by Cory Gurman
Las Vegas started as a stopover on the pioneer trails to the west, and became a popular railroad town in the early 1900s. It was a staging point for all the mines in the surrounding area, especially those around the town of Bullfrog, that shipped their goods out to the rest of the country. With the proliferation of the railroads, Las Vegas became less important, but the completion of the nearby Hoover Dam in 1935 resulted in a substantial growth in tourism, which, along with the legalization of gambling in 1931, led to the advent of the casino-hotels for which Las Vegas is famous.
The Las Vegas Strip (also known as The Strip) is an approximately 4 mile (6.4 km) section of Las Vegas Boulevard South in the Paradise and Winchester areas unincorporated Clark County, Nevada, United States, south of the Las Vegas city limits. Most of The Strip has been designated an All American Road. Many of the largest hotel, casino and resort properties in the world are located on The Strip. Eighteen of the world's twenty five largest hotels by room count are on the Strip, with a total of over 67,000 rooms.Over the years, Las Vegas Boulevard South has been called Arrowhead Highway, or Los Angeles Highway.
The Strip was reportedly named by Los Angeles police officer Guy McAfee, after his hometown's Sunset Strip.One of the most visible aspects of Las Vegas' cityscape is its use of dramatic themes. The theming of hotels, casinos, and restaurants on the Strip has established the city as one of the most popular destinations for tourists Las Vegas (Spanish: The Meadows) is the most populous city in the state of Nevada, the seat of Clark County, and an internationally renowned major resort city for the gaming industry, shopping, and entertainment. Las Vegas, billed as The Entertainment Capital of the World, is famous for the number of large casino resorts and their associated entertainment.
The city's tolerance for various forms of adult entertainment earned it the title of Sin City, and this image has made Las Vegas a popular setting for films and television programs. Outdoor lighting displays are everywhere on the Las Vegas Strip and are seen elsewhere in the city as well; as seen from space, Las Vegas is the brightest city on earth. The major attractions in Las Vegas are the casinos. The most famous hotels are located on Las Vegas Boulevard, better known as the Las Vegas Strip. Many of these hotels carry thousands of rooms. There are, of course, large casino areas in these hotels as well.
There are many hotel casinos in the city's downtown area as well, which was the original focal point of the city's gaming industry in its early days. Several large hotels and casinos are also located somewhat off the Strip but adjacent to it, as well as in the county around the city. Las Vegas Boulevard runs the length of the city of Las Vegas, Nevada in Clark County, Nevada. The Boulevard, as it is sometimes called by longtime Las Vegas residents, starts at Apex, Nevada and continues south to about 2 miles south of Jean, Nevada, in the Mojave Desert.
The Boulevard shows up again in Primm, Nevada but is currently not connected to the northern sections. At its northern end in Apex, the Boulevard starts in an industrial complex of manufacturing plants and power plants running along the Union Pacific Railroad line. As you travel south, the road meets Nellis Air Force Base on the east side and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on the west side. As the road enters North Las Vegas, it passes through some of the older commercial areas of the city. As the road approaches Las Vegas itself, you see some of what Vegas was as some of the older casinos appear along with some of the older and more famous strip clubs.