism industry. Tourism, on the other hand, flourished because many famous people and celebrities traveled to Vegas in order to host concerts and events. Among those people were Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and many more. This was a very handy business, as after the concerts what everyone would do? Right, go to the casino and spend all of the rest of the money. And let’s be honest, that poor people would not go to Vegas to have fun, but to work.
If you think that Vegas was only popular for watching girls dancing on the poles, you are not right. People would go there to watch nuclear mushrooms. We can not say that this was the most clever decision made ever, yet many people were fascinated by the idea that they could observe the atomic explosion, which was tested by the government, and would sit and watch the giant atomic mushrooms in the sky from the rooftops.
Many restaurants and bars would even host Las Vegas Atomic Cocktail Parties. This became one of the major Vegas attractions. The testing was prohibited in 1963.
Modern Las Vegas
Howard Hughes the wealthy eccentric visionary of the aviation industry moved to Vegas back in 1966. Exactly by that period, Vegas started to develop more of the cosmopolitan vibes, and many international, as well as American people, started moving to Vegas. The only problem was that The City of Las Vegas was unable to collect the taxes from the strip clubs and casinos, as they were located in Block 16, which was outside of the city limits.
The owners of the properties on the Strip outsmarted the city and pulled a fancy legal maneuver to create the incorporated township which was called “Paradise”. According to state law, an unincorporated township can not be annexed by the incorporated city. The majority of the Strips are all outside of the official boundaries of the City of Las Vegas even today.
Present Day Las Vegas
There were many ups and downs throughout the centuries. There were many challenges and changes in the jurisdiction as well in the inner kitchen. Though, despite many things, the city managed to become one of the most desirable and one of the top destinations in the world. This is one of the most visited cities all across the world. The modern amenities and technologies have made the city especially appealing and fascinating for millions of people.
Over 45 million people visit Las Vegas annually. Though, not only is it for the gambling and strip clubs but also the family-friendly city with everything to offer and dozens of resorts to have fun and get excited. The gambling is obviously still one of the main attractions and shall remain as the legendary attraction for everyone for a long time. Have you been looking for something extra? Go to Las Vegas. If you could not find it, then most probably it does not exist.