Las Vegas, one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, does not turn to be the “Sin CIty” overnight. Located in the desert state Nevada, it actually seems impossible for it to be the gambling city we all know today. Its journey started all the way back in 1931 when gambling was legalized in the state of Nevada.
In 1931, the construction of the Boulder Dam began which drew thousands of workers to the site. Due to this, there was a rise of demand and interest for some off-work entertainment. It led to casinos and showgirl venues to open on Fremont Street. However, in the 1940s, Las Vegas was turned into a Cold War facility site for World War II. It got back on its gambling business in 1966 when Howard Hughes decided to buy and build hotels there. Then, in 1989, the longtime casino developer Steve Wynn opened the city’s first mega resort and the rest was history.
The luxurious and free living of Las Vegas is what makes this city attractive. Here are 15 facts that will let you know exactly why Las Vegas is such an attractive city.
1. Iconic Nightlife Ecosystem
One of the most iconic landmarks in Las Vegas is the Luxor Las Vegas. It is home to a five star casino and entertainment facility that will teleport you to the world of ancient Egypt, complete with the famous pyramid and sphinx. The most unique part of the Luxor pyramid is its sky beam, which is the solid cord ivory light that shines from the tip of the pyramid.
The beam is so powerful that it is visible even from Los Angeles. The light consisted of 39 individual xenon lights with 7000 watt bulbs which were placed in a special room. When the light is turned on, it increases the temperature of the room to 300F. The temperature and light of the room attracts moths to the top of the pyramid. The moths in turn attract bats, birds, and other predatory animals creating its own nightlife ecosystem on top of the Luxor pyramid.
2. You Always Get a Hotel Room
If you are planning a visit to Las Vegas, you don’t have to worry about not getting a hotel room. There are 150,000 hotel rooms available in Las Vegas. 150,259 rooms to be exact. Being one of the most iconic travel destinations in the world, they are going over the top in accommodating their overflowing number of visitors.
The largest hotel in Las Vegas is the Venetian Resort which holds a total of 7092 rooms, granting it the title of the biggest hotel in the world until 2015 before its place is taken by the First World Hotel in Malaysia. The MGM comes in second place with 6852 rooms.
3. Shocking Numbers of Annual Visitor
Every year, Las Vegas attracts a shocking amount of people coming to it. In the year 2019, 42.5 million people came to Las Vegas which was one of the highest numbers so far. In 1970, there were 6.7 million people visiting. The number keeps on rising and has hit the 40 million mark since 2011. In 2020, the pandemic reduces the number by more than half to 19 million. In 2021, the number slowly went back up to 32 million. People come mainly for the whole variety of entertainment that the city has to offer. Some people also come solely for the gambling. Lastly, many people also come to Las Vegas for business: attending conferences. This is why Las Vegas is indeed a buzzling desert metropolitan city.
4. Largest Bronze Statue
MGM Grand is not only famous for being one of the biggest casinos in the city. It is also known for Leo, the huge lion bronze statue. It is the largest bronze statue in America and second in the world. It is made by a former con man turned artist, Snellen Maurice “Snell” Johnson. The statue stands at 45 feet tall and weighs about 50 tons. Previously, MGM Grand owned another lion made of fiberglass which stood as the entrance to the casino.
However, that lion has caused some controversy with the Asian gamblers. The Asian gamblers are not very fond of the idea of “going inside the lion’s mouth” since they believe it is a sign of bad luck. This is why we now get Leo. Leo has been pampering itself lately. Being exposed to the air, rain, and heat daily, Leo has turned dull and required some re-polishing back in 2021. Now, it is ready to welcome back visitors as the pandemic recedes and people start coming back into Las Vegas.
5. Word Class Wedding Planning Services
Other than being famous for its gambling scene, Las Vegas is also a popular place to get married. The city witnesses 300 weddings on average every day. Getting married and making it official is way easier and cheaper in Las Vegas. No blood tests or waiting period is required to get your marriage officiated. In addition, Las Vegas offers wedding venues and wedding planning services that are world class.
They will help you plan starting with the pre-wedding preparation, the wedding itself, after parties, and even honeymoon trips. Other than these two more reasonable reasons, getting married in Las Vegas is basically a dream for many. Lucky them, getting married in Las Vegas is actually much more convenient. Having your wedding in Las Vegas will surely be a memorable one for you and also the rest of your guests.
6. Using The Same Water Over and Over Again
Las Vegas is known to be standing on top of a desert. This means that water is scarce there and the hot weather further drains the water through evaporation. One of the city’s most iconic places, the Bellagio Fountain which is made of 8.5 acres of lake holds more that 22 million gallons of water.
You might wonder how Las Vegas could have enough water for all its iconic places and for the daily use of its people and tourists. Las Vegas has been leading a radical water saving system. It is the only way for it to keep using the same water over and over again especially for places that consume a huge amount of water like the Bellagio Fountain.
7. There are 200.000 Slot Machines in Las Vegas
When you think about gambling, the slot machine is one of the most famous games out there. It is a beginner friendly game that people would usually play just to get an experience on the gambling scene. Did you know there are 200,000 slot machines in Las Vegas? It is the ratio of one slot machine to three people.
You can try your luck on one of these slot machines if you have not tried gambling before. People usually go for The Wheel Of Fortune because they say you can win some money from there more easily compared to others.
8. Las Vegas is Not The Gambling Capital of The World
Despite its fame of being the “Sin City” where gambling pretty much the main activity to do, Las Vegas is not the gambling capital of the world. Macao, located in the southern part of the China Sea, is the actual gambling capital of the world. Even though it is known as the “Las Vegas of China”, it is way bigger than Las Vegas itself.
The city’s revenue mainly comes from VIP rooms where they facilitate wealthy gamblers that make up basically 66% of the total revenues. Gambling is considered illegal in China, but Macao has its own special administration which makes it the only place in China where people can legally gamble. Macao is much smaller compared to Las Vegas.
However it generates three times bigger profit than Las Vegas. It is also home to bigger casinos compared to the ones you can find in Las Vegas. For example, the Venetian Macao, even though it is made to replicate The Venetian Las Vegas, it is 550,000 square meters which makes it the largest casino in the world and about five times bigger than the one you find in Las Vegas.
9. Driest City In America
Las Vegas basically sits in the middle of a desert. Every year it only gets about 4 inches of rainfall. The rain only stayed there for 26 days. It is the driest city in the United States. With its rapid growth, the city gets even hotter today and it receives a total of 1.86 inches of rainfall in 2021.
The rapid growth affects the increase in temperature which results in hotter days and less rain. The hottest temperature recorded throughout history is at 117 °F. It has taken place on five different occasions at least with the most recent happening on July 10th, 2021.
10. Highest Jackpot In History
The world’s highest gambling win ever recorded happened in 2003 in Excalibur Casino. It is a win of $39.7 million dollars. The story started when a 25 year old software engineer was visiting his family back in 2003. After his uncle told him about the Megabuck slot machine, he decided to try his luck with only $100. Unexpectedly, as he was looking away, luck was on his side when he saw the winning symbol lined up. It still holds the title as the world’s biggest jackpot winner.
11. Top Convention Destination
Other than gambling, Las Vegas is also the top destination for conventions and meetings. It provides about 10.5 million square feet of space for conventions and meetings. At least 60 out of 200 biggest conventions in the US are held in Las Vegas every year. The biggest convention taking place in Las vegas, particularly in Las Vegas Convention Center, would be the Consumer Electronic Show (CES). One of the world’s biggest electronic conventions has been held in Las Vegas for the past 40 years, attracting around 150,000 attendees every year. It also hosts about 20.000 meetings annually. For the last 22 years, it has been the top destination for businesses and trades.
12. The Biggest Loser in Las Vegas
Terrance Watanabe is the biggest loser Las Vegas has ever seen. His addiction to gambling led him to a year long gambling spree in 2007. He bet $835 million dollars and lost $127 million which is the biggest sum Las Vegas has ever witnessed.
He was drinking vodka and even consuming cocaine as he is gambling every day at Caesar’s Palace. Due to Watanabe, the Caesars Entertainment Corporation has to pay a fine of $225,000 for allowing him to gamble while he is drunk and on drugs. Up to this day, Watanabe still needs to pay $15 million dollars or serve jail time if he can’t pay.
13. Brightest Spot On Earth
The astronauts are also enjoying Las Vegas in their own way. They say the Vegas Strait is one of the brightest spots on earth. Due to its concentrated light from the hotels and casinos, it is seen brightest among other places in the world from space. This brightness is achieved due to approximately 12,000,000 lights that are lit every night. It costs Las Vegas around 485 million dollars annually to keep its city lighted 24/7. Apparently, a big sum of the money that Las Vegas made is used to pay its electricity bills.
14. Behind The Story of “21”
Do you know the movie “21”? This movie tells us about six MIT students who were trained to excel in card counting and eventually took Las Vegas casinos by storm with million dollar wins. This movie is actually based on a true story. One of the most famous casino cheaters is the MIT Blackjack Team.
It consisted of students and ex-students from leading universities such as MIT and Harvard who trained together in card counting techniques and other sophisticated strategies to beat casinos at the blackjack game worldwide. They have won over $57.6 million overall before the team is stopped.
15. Las Vegas Massacre
On October 1, 2017, the 64 years old Stephen Paddock decided to open fire from his hotel room in the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay Hotel. This scene kills 59 people and causes 500 others to be injured. At that time, the 91 Harvest music festival was being held, thus the casualties were severe. The scene is not connected to any international terrorism. However, it has been one of the most devastating shootings in America.
Las Vegas definitely has its own charms. Despite being a city where you can do illegal things freely, it surely has its own strong points. So, when are you going to visit and experience Las Vegas in person?