Las Vegas, an Overview

Las VegasLas Vegas is unashamedly the capital city of adult entertainment – from the topless revues, to the shouts from the casino roulette tables, to the constant jangling of coins at the slots to the images of grotesque Elvis Presleys swaggering on stage – these are the images of Las Vegas, Nevada, which entice over 30 million visitors to its city limits each year.

Officially dubbed ‘Sin City’ in the past, Las Vegas has to be one of the seven wonders of the artificial world. The skyline alone is a melange of kitsch monuments to the old and new casino bosses – the once-omnipotent Mafia and more recently, the huge corporations which now own and control most of the city.

Medieval castles, ancient Egyptian pyramids, smoking volcanoes and a giant Sphinx all form part of the skyline of Las Vegas. The so-called ‘Neon Trail’ is one of the highlights of a visit to this intrepid City – the sight of the 4.5 mile long Las Vegas Strip at night is truly something to behold – it is lit up like a crazed Christmas tree.

The Las Vegas Strip is part of Las Vegas Boulevard which houses a large percentage of the more modern casino resorts. These include the famous Caesars Palace, Luxor, Excalibur, the Flamingo Hilton and the Monte Carlo.

A second, more traditional area, known as ‘downtown’ also houses a number of casinos including the Golden Nugget, the Four Queens and the Las Vegas Club – this is all part of the Fremont Street Experience.

Las Vegas is the one city in the world where the hotels themselves are the attractions, and there are currently in the region of 130 000 hotel rooms available.

In the 1990’s it was the age of the ‘megaresorts’ and millions of dollars was spent on constructing ‘the largest hotel in the world’. The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino won this title hands down – it resembles a city, not a hotel, and has over 5000 rooms!

Although gambling is one of the most popular attractions, Las Vegas has become more of a family destination in an effort to attract even more visitors. Golf courses, theme parks, shopping malls and even museums, albeit the eccentric ‘Liberace’ Museum, afford the tourist some time and space away from the hectic noise and bustle of the casinos.

Apart from the free drinks, the stunning Mojave Desert and the one armed bandits, Las Vegas is also home to hundreds of wedding chapels. Thousands of young lovers flee to Las Vegas each year to tie the knot, as it is easy and cheap to acquire a marriage licence.

From its incongruous beginnings as an early Mormon settlement, Las Vegas has grown into the psychedelic city of sin. It has the ninth busiest airport in the world and is currently the largest city in Nevada, so reserve your flight and get to the City of Lights.

If you are one of the unlucky few who aren’t able to make it to Las Vegas, why not emulate the excitement of gambling and go online and place those bets.