Viva Las Vegas!
Las Vegas! There are not many cities where the mere mention of the name conjures up entire movies in our minds. Frank Sinatra and his "Rat Pack." Elvis Presley in his white costume. Siegfried & Roy and their tigers. Surrounded by glamour, but also the smell of the gambling world — wonderfully captured in movies like "Ocean's Eleven." Las Vegas has a magical attraction, and we can't resist it.
This fascinating city in the middle of the barren Mojave Desert reimagines itself again and again. In the middle of the 19th century, on their way to Los Angeles, merchants discovered a fertile area at the southern end of Nevada — "the meadows," as Las Vegas is translated. Mormons founded the first settlement, the Old Mormon Fort, later known as Fort Baker, which still exists today and can be visited. Las Vegas' first destination was a trading post, and in 1905 the railway was used for the upswing. Las Vegas officially became a city.
Gambling changed everything
From the 1930s, Las Vegas continued to grow with the construction of the Hoover Dam on the nearby Colorado River and the legalization of gambling in Nevada. The first hotel casino, El Rancho, opened in 1941. Betting offices and hotels with stage halls were built. With gambling, crime also flourished. From the 1950s onwards, the American Mafia controlled numerous hotels. Corruption, blackmail, and tax evasion dominated the business around the strip. Until the late 1970s, Las Vegas was considered run-down.
The new Las Vegas
The turnaround started in 1967, when American entrepreneur and aviation pioneer, Howard Hughes, took over seven hotels and transformed them into serious businesses. Another important driver behind Las Vegas' self-renewal was the opening of the Mirage in 1989 — the first mega resort by today's standards and inseparably linked to the lion and tiger tamers, Siegfried & Roy. Between 1990 and 2003, more than 10 million spectators watched their show. Since that time, Las Vegas has also hosted congresses and conferences as well as major trade fairs such as the CES Consumer Electronics Show.
From a Mormon settlement to a railway city, from a cesspool of sin to an entertainment metropolis: Las Vegas' transformation seems to be complete: Today it is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. Approximately 640,000 inhabitants live in the urban area and slightly more than 2 million in the metropolitan region.
Las Vegas, we look forward to three inspiring days with you!