Las Vegas, located in the middle of the Mojave desert in Nevada, USA, was born in 1905 as a convenient railway hub and repair location between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. However, in 1959, changes in gaming regulation lead to a new birth for the city. With the advent of the Nevada Gaming Commission created by the Gaming Control Act came new regulations to ensure honest, competitive gaming free of corrupt elements.
The new gaming regulations coupled with the city’s flashy image – strongly supported by continuous celebrity visits throughout its history – shaped the face of Las Vegas with the help of a great deal of publicity. With a growing tourist economy, more and more hotel casinos were built. Unique to the city are the erections and implosions of numerous casinos beginning in the mid 1990s.
More recently, the strip has been fitted with skywalks at Tropicana Boulevard and a monorail began running between the MGM Grand and Bally’s hotel-casinos. The Freemont Street Experience was also opened in the 1990s, changing the face of downtown with light shows, live entertainment, and activities for all ages in a pedestrian friendly area.
By 2000, urban sprawl was increasing at twice the rate of urban population growth in the US and Las Vegas was the fastest growing metropolitan area. 2003 marked a new advertising campaign for the city, coining the tagline, “What Happens Here, Stays Here.” While almost one third of all homes are in foreclosure, this year the city opened its new North Las Vegas City Hall, a sign of the city’s optimism for the future.