The Las Vegas Strip

Wednesday, 2 December 2015 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Hotels

'Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas' sign © Pobrien301

‘Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas’ sign © Pobrien301

The Las Vegas Strip is a stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard South in Clark County, Nevada, internationally known for its concentration of resort hotels and casinos along its route. The Strip is approximately 4.2 miles (6.8 km) in length, located immediately south of the Las Vegas city limits in the unincorporated towns of Paradise and Winchester (however, the Strip is often referred to as being “in Las Vegas”). Most of the Strip has been designated an All-American Road, and is considered a scenic route at night. Many of the largest hotel, casino, and resort properties in the world are located on the Las Vegas Strip. Fifteen of the world’s 25 largest hotels by room count are on the Strip, with a total of over 62,000 rooms. One of the most visible aspects of Las Vegas’ cityscape is its use of dramatic architecture. The rapidly evolving skyline and constant modernization of hotels, casinos, restaurants, residential high-rises, and entertainment offerings on the Strip, have established it as one of the most popular destinations for tourists in the United States, and the world. Historically, the casinos that were not in Downtown Las Vegas along Fremont Street were limited to outside of the city limits on Las Vegas Boulevard. In 1959 the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign was constructed exactly 4.5 miles (7.2 km) outside of the city limits. The sign is today about 0.4 miles (0.64 km) south of the southernmost entrance to Mandalay Bay (the southernmost casino). Phrases such as Strip Area, Resort Corridor or Resort District are sometimes used to indicate a larger geographical area, including properties 1 mile (1.6 km) or more away from Las Vegas Boulevard, such as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino, Palms Casino Resort and Hooters Casino Hotel. The eastern side of the Strip is bounded by McCarran International Airport south of Tropicana Avenue.

The first casino to be built on Highway 91 was the Pair-o-Dice Club in 1931, but the first on what is currently the Strip was the El Rancho Vegas, opening on April 3, 1941, with 63 rooms. That casino stood for almost 20 years before being destroyed by a fire in 1960. Its success spawned a second hotel on what would become the Strip, the Hotel Last Frontier, in 1942. Organized crime figures such as New York’s Bugsy Siegel took interest in the growing gaming center leading to other resorts such as the Flamingo, which opened in 1946, and the Desert Inn, which opened in 1950. The funding for many projects was provided through the American National Insurance Company, which was based in the then notorious gambling empire of Galveston, Texas.

In recent years, all but one of the on-Strip golf courses (the Desert Inn Golf Course) have fallen prey to the mega-resorts’ need for land and have closed. Developer Steve Wynn, founder of previously owned Mirage Resorts, purchased the Desert Inn and golf course for his new company Wynn Resorts. In 2005, he opened Wynn Las Vegas, complete with remodeled golf course providing tee times to hotel guests only. In 2000, Bali Hai Golf Club opened just south of Mandalay Bay and the Strip.

Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino © flickr.com - Jim G/cc-by-2.0 New York-New York Hotel and Casino © flickr.com - kevinmcgill/cc-by-sa-2.0 MGM Grand © flickr.com - Rob Young/cc-by-2.0 Luxor and Mandaly Bay © Mikerussell/cc-by-sa-3.0 Hard Rock Hotel and Casino © flickr.com - Ronnie Macdonald/cc-by-2.0 Caesars Palace © flickr.com - Joao Carlos Medau/cc-by-2.0 Bellagio Casino and Hotel © Photographersnature/cc-by-sa-3.0 The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino © EconomicOldenburger/cc-by-sa-4.0 The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace © flickr.com - Pedro Szekely/cc-by-sa-2.0 The Mirage © flickr.com - kevinmcgill/cc-by-sa-2.0 The Venetian © flickr.com - Allie Caulfield/cc-by-2.0 Las Vegas Strip from Stratosphere tower © Antoine Taveneaux/cc-by-sa-3.0 'Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas' sign © Pobrien301
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The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace © flickr.com - Pedro Szekely/cc-by-sa-2.0
The Wet ‘n Wild water park opened in 1985 and was located on the south side of the Sahara hotel. The park closed at the end of the 2004 season and was later demolished. The opening of The Mirage in 1989 set a new level to the Las Vegas experience, as smaller hotels and casinos made way for the larger mega-resorts. These huge facilities offer entertainment and dining options, as well as gambling and lodging. This change affected the smaller, well-known and now historic hotels and casinos, like The Dunes, The Sands, the Stardust, and the Sahara. In an effort to attract families, resorts offered more attractions geared toward youth, but had limited success. The (current) MGM Grand opened in 1993 with Grand Adventures amusement park, but the park closed in 2000 due to lack of interest. Similarly, in 2003 Treasure Island closed its own video arcade and abandoned the previous pirate theme, adopting the new ti name. In addition to the large hotels, casinos and resorts, the Strip is home to a few smaller casinos and other attractions, such as M&M World, Adventuredome and the Fashion Show Mall. Starting in the mid-1990s, the Strip became a popular New Year’s Eve celebration destination. With the opening of Bellagio, Venetian, and Wynn resorts, the strip trended towards the luxurious high end segment through most of the 2000s, while some older resorts added major expansions and renovations, including some de-theming of the earlier themed hotels. High end dining, specialty retail, spas and nightclubs increasingly became options for visitors in addition to gambling at most Strip resorts. There was also a trend towards expensive residential condo units on the strip. In 2012, two large Ferris wheels and a retail district called The LINQ broke ground, in an attempt to further diversify the attractions offered on the strip beyond that of casino resorts. The diversification continued in 2013 with MGM Resorts International’s announcement of plans to build a major indoor arena and retail district behind New York-New York resort in partnership with Anschutz Entertainment Group. An ongoing series of new retail offerings as well as several resort renovations and rebrandings like with The Cromwell Las Vegas and the SLS Las Vegas continue to transform the Las Vegas Strip. MGM is also constructing the City of Rock (Las Vegas) to host the first ever Rock in Rio USA in 2015.

Pedestrians can walk the length of the Las Vegas Strip with wide sidewalks in many places. Sidewalks can get crowded in the evenings and early mornings, especially on weekend nights. Crowds also gather near the outdoor shows at The Mirage and Bellagio. To improve pedestrian safety and help alleviate traffic congestion at popular intersections, several pedestrian footbridges were erected. Some feature designs which match the theme of the nearby resorts. The Tropicana – Las Vegas Boulevard footbridges were the first to be installed, and based on the success of this project additional footbridges have been built on Las Vegas Boulevard at the Flamingo Road intersection connecting Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace, Bally’s, and The Cromwell; between The Mirage/Treasure Island and The Venetian, and at the Las Vegas Boulevard-Spring Mountain and Sands Avenue intersection connecting the Wynn with the Fashion Show Mall, The Palazzo and Treasure Island. The latest to be completed connects Planet Hollywood, CityCenter and The Cosmopolitan at the Harmon Avenue intersection.

Most of the attractions and shows on the Strip are located on the hotel casino properties. The Las Vegas strip, is well known for its lounges, showrooms, theaters and nightclubs. Some of the more popular free attractions visible from the Strip include the water fountains at Bellagio, the volcano at The Mirage, and the Fall of Atlantis and Festival Fountain at Caesars Palace. There are several Cirque du Soleil shows, such as at the MGM Grand, O at Bellagio, Mystère at Treasure Island, Zumanity (for ages 18 and older) at New York-New York, Criss Angel Believe at the Luxor, Zarkana at the Aria Resort and Casino, and Michael Jackson: One at Mandalay Bay.

Read more on LasVegasMaps.com, LasVegas.com – Hotels on the strip and Wikipedia Las Vegas Strip (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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