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Evolution of las vegas

How Las Vegas Went From Deserted Desert Outpost To The Glitziest Place On Earth

The evolution of Las Vegas is a fascinating subject.

Sin City seems like an oasis in the desert. And in a lot of ways, it is. But how did this place, of all places, come to be the world’s capital for gambling, glamour and general hedonism? We’re going to explore just that in this article.

Human activity for thousands of years

The area where Las Vegas is has been home to humans for thousands of years. There’s evidence that Native Americans were there well over 10,000 years ago. Though those peoples might’ve just been passing through, we know that the first major settlements on this land in the Mojave Desert date back some 2,000 years.

Europeans and the evolution of Las Vegas

Credited as the first non-native American to visit the area, Rafael Rivera is on record as visiting in 1829. But this is still long before it was called Las Vegas.

The name Las Vegas was given to the area in 1905, translated as The Meadows in Spanish. And the following year, Hotel Nevada opened its doors. Incredibly, there is still a hotel operating on the same site, but nowadays it’s called the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino.

Las Vegas gets city status in 1911

Las Vegas was incorporated as a city in 1911, but it was a pretty sleepy city for several years after that.

Prohibition in the 1920s proved a boon for some of the establishments in Las Vegas. For example, the Northern Club became a notorious venue for illegal drinking and gambling.

But by 1931, prohibition was a thing of the past in Nevada and gambling was legalised. But even still, Sin City wasn’t attracting crowds in numbers. Not at least until…

Large scale construction and military bases bring a boom

Las Vegas’s first population boom happened in the post-war years, when large construction projects and military bases popped up nearby. With that, more and more people moved to the city.

And with more people, can more chances to make money. From the 1950s onwards, entrepreneurs started building luxury casinos and hotels to attract the new clientele.

Viva Las Vegas

The 1960s and 1970s in Las Vegas are thought of by some as the golden years. You’ve got the Betty Willis Welcome to Las Vegas sign being put up in 1959, as well as many more casinos to follow. Each one bigger and more luxurious than the last.

Las Vegas played a pivotal role in so many aspects of the evolution of gambling, including being where Texas Hold’em really caught on and the WSOP was born. As well as that, the first video slots were introduced in Vegas, and it’s long been home to some of the biggest roulette and blackjack games.

The modern evolution of Las Vegas

The 1990s saw the population of Las Vegas double before the millenium hit and now the metropolitan area has 2,000,000 people resident.

It’s hands down one of the most exciting places to visit, even today.

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