Las Vegas – The World’s Greatest Party Town
Las Vegas, a city of around 600,000 deep in the Nevada desert, needs very little introduction. When it was first settled, in 1844, Vegas seemed bound to be another sleepy railroad town – a forgettable overnight stop for cross country travellers. However, two ordinances, passed in 1931, set Las Vegas on the path to the city it is today – legalising gambling and offering simple divorces for those resident 6 weeks or more.
Those laws established Vegas as perhaps the most liberal and freewheeling town in the USA and it quickly attracted a reputation as a party town where anything was yours for a price. By the end of WWII “Sin City” had become synonymous with luxurious casinos, entertainment and loose morals.
Today the beating heart of Vegas isn’t technically within city limits at all, it’s the iconic Las Vegas Strip whose mega casinos and flashing billboards are famous around the world. The first casino to colonise The Strip was the Pair-o-Dice Club in 1931, but it has been the site of some of the most iconic gambling venues of all time like The Flamingo, MGM Grand and Mirage (image by Glenn Guinita).
Vegas casinos take pride in offering 24/7 action at any stakes for pretty much any game imaginable. You’ll find the staples like Blackjack, Roulette, Poker and Slots but also weird and wonderful games from around the world like Mahjong, Pai Gow and Sic Bo or all new creations dreamed up by the establishments.
The interior of a Vegas casino is the stuff of legend. Mega resorts like the MGM and Mirage have acres upon acres of gaming space with free drinks, but no clocks! They also incorporate clubs, restaurants, shopping spaces, water parks and theatres; in short they’re designed to give you a fully enveloping luxury experience – so you could go for days without thinking of leaving.
If you’re a returning Vegas visitor, or simply looking for a relaxing holiday, that might be your plan but for a first visit there’s a lot to be experienced outside your hotel door. Walking down The Strip and Fremont Street Experience is walking past history – Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr all performed long residencies. When, upon their deaths, The Strip’s lights were dipped for a day they received the highest honour Las Vegas can show to one of its own (image by David).
Vegas is a bright and vibrant oasis in the middle of an inhospitable desert, so you might be forgiven for not leaving the city limits. However the surrounding area is incredibly beautiful and certainly worth investigation. The legendary Grand Canyon, in Arizona, is approximately a 4 hour drive but you can book helicopter tours from the city. Foreign visitors are also often attracted to the desert shooting ranges, which give you the opportunity to fire serious military hardware in a safe setting.
Sinatra described Vegas as a “make you or break you town” as he experienced for himself. Exciting, raucous, surreal and exhilarating; Sin City is one of a kind and a trip there is to be remembered for life.
Related post: Explore the Multi-Faceted Nature of Absolute Luxury – Bellagio Las Vegas
Feature image by Ken Yuel