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Las Vegas, Nevada
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Flag Seal
Nickname: "The Entertainment Capital of the World"

Location of Las Vegas in Nevada
Coordinates 3611'00?N, 11513'00?W
County Clark
Mayor Oscar B. Goodman
Geographical characteristics
  City 113.4 mi / 293.70 km
    Land   113.3 mi / 293.45 km
    Water   0.1 mi / .26 km
  City (2005) 575,973
    Density   1840.2/km
  Metro 1,650,671
Elevation 664 m
Time zone
  Summer (DST) PST (UTC-8)
Website: http://www.lasvegasnevada.gov/
Las Vegas is the most populous city in the state of Nevada, United States, and a major vacation, shopping, entertainment and gambling destination. It was established in 1905, officially became a city in 1911 and became the largest American city founded in the 20th century.
The name Las Vegas is often applied to the unincorporated areas of Clark County that surround the city, especially the resort areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip. This 4 mi (7 km) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard is mostly outside the Las Vegas city limits, in the unincorporated town of Paradise.
The center of gambling in the US, Las Vegas is marketed as The Entertainment Capital of the World, also commonly known as Sin City, due to the popularity of legalized gambling, availability of alcoholic beverages at any time (like all of Nevada), and various forms and degrees of adult entertainment. The city's glamorous image has made it a popular setting for films and television programs.

1 History
1.1 Founding
1.2 Major events
1.3 Economic history
2 Law and government
2.1 City council
2.2 City management
2.3 Government offices
3 Geography
3.1 Climate
4 Demographics
5 Education
6 Economy
7 City redevelopment
8 Transportation
9 Culture and Attractions

Main article: History of Las Vegas

Las Vegas was given its name by Spaniards in the Antonio Armijo party, who used the water in the area while heading north and west along the Old Spanish Trail from Texas. In the 1800s, areas of the Las Vegas Valley contained artesian wells that supported extensive green areas or Meadows (Vega in Spanish), hence the name Las Vegas.
John C. Frmont traveled into the Las Vegas Valley on May 3, 1844, while it was still part of Mexico. He was a leader of a group of scientists, scouts and observers for the United States Army Corps of Engineers. On May 10, 1855, following annexation by the United States, Brigham Young assigned 30 Mormon missionaries led by William Bringhurst to the area to convert the Paiute Indian population. A Fort was built near the current downtown area, serving as a stopover for travelers along the "Mormon Corridor" between Salt Lake and the briefly thriving Mormon colony at San Bernardino, California. Las Vegas was established as a railroad town on May 15, 1905, when 110 acres (44.5 ha) owned by Montana Senator William A. Clark's San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City Railroad, was auctioned off in what is now downtown Las Vegas. Las Vegas was part of Lincoln County until 1909 when it became part of the newly established Clark County. Las Vegas became an incorporated city on March 16, 1911 when it adopted its first charter.

Major events
Major events in Las Vegas' history include:
Establishment of Las Vegas as a railroad town (May 15, 1905).
Legalization of gambling (March 19, 1931).
Completion of Hoover Dam (October 9, 1936).
Opening of Bugsy Siegel's Flamingo Hotel on what would become the Las Vegas Strip (December 26, 1946).
On July 17, 1960 The first Strip property "The El Rancho" was consumed by fire.
Atmospheric nuclear testing (1951 to 1962).
The floods of 1955, 1984, 1999, and 2003.
MGM Grand Hotel fire (November 21, 1980), the worst disaster in Nevada history.
Opening of the Mirage (November 22, 1989), which began the era of megaresort casinos.
On October 27, 1993, the Dunes was the first Strip property imploded to make way for the Bellagio.
100th birthday, or Centennial, of Las Vegas (May 15, 2005).
Arena Bowl 2005, 2006
2007 NBA All-Star Game

Economic history
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 growth of the railroads, Las Vegas became less important, but the completion of the nearby Hoover Dam resulted in substantial growth in tourism, which, along with the legalization of gambling, led to the advent of the casino-hotels for which Las Vegas is famous.
The constant stream of tourist dollars from the hotels and casinos was augmented by a new source of federal money. This money came from the establishment of what is now Nellis Air Force Base. The influx of military personnel and casino job-hunters helped start a land building boom which still goes on today.

Law and government
The Lloyd D. George Federal District Courthouse in Las Vegas is the first Federal Building built to the post-Oklahoma City blast resistant standards.The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department provides most law enforcement services in the city and surrounding county. Exceptions include cities with their own law enforcement agency; including North Las Vegas, Henderson and Boulder City.
Most of the people and businesses who call Las Vegas home actually live in neighboring unincorporated communities that have no city government or in other nearby cities, some of which are listed below. In fact, of the nearly 1.6 million people who live in the Las Vegas valley, only 575,973 live inside Las Vegas city limits. The largest of these towns are Paradise (188,768) between Las Vegas and Henderson (224,829), Sunrise Manor (184,801) east of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, and Spring Valley (161,286) southwest of Las Vegas. These towns formed during a 1940s water dispute between the City of Las Vegas and early homeowners south of San Francisco Street, now Sahara Avenue.
The City of Las Vegas government operates as a council-manager government. The Mayor sits as a Councilmember-At-Large and presides over all of the City Council meetings. In the event that the Mayor cannot preside over a City Council meeting the Mayor Pro-Tem is the presiding body of the meeting until such time as the Mayor returns to his seat. The City Manager is responsible for the administration and the day to day operation of all of the municipal services and city departments. The City Manager also maintains an intergovernmental relationships with federal, state, county and other local governments.
A Paiute Indian reservation occupies about 1 acre (4,000 m) in the downtown area of Las Vegas.

City council
(Councilmembers' official city websites are also available)
Oscar B. Goodman Mayor and Councilmember at Large (Term Expires in 2007)
Gary Reese Mayor Pro-Tem and 3rd Ward Councilmember (Term Expires in 2007)
Lois Tarkanian 1st Ward Councilmember (Term Expires in 2007)1
Steve Wolfson, Esq 2nd Ward Councilmember (Term Expires in 2009)
Larry Brown 4th Ward Councilmember (Term Expires in 2009)
Lawrence Weekly 5th Ward Councilmember (Term Expires in 2007)
Steve Ross 6th Ward Councilmember (Term Expires in 2009)
1 Elected on January 26, 2005 in a special election to replace Councilwoman Janet Moncrief who was recalled from office.
   Lois Tarkanian will serve the remaining two years of the Ward 1 seat.

City management
Douglas Selby City Manager
Barbara Jo (Roni) Ronemus City Clerk

Government offices
City of Las Vegas
Government Offices
400 Stewart Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89101 Metropolitan Police Department
400 Stewart Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89101 Detention Center (City jail)
(not County Detention)
3200 Stewart Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Marriage licenses are filed at the Clark County Courthouse.

Typical desert around the Las Vegas area.Las Vegas is located at 3611'39?N, 11513'19?W (36.194168, 115.222060)GR1. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 182.50 km (113.4 mi). 182.34 km (113.3 mi) of it is land and 0.16 km (0.1 mi) of it (0.04%) is water.
The city is located in an arid basin surrounded by mountains varying in color from pink to rust to gray. As befits a desert, much of the landscape is rocky and dusty. Within the city, however, there are a great deal of lawns, trees, and other greenery. Due to water resource issues, there is now a movement to encourage xeriscaping instead of lawns. Another part of the water conservation efforts include scheduled watering groups for watering residential landscaping.

Las Vegas' climate is typical of the Mojave Desert, in which it is located, marked with hot summers, mild winters, abundant sunshine year-round, and very little rainfall. Highs in the 90s (Fahrenheit) are common in the months of May, June, and September and temperatures normally exceed 100 F (38 C) for several days in the months of July and August, but there is very low humidity. The hottest temperature ever recorded is 117 F (47 C) set twice, on July 19, 2005, at McCarran International Airport and July 24, 1942, at present-day Nellis Air Force Base. Winters are cool and windy, with the majority of Las Vegas' annual 4.49 in (114 mm) of rainfall coming from January to March. Winter daytime highs are normally around 60 F (16 C) and winter nighttime lows are usually around 40 F (4 C). The coldest temperature ever recorded is 8 F set on January 25, 1937, at present-day Nellis Air Force Base. Showers occur less frequently in the Spring or Autumn. July through September, the Mexican Monsoon often brings enough moisture from the Gulf of California across Mexico and into the southwest to cause afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Although winter snow is usually visible from December to May on the mountains surrounding Las Vegas, it rarely snows in the city itself.

City of Las Vegas
Population by year [1]
1920 2,304
1930 5,165
1940 8,422
1950 24,624
1960 64,405
1970 125,787
1980 164,674
1990 258,295
2000 478,434
2005 (est) 569,838
Las Vegas has been the county seat of Clark County since the formation of the county in 1909. The Census Bureau's official population estimate as of 2004 was 534,847. The citys Planning and Development Department reported an increase of 41,126 in 2005, for a total population of 575,973. [2]. Recent figures place the population for the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which includes all of Clark County, at over 1.6 Million people (2004 [3]), and the region is one of the fastest growing in the United States. Las Vegas was ranked as the 29th largest city in the United States in 2000, but recent estimates state the city's population surpassed that of Nashville, Washington, D.C., Louisville, Denver and Boston to place Las Vegas at #22. It is likely it will surpass Milwaukee and possibly a few other cities to reach the top 20 by the 2010 Census. As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 478,434 people, 176,750 households, and 117,538 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,630.3/km (4,222.5/mi). There are 190,724 housing units at an average density of 649.9/km (1,683.3/mi). The racial makeup of the city was 69.86% White, 10.36% African American, 0.75% Native American, 4.78% Asian, 0.45% Pacific Islander, 9.75% from other races, and 4.05% from two or more races. 23.61% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 176,750 households out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.20.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 103.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $44,069, and the median income for a family was $50,465. Males had a median income of $35,511 versus $27,554 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,060. About 8.6% of families and 11.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.4% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2004 census estimate, the Las Vegas metropolitan area contained over 1.6 million residents, and contains the largest Hawaiian community, outside of Hawaii.

Primary public education is provided by the Clark County School District (CCSD), which is the fifth largest school district in the nation.
Las Vegas has no independent four-year university within its city limits. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is located in Paradise, three miles south of the city limits. The University of Nevada Medical School has a campus near downtown Las Vegas. Several national colleges, including the University of Phoenix, have campuses in the Las Vegas area. Nevada State College, and Touro University's College of Osteopathic Medicine are both located in nearby Henderson. The Community College of Southern Nevada has campuses in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson.

Interior of a casino. A major part of the city economy is based on tourism, including gambling.
Las Vegas night from the top of the Mandalay Bay Hotel.The primary drivers of the Las Vegas economy have been the confluence of tourism, gaming, and conventions which in turn feed the retail and dining industries. Several companies involved in the manufacture of electronic gaming machines, such as slot machines, tre located in the Las Vegas area. In the 2000s retail and dining have become attractions of their own.
Tourism marketing and promotion are handled by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, a county wide agency. Its annual Visitors Survey provides detailed information on visitor numbers, spending patterns and resulting revenues [4].
Las Vegas as the county seat and home to the Lloyd D. George Federal District Courthouse, draws numerous legal service industries providing bail, marriage, divorce, tax, incorporation and other legal services.
The redevelopment listed below shows how the city is trying to diversify the local economy and revitalize the downtown area. The World Market Center is an example of this.

City redevelopment
The south end of the Las Vegas Strip in 2003.When The Mirage, the first Megaresort, opened in 1989, it started a movement of people and construction away from downtown Las Vegas to the Las Vegas Strip. This resulted in a drop in tourism from which the downtown area is still trying to recover.
A concerted effort has been made by city officials to diversify the Las Vegas economy from tourism by attracting light manufacturing, banking, and other commercial interests. The lack of any state individual or corporate income tax and very simple incorporation requirements have fostered the success of this effort.
Having been late to develop an urban core of any substantial size, Las Vegas has retained very affordable real estate prices in comparison to nearby urban centers. Consequently, the city has recently enjoyed an enormous boom both in population and in tourism. However, as a New York Times series on the city reported in 2004, the median price of housing in the Las Vegas Valley is now at or above the nationwide median. The urban area has grown outward so quickly that it is beginning to run into the Bureau of Land Management holdings along its edges, increasing land values enough that medium- and high-density development is beginning to occur closer to the core.
As a reflection of the city's rapid growing population, the new Chinatown of Las Vegas was constructed in the early 1990s on Spring Mountain Road. Chinatown initially consisted of only one large shopping center complex, but the area was recently expanded for new shopping centers that contain various Asian businesses.
Downtown Las Vegas: The Fremont Street Experience outside of Binion's Horseshoe Casino.With the Strip expansion in the 1990s, downtown Las Vegas began to suffer. The Fremont Street Experience (FSE) was built in an effort to draw tourists downtown. While greatly slowing the decline, it did not stop the decline in tourism and revenue. The multi-level Neonopolis, complete with food court and theaters, was built to offer more retail and services downtown. While there have been changes in ownership and management, Neonopolis has not been able to lease all the space available. As of March 2005, the property is for sale.
The city purchased 61 ac (247,000 m) of property from Union Pacific Railroad during the 1990s with the goal of creating something that would draw tourists and locals to the downtown area. Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman has announced plans for the Union Park Development which will include residential and office high-rises, The Lou Ruvo Alzheimer's Institute, an academic medical center, The Fred W. and Mary B. Smith Center for the Performing Arts, a new City Hall and a possible baseball stadium. After failed negotiations with The Related Co. on the development of Union Park in October of 2005, San Diego-based Newland Communities was chosen by the city as the new development firm. The Newland contract calls for Dan Van Epp, Newland's regional vice president and former president of the Howard Hughes Corp., to oversee his company's work on Union Park. The $50-million Lou Ruvo Alzheimer's Institute designed by architect Frank Gehry is expected to break ground in August of 2006.[5]
The city council of Las Vegas has agreed on zoning changes on Fremont Street, which allows bars to be closer together duplicating efforts of similar cities, like the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego. It is expected that this change will bring more tourism and business to the downtown area.
In the early 2000s, some promising signs emerged for downtown Las Vegas. The city successfully lured the Internal Revenue Service to move operations from outside the city limits to a new building downtown that opened in April 2005. The IRS is expected to create a demand for additional businesses in the area, epecially in the daytime hours.
Another promising sign of development has come in the form of high-rise development. A substantial increase in the number of high-rises under construction and proposed in Las Vegas began in 2003 and has continued into 2006. New Condominum and hotel high rise projects have caused the entire Las Vegas skyline to change dramatically in recent years. Many large projects are planned for downtown Las Vegas as well as the Las Vegas Strip including the largest privately financed development proposed in the United States- Project City Center. It is expected that high rise condominium development will transform the downtown area into a vibrant urban center, and change the demographics of the Las Vegas Strip by adding residential elements to tourist areas.
Las Vegas from spaceIn 2005, on a lot adjacent to the city's 61 ac (247,000 m), the World Market Center opened. It is intended to be the nation's and possibly the world's preeminent furniture wholesale showroom and marketplace, and is meant to compete with the current furniture market capital of High Point, North Carolina.
In 2004, the city partnered with Cheetah Wireless Technologies and MeshNetwork to pilot a wide area mobile broadband system. The pilot system is installed downtown, around the Fremont Street Experience.

The CAT Bus is a popular means of public transportation among locals and tourists with various bus routes covering a large portion of the valley. The CAT system carries approximately 175,000 people per weekday, or about 10% of the Valley's population. Ridership on the system has been increasing rapidly since the summer of 2005, when a combination of high gas prices and service improvements began attracting more riders. A need for increased frequency and new routes caused by the tremendous growth in the Valley stretches the system's resources.
The Las Vegas Monorail runs from the MGM Grand Hotel at the south end of the Strip to the Sahara Hotel at the north end of the Strip.
The street numbering system is divided by the following streets:
Westcliff Drive, US-95 Expressway, Fremont Street and Charleston Boulevard divides the north-south block numbers from west to east.
Las Vegas Boulevard divides the east-west streets from the Las Vegas Strip to near the Stratosphere, then Main Street becomes the dividing line from the Stratosphere to the North Las Vegas border, after which the Goldfield Street alignment officially divides east and west.
McCarran International Airport provides commercial flights into the Las Vegas valley. The airport also serves private aircraft, domestic and international passenger flights, and freight/cargo flights. Although general aviation traffic flies into McCarran International, other airstrips are available.
Intercity bus service to Las Vegas is provided by traditional intercity bus carriers, including Greyhound; many charter services, including Green Tortoise; and several Chinatown bus lines.
Las Vegas from U.S. Highway 93Primary roadways into and out of Las Vegas include I-15 (north towards Salt Lake City, Utah, and south towards San Diego and Los Angeles, California, and other points in Southern California), US 93 (north towards Ely, Nevada and Jackpot, Nevada, and south towards Kingman, Arizona) and US 95 (north towards Reno and south towards Searchlight, Nevada), providing access to Interstates I-80 and I-40.
Until 1997, the Amtrak Desert Wind train service ran through Las Vegas using the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) rails that run through the city; Amtrak service to Las Vegas has since been replaced by Amtrak's Thruway Motorcoach bus service. Plans to restore Los Angeles to Las Vegas Amtrak service using a Talgo train have been discussed since the Desert Wind was discontinued. As of 2006, however, no such service has been established.
Union Pacific Railroad (UP) is the only class one railroad to provide rail freight service to the city.
Some groups have proposed the California-Nevada Interstate Maglev line from Las Vegas to Los Angeles in order to ease the incoming and outgoing traffic congestion on I-15.

Culture and Attractions
Main article: Las Vegas metropolitan area
Las Vegas has no major league sports team; however, there are many sports activities in the area. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas fields Division I athletic teams and the NCAA football Las Vegas Bowl call the city home. The Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS), just north of the city hosts NASCAR and other automotive events. Visitors and residents also have many options for boating, golf, hiking, rock climbing. The city has many parks which offer a wide range of activities.
The city hosts several non-major-league sports teams: the Las Vegas Gladiators in the Arena Football League, the Las Vegas 51s, a Los Angeles Dodgers franchise in the Triple A Pacific Coast League, and the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL hockey league. However, due to the perceived risks of professional sports being played in a city with legal sports betting, none of the major professional sports leagues have ever had a team in Las Vegas, with the notable exception of the Utah Jazz' half-season schedule at the Thomas and Mack Center in 1983-84. The possibility of relocating or adding a professional major-league team to Las Vegas is an ongoing discussion that the city government is having with several leagues.
In addition, Las Vegas will host the 2007 NBA All-Star Game, marking the first time the NBA All-Star Game will be held in a non-NBA city. It will be played at the Thomas and Mack Center. The date for the All-Star game has yet to be announced.
In 2005, the city hosted Arena Bowl XIX at the Thomas & Mack Center. It was the AFL's first-ever neutral-site title game. Las Vegas will host the Arena Bowl again in 2006. The city also heavily insipred the fictional city, Las Venturas, in the video game Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. Venturas is mostly, if not fully, a replica of Las Vegas.
Rumors have surfaced about the possible relocation of the Sacramento Kings to Las Vegas in the near future if Sacramento cannot build a new arena for the team. Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof also have ties to the city as they are co-owners of The Palms Hotel & Casino which would make the move more or a possibility. [citation needed]

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