Las Vegas Valley
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|Las Vegas Valley|
The Las Vegas Valley; From top left to bottom right: Las Vegas Strip (Paradise, Nevada and Winchester, Nevada), Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson
The Las Vegas Valley is a metropolitan area in the southern part of the U.S. state of Nevada, and is the heart of the Las Vegas–Paradise, NV MSA also known as the Las Vegas–Paradise–Henderson MSA which includes all of Clark County, Nevada. The Valley is defined by the Las Vegas Valley landform, a 600 sq mi (1,600 km2) basin area that contains the largest concentration of people in the state. The history of the Valley significantly intertwines with the history of the city of Las Vegas and one of the two primary cities (as used by the census bureau) in the MSA, with the other being Paradise. The valley is home to the three largest incorporated cities in Nevada: Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas. The six unincorporated towns in the valley make up Las Vegas Township which is the largest community in the state of Nevada. The valley is colloquially known as the "ninth island" of Hawaii by Hawaiians and Las Vegans due to the large number of Hawaiians who live in and travel to Las Vegas.
The names Las Vegas and Vegas are used to indicate the valley, the strip, and the city, and are used as a brand by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and to denominate the entire region. The metropolitan area's population was at 741,459 in 1990. The population was approximately 2 million in 2010 (estimated). Today, Las Vegas is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. The valley is an area generally defined by the Spring Mountains on the west, Sheep Mountains to the north, Muddy Mountains and Lake Mead to the east, and the Black Mountains to the south.
The valley is known for its extensive gaming, shopping, fine dining, and outdoor activities. Outdoor lighting displays are everywhere on the many tourist destination buildings in the area. Las Vegas, which bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, is famous for the number of casino resorts and associated entertainment. Las Vegas is also home to a growing retirement community and numerous celebrities. As seen from space, Las Vegas is the brightest city in the world.
- 1 History
- 2 Boundaries
- 3 Geography and environment
- 4 Economy
- 5 Culture and the arts
- 6 Communities
- 7 Media
- 8 Transportation
- 9 Sports
- 10 Recreation
- 11 Education
- 12 Venues in Las Vegas
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
The first reported non-Native American visitor to the Las Vegas Valley was the Mexican scout Rafael Rivera in 1829. Las Vegas was named by Mexicans in the Antonio Armijo party, including Rivera, who used the water in the area while heading north and west along the Old Spanish Trail from Texas. In the 19th century, areas of the valley contained artesian wells that supported extensive green areas, or meadows, hence the name Las Vegas (vegas being Spanish for "meadows").
The area was previously settled by Mormon farmers in 1854 and later became the site of a United States Army fort in 1864, beginning a long relationship between southern Nevada and the U.S. military. Since the 1930s, Las Vegas has generally been identified as a gaming center as well as a resort destination, primarily targeting adults.
Nellis Air Force Base is located in the northeast corner of the valley. The ranges that the Nellis pilots use and various other land areas used by various federal agencies, limit growth of the valley in terms of geographic area.
Businessman Howard Hughes arrived in the late 1960s and purchased many casino hotels, as well as television and radio stations in the area. Legitimate corporations began to purchase casino hotels as well, and the mob was run out by the federal government over the next several years. The constant stream of tourist dollars from the hotels and casinos was augmented by a new source of federal money 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 is now leveling off.
The valley is contained in the Las Vegas Valley landform. This includes the cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson, and the unincorporated towns of Paradise, Spring Valley, Sunrise Manor, Enterprise, Winchester, and Whitney. The valley is technically located within the larger metropolitan area, as the metropolitan area covers all of Clark County -including parts that do not fall within the valley.
The government of Clark County has an "Urban Planning Area" of Las Vegas. This definition is a roughly rectangular area, about 20 mi (32 km) from east to west and 30 miles (48 km) from north to south. Notable exclusions from the "Urban Planning Area" include Red Rock, Blue Diamond, and Mount Charleston.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is the largest police department in the valley and the state and exercises jurisdiction in the entire county. There are approximately 3,000 police officers that cover the city of Las Vegas; unincorporated areas; the town of Laughlin, about 90 mi (140 km) from Downtown Las Vegas; and desert, park, and mountain areas within Clark County. The department does not exercise primary jurisdiction in areas with separate police forces such as North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, Nellis Air Force Base and the Paiute reservation.
Geography and environment
The Las Vegas Valley lies in a relatively high-altitude portion of the Mojave Desert, which tends to produce drastic changes of temperature between seasons, and also between day and night. The Valley generally averages less than 5 in (130 mm) of rain annually. Daily daytime summer temperatures in July and August are typically around 101 °F (38 °C) degrees. Very low humidity, however, tempers the effect of these temperatures, though dehydration, heat exhaustion, and sun stroke can occur after even a limited time outdoors in the summer. The interiors of automobiles often prove deadly to small children and pets during the summer and surfaces exposed to the sun can cause first- and second-degree burns to unprotected skin. July and August can also be marked by "monsoon season", when moist winds from the Gulf of California soak much of the Southwestern United States. While not only raising humidity levels, these winds develop into dramatic desert thunderstorms that can sometimes cause flash flooding.
Winter season temperatures in Las Vegas range from mild to chilly, with many days being quite sunny. Winter daytime highs are near 60 °F (16 °C) and winter nighttime lows are about 40 °F (4 °C). The mountains surrounding the valley are snow-covered during the winter season, but snow accumulation in the area itself is uncommon. Every few years apart, however, Las Vegas does get a measurable snowfall.
Having part of the region located in a desert basin creates issues with air quality. From the dust the wind picks up, to the smog produced by vehicles, to the pollen in the air, the valley has several bad air days.
The dust problems usually happen on very windy days, so they tend to be short and seasonal with full fledged dust storms occurring rarely.
Smog on the other hand gets worst when there is no wind to move the air out of the valley. Also in winter it is possible to get an inversion in the valley air that actually traps any smog in the valley.
Since manufacturing is not a dominant industry of Las Vegas, and with Clark County working to control air quality problems, some success has been shown over the years. The constant tightening of federal requirements for allowable particles in the air, however, make the task of meeting air quality standards difficult.
The native flora does little to help the soil retain water. During the intense rains of monsoon season or (relatively) wet months of January and February, a network of dry natural channels, called washes or arroyos, carved into the valley floor allows water to flow down from the mountains and converge in the Las Vegas Wash which runs through the Clark County Wetlands Park. The wash system used to form a large natural wetlands which then flowed into the Colorado River, until the construction of Hoover Dam on the Colorado River led to the creation of Lake Mead. Further development in the 1980s and 1990s made Lake Las Vegas, which required directing the Las Vegas Wash into tunnels which run under Lake Las Vegas and into Lake Mead.
Nevada receives an allocation 300,000 acre feet (370,000,000 m3) of water each year from Lake Mead, with credits for water it returns to the lake. The allocations were made with the Colorado River Compact when Nevada had a much smaller population and very little agriculture. The allocations were also made during a wet string of years, which overstated the available water in the entire watershed. As a result, precipitation that is below normal for a few years can have a major impact on the Colorado River reservoirs. The Las Vegas area uses most of this allocation with Laughlin, Nevada using most of the remaining allocation. In June 2007, the price of a cubic meter was 57 cents in Las Vegas. Las Vegas gets around 90 percent of its water from Lake Mead.
Early Vegas depended on the aquifer which fed the flowing springs supporting the meadows that gave the area its name, but the pumping of water from these caused a large drop in the water levels and ground subsidence over wide areas of the valley. Today, the aquifers are basically used to store water that is pumped from the lake during periods of low demand and pumped out during periods of high demand.
The population doubling time in the greater metropolitan area was under ten years, since the early 1970s and the Las Vegas metropolitan area now has a population approaching two million people. This rapid population growth led to a significant urbanization of desert lands into industrial and commercial areas(see suburbia).
The driving force in Las Vegas is the tourism industry and the area has about 150,000 hotel rooms, more than any city in the world. In the past, casinos and celebrity shows were the two major attractions for the area. Now shopping, conventions, fine dining, and outdoor beauty are also major forces in attracting tourist dollars.
Las Vegas serves as world headquarters for the world's two largest Fortune 500 gaming companies, Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International. Several companies involved in the manufacture of electronic gaming machines, such as slot machines, are located in the Las Vegas area. In the first decade of the 21st century, shopping 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.
While Las Vegas has historically attracted high-stake gamblers from around the world, it is now facing tougher competition from the UK, Hong Kong and Macau (China), Eastern Europe and developing areas in the Middle East.
Las Vegas has recently enjoyed a boom in population and tourism. The urban area has grown outward so quickly that it borders Bureau of Land Management holdings along its edges. This has led to an increase in land values such that medium- and high-density development is occurring closer to the core. The 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 expanded with shopping centers that contain various Asian businesses. Over the past few years, retirees have been moving to the metro area, driving businesses that support them from housing to health care.
Las Vegas has been seeking to expand its manufacturing and research bases. There have been positive signs such as the World Market Center located in the city, and the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, in addition to many other businesses.
While the cost of housing spiked up over 40% in 2004, the lack of business and income taxes still makes Nevada an attractive place for many companies to relocate to or expand existing operations. Being a true twenty-four hour city, call centers have always seemed to find Las Vegas a good place to hire workers who are accustomed to working at all hours.
The construction industry usually accounts for a large share of the economy in Las Vegas. Hotel casinos planned for the Strip can take years to build and employ thousands of workers. The same could be said of the housing boom. With the introduction of Turnberry Towers, developers discovered that there was a large demand for high-end condominiums. At the end of 2004, several major condominium towers were in various stages of development, however, in 2008, the construction industry went into a downturn due to the credit crunch.
In 2000 more than 21,000 new homes and 26,000 resale homes were purchased. In early 2005 there were 20 residential development projects of more than 300 acres (120 ha) each underway. During the that same period, Las Vegas was regarded as the fastest-growing community in the US. However, the United States 2008 credit crunch and the accompanying U.S. business downturn sent business into a decrease. The disappearance of disposable consumer income for the country and the backlash against corporate entertainment spending sent the hospitality industry into a tailspin. The economy is currently recovering and the market is rapidly increasing as of 2013.
Other promising residential and office developments have begun construction around downtown Las Vegas. New condominium and high-rise hotel projects have changed the Las Vegas skyline dramatically in recent years. Many large high-rise projects are planned for downtown Las Vegas, as well as the Las Vegas Strip.
Construction in Las Vegas is a major industry and quickly growing with the population. In March 2011, construction employed 40,700 people and is expected to grow with the recovering economy. Since the mega resorts that have defined Las Vegas today, began going up in the early 1970s, construction has played a vital role in both commercial and non commercial developments. Cranes are a constant part of the Las Vegas Skyline. At any given time there are 300 new homes being constructed in Las Vegas. Downtown and The Strip always have at least one hospitality project under construction. In addition, in recent years Las Vegas has seen a spike in high-rise housing units. Luxurious condos and penthouse suites are always being built. New suburban master planned communities are also becoming common in Las Vegas ever since The Howard Hughes Corporation began work on Summerlin, an upper-class community on the west side of the valley.
The massive project CityCenter broke ground on June 26, 2006. Now completed at 3780 Las Vegas Boulevard South, it is the largest privately funded building complex in the world. At a cost of $9.2 billion, CityCenter was one of the largest projects in Vegas history. It put a massive strain on the construction ability and workforce of the area due to number of laborers and amount of materials required. Because of this, prices of almost any construction project in Las Vegas doubled. It is currently held by MGM Resorts International and has three hotels, two condo towers, and a hotel-condo building along with a large shopping and entertainment center.
Construction is expected to increase slowly in 2011 and 2012 however will pick up in 2013 with significant spending and millions of new jobs in the industry. In the near future, five years to a decade, it is estimated that Las Vegas will see an increase in commercial skyscraper developments in the Downtown area. A World Jewelry Center tower is planned for Downtown. It would stand as the tallest and only non hospitality or residential tower in Las Vegas. This will hopefully attract other developers and businesses in industries such as banking, finance, real estate, insurance, and media.
Slab-on-grade foundations is the common base for residential buildings in the area.
Traditionally, housing consisted primarily of single-family detached homes. Apartment complexes generally were two story buildings. There have been exceptions, but they were few and far between. In the 1990s, Turnberry Associates constructed the first high rise condominium. Prior to this, there were only a handful of mid-rise multi-family buildings. By the mid-2000s, there was a major move into high rise condominiums towers, which had an impact on the region's skyline around the Strip.
U.S. housing market collapse and recovery
Las Vegas was one of the top areas in the nation adversely affected by the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis and United States housing market correction, resulting in a fall in home prices and foreclosures in the late 2000s. In January 2008, 1.9% of homes in the Las Vegas area were in the foreclosure process. The problems, as it was mostly nationwide, was rampant speculation from house flippers, who sought quick profits and never intended to live in the homes they purchased. Also, resetting of many mortgage rates increased foreclosures. This downturn also negatively affected rental properties by placing downward pressure on rent prices. However, since the first quarter of 2010, the rental market has shown signs of rebounding with average rent increasing in the last six months. The sales market has also seen vast improvement in 2013. In the Las Vegas metropolitan region, overall home prices jumped 24 percent in 2012 from 2011, GLVAR’s market data shows. The median home price of single-family homes sold in January was $150,000, which compares to $118,000 at the end of January 2012 and prices continue to rise.
Many analysts agree that the Las Vegas economy is recovering, with improving conditions in tourism and the housing market for 2013. Prices are rising and there has been a large increase in the million dollar home market, with many new custom homes being built. January 2013 marks the 19th consecutive month with home sales higher than the same month in the previous year. In addition, Las Vegas was named America's Top Turn Around Market for 2012 by Trulia.
Changes in house prices for the area are publicly tracked on a regular basis using the Case–Shiller index; the statistic is published by Standard & Poor's and is also a component of S&P's 10-city composite index of the value of the residential real estate market.
Some technology companies have either relocated to Las Vegas or were created there. For various reasons, Las Vegas has had a high concentration of technology companies in electronic gaming and telecommunications industries.
Some current technology companies in southern Nevada include: Bigelow Aerospace, CommPartners, Datanamics, eVital Communications, Petroglyph, SkywireMedia, Switch Communications, US Support LLC, WorldDoc/SocialWellth and Zappos.
Companies that originally were formed in the Las Vegas region, but have since sold or relocated include Westwood Studios (sold to Electronic Arts), Systems Research & Development (Sold to IBM), Yellowpages.com (Sold to Bellsouth and SBC), and MPower Communications.
The major attractions in the Las Vegas Valley are the hotel/casinos. These hotels generally consist of large gambling areas, theaters for live performances, shopping, bars/clubs, and several restaurants and cafes. There are clusters of large hotel/casinos located in both downtown Las Vegas and on the Las Vegas Strip. The largest hotels are mainly located on the Strip, which is a four mile section of Las Vegas Boulevard. These hotels provide thousands of rooms of various sizes. Fifteen of the world's 25 largest hotels by room count are on the Strip, with a total of over 62,000 rooms. There are many hotel/casinos in the city's downtown area as well, which was the original focal point of the Valley's gaming industry. Several hotel/casinos ranging from large to small are also located around the city and metro area. Many of the largest hotel, casino, and resort properties in the world are located on the Las Vegas Strip.
The valley's casinos can be grouped into several locations. The largest is the Las Vegas Strip, followed by Downtown Las Vegas, and then the smaller Boulder Strip. There are also several one-off single standing hotel/casinos dotted around the valley and the metro area.
Las Vegas has expanded its attractiveness to visitors by offering both affordable and high-end merchandise in many shops and shopping malls. Many hotels on the Las Vegas Strip also have adjacent shopping malls, giving the Las Vegas area the highest concentration of shopping malls in any four mile stretch of road. In addition to the malls on the Strip, there are several outlying malls in the City of Las Vegas, Henderson, and the surrounding area. The monorail, lying somewhat east of the Strip, facilitates north-south travel, including stations at several casinos and the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Major malls include:
- The Crystals
- Bonanza Gift Shop
- The Boulevard Mall
- Galleria at Sunset
- Grand Canal Shoppes
- Fantastic Indoor Swap Meet
- Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas
- Fashion Show Mall
- The Forum Shops at Caesars
- Las Vegas Premium Outlets
- Meadows Mall
- Miracle Mile Shops
- Stratosphere Tower Shops
- Studio Walk at MGM Grand
- The Shops at Summerlin Centre
- The Shoppes at the Palazzo
- Tivoli Village at Queensridge
- Town Square
Culture and the arts
The "First Friday" celebration, held on the first Friday of each month, exhibits the works of local artists and musicians in an area just south of downtown, now called the "Arts District".
The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay is the only aquarium that is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in the state of Nevada. It features over 2,000 animals and 1,200 species in 1.6 million gallons of seawater.
The $485 million Smith Center for the Performing Arts is located downtown in Symphony Park. The center is appropriate for Broadway shows and other major touring attractions as well as orchestra, opera, and dance performances.
Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is a facility presenting high-quality art exhibitions from major national and international museums. Past exhibits have included the works of Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, and Peter Carl Fabergé. A self-guided audio tour is also offered.
The Las Vegas Natural History Museum features robot dinosaurs, live fish, and more than 26 species of preserved animals. There are several "hands-on" areas where animals can be petted.
The Atomic Testing Museum, affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, houses artifacts from the Nevada Test Site and records the dramatic history of the atomic age through a series of interactive modules, timelines, films, and actual equipment and gadgets from the site.
- Atomic Testing Museum
- Burlesque Hall of Fame
- Clark County Heritage Museum
- Discovery Children's Museum
- Erotic Heritage Museum
- Guinness World of Records
- Star Trek: The Experience
- Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum
- The Quad Auto Collection
- Las Vegas Art Museum
- Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement
- Las Vegas Natural History Museum
- Liberace Museum
- Lost City Museum[nb1 1]
- Madame Tussauds
- Marjorie Barrick Museum
- Neon Museum
- Nevada State Museum
- Nevada State Railroad Museum
- Pinball Hall of Fame
- Shelby Museum
- Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art
- Thunderbirds Museum
Parks and Attractions
- Acacia Demonstration Gardens
- The Amanda & Stacy Darling Memorial Tennis Center
- Bettye Wilson Soccer Complex
- Clark County Shooting Park
- Clark County Wetlands Park
- Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs
- Hoover Dam[nb1 1]
- Lake Mead National Recreation Area[nb1 1]
- Las Vegas Springs Preserve
- Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
- Spring Mountains National Recreation Area[nb1 1]
- Sunset Park
- Wet'n'Wild Las Vegas
- While outside of the valley, generally consider to be a Vegas destination
Some Las Vegas neighborhoods
- Alta Drive/Scotch 80's/Rancho Circle/Rancho Bel Air
- Boca Park
- Centennial Hills
- Desert Shores
- Downtown Las Vegas
- Green Valley
- Lake Las Vegas
- Los Prados
- MacDonald Highlands
- Mountains Edge
- Paradise Palms
- Paradise Vista
- Rancho Sierra Estates
- Seven Hills
- Silverado Ranch
- Southern Highlands
- The Lakes
- West Las Vegas
Las Vegas is served by 22 television and 46 radio stations. The area is also served by two NOAA Weather Radio transmitters (162.55 MHz located in Boulder City and 162.40 MHz located on Mount Potosi).
- Gamingwire an online news service about gaming and related topics
- Henderson Home News is a defunct weekly newspaper serving Henderson, owned by Greenspun Media Group, publishers of the Sun. It was closed in 2010.
- Las Vegas Advisor
- Las Vegas Business Press
- Las Vegas CityLife is the oldest alternative weekly newspaper in Southern Nevada.
- Las Vegas Review-Journal
- Las Vegas Sun
- Las Vegas Weekly is an alternative weekly paper owned by Greenspun Media Group, publishers of the Sun.
- Summerlin News and its sister West Valley News serving Summerlin and Spring Valley, owned by Greenspun Media Group, publishers of the Sun.
- Valley Times is a defunct newspaper that was discontinued around 1985. It covered the North Las Vegas area in the 1970s and 1980s.
McCarran International Airport (LAS) provides commercial flights into the Las Vegas. The airport serves domestic, international, and cargo flights, as well as some private aircraft. General aviation traffic, however, will typically use the much smaller North Las Vegas Airport, or other airfields in the county. Public transportation is provided by RTC Transit. Numerous bus routes cover Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, and other suburban areas.
The Las Vegas Monorail runs from the MGM Grand Hotel at the south end of the Strip to the Sahara Hotel and Casino 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 divide 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.
- On the east side of Las Vegas, block numbers between Charleston Boulevard and Washington Avenue are different along Nellis Boulevard, which is the eastern border of the city limits.
- All city street signs begin with a N, S, W, or E designation.
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 but no plan for a replacement has been implemented. The Las Vegas Amtrak station was located in the Plaza Hotel. It had the distinction of being the only train station located in a casino.
Two major freeways—Interstate 15 and Interstate 515/U.S. Route 95—cross in downtown Las Vegas. I-15 connects Las Vegas to the Southern California coastal urban centers of Los Angeles and San Diego, and heads northeast to and beyond Salt Lake City, Utah. I-515 goes southeast to Henderson, beyond which US 93 continues over the Hoover Dam towards Phoenix, Arizona and the Arizona Sun Corridor. US 95 connects the city to northwestern Nevada, including Carson City and Reno. US 93 splits from I-15 northeast of Las Vegas and goes north through the eastern part of the state, serving Ely and Wells, and US 95 heads south from US 93 near Henderson through far eastern California. A three-quarters beltway has been built, consisting of Interstate 215 on the south and Clark County 215 on the west and north. Other radial routes include Blue Diamond Road (SR 160) to Pahrump and Lake Mead Boulevard (SR 147) to Lake Mead.
With the notable exceptions of Las Vegas Boulevard, Boulder Highway (SR 582), and Rancho Drive (SR 599), the majority of surface streets outside downtown Las Vegas are laid out along Public Land Survey System section lines. Many are maintained by the Nevada Department of Transportation as state highways.
- McCarran International Airport
- North Las Vegas Airport
- Henderson Executive Airport
- Ivanpah Valley Airport (planned)
Rail and bus
While the Las Vegas area does not have any passenger rail service, proposals to revive passenger trains to Las Vegas have included the Desert Xpress high-speed train from Victorville, California; the California-Nevada Interstate Maglev, which would extend to Anaheim, California, with its first segment being to Primm, Nevada. The Las Vegas Railway Express; and the Z-Train, which would travel six days a week between Los Angeles Union Station and a new Z-Train Station adjacent to the Strip; and the Desert Lightning to Los Angeles and Phoenix. Las Vegas receives about 30 freight trains per day in 2004, and serves as a district crew change point, requiring all trains to stop in downtown. Freight traffic was 179,284 cars in 2004.
Two major freeways—Interstate 15 and U.S. Route 95—cross in downtown Las Vegas. I-15 connects Las Vegas to Los Angeles and San Diego, and heads northeast to and beyond Salt Lake City. Interstate 515 goes southeast to Henderson, beyond which U.S. Route 93 continues past the Hoover Dam towards Phoenix, Arizona. US 95 connects the city to northwestern Nevada, including Carson City and Reno. US 93 splits from I-15 northeast of Las Vegas and goes north through the eastern part of the state, serving Ely and Wells, and US 95 heads south from US 93 near Henderson through far eastern California. A three-quarters beltway has been built, consisting of Interstate 215 on the south and Clark County 215 on the west and north. Other radial routes include SR 160 to Pahrump and SR 147 to Lake Mead.
With the notable exceptions of Las Vegas Boulevard, Boulder Highway, and Tonopah Highway (better known as the northern part of Rancho Drive), the majority of surface streets outside downtown Las Vegas are laid out along Public Land Survey System section lines. Many are maintained, in part, by the Nevada Department of Transportation as state highways.
- East-west roads, north to south
- Las Vegas Beltway (CC 215)
- Ann Road
- Craig Road (SR 573)
- Cheyenne Avenue (SR 574)
- Carey Avenue
- Lake Mead Boulevard (SR 147)
- Washington Avenue (SR 578)
- Summerlin Parkway
- Bonanza Road (SR 579)
- Charleston Boulevard (SR 159)
- Sahara Avenue (SR 589)
- Desert Inn Road
- Spring Mountain Road (SR 591)
- Flamingo Road (SR 592)
- Tropicana Avenue (SR 593)
- Russell Road (SR 594)
- Sunset Road (SR 562)
- Warm Springs Road
- Blue Diamond Road (SR 160)
- Las Vegas Beltway
- Lake Mead Parkway (formerly Lake Mead Drive) (SR 564)
- Horizon Ridge Parkway
- St. Rose Parkway (formerly Lake Mead Drive) (SR 146)
- North-south roads, west to east
- Las Vegas Beltway (CC 215)
- Durango Drive
- Buffalo Drive
- Rainbow Boulevard (SR 595)
- Jones Boulevard (SR 596)
- Decatur Boulevard
- Valley View Boulevard
- Dean Martin Drive
- Las Vegas Boulevard (SR 604)
- Rancho Drive (SR 599)
- Paradise Road (SR 605)
- Maryland Parkway
- Eastern Avenue (SR 607)
- Pecos Road
- Lamb Boulevard (SR 610)
- Nellis Boulevard (SR 612)
The Las Vegas area is dependent on imported gasoline, diesel, and aviation fuel as is most of Nevada, which has only one refinery. The region is dependent on the Calnev Pipeline as its single supply. Limited diesel is delivered to a dedicated terminal in North Las Vegas by rail. Diversified supply is dependent on the planned UNEV pipeline.
Las Vegas is the home of the following minor league teams:
|Club||Sport||League (tier)||Venue (capacity)||Established||Titles|
|Las Vegas 51s||Baseball||Pacific Coast League (AAA)||Cashman Field (9,300)||1983||2|
|Las Vegas Wranglers||Ice hockey||ECHL (third tier)||Orleans Arena (7,700)||2003||0|
Las Vegas has many recreational options.
There are several multiuse trail systems within the valley operated by multiple organizations. The River Mountains Loop Trail is a 35-mile (56 km) long trail that connects the west side of the valley with Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. Summerlin offers more than 150 miles of award winning trails within the 22,500-acre (9,100 ha) community. There are also the 3-mile (4.8 km) Angel Park Trail, Bonanza Trail, and the county's Flamingo Arroyo Trail, I-215 West Beltway Trail (5 miles (8.0 km)), I-215 East Beltway Trail (4 miles (6.4 km)), Tropicana/Flamingo Washes Trail and the Western Trails Park Area Equestrian Trails (4 miles). The Las Vegas Valley also hosts world class mountain biking including Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park located in Boulder City which boasts itself as one of the International Mountain Biking Association's "epic rides".
Primary and secondary
The Clark County School District operates all of the public primary and secondary schools in the county with the exception of a few which are contracted out to a private organization.
- Private schools
- Alexander Dawson School
- American Heritage Academy
- Bishop Gorman High School
- Faith Lutheran Jr/Sr High School
- Calvary Chapel Christian School
- Calvary Church Christian School
- The Milton I. Schwartz Hebrew Academy
- Las Vegas Day School
- The Meadows School
- Merryhill School
- Mountain View Christian School
- Paradise Christian Academy
- Shiloh Christian School
- St. Viator School
- Trinity Christian School
- New Horizons Academy
- University Baptist Academy
Colleges and universities
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) is in Paradise, about three miles (5 km) south of the city limits and roughly two miles east of the Strip. 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, National University and Touro University Nevada are nearby Henderson. The College of Southern Nevada has campuses in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson. Henderson also is home to DeVry University and the Keller Graduate School of Management, as well as the University of Southern Nevada. Other private entities in the Las Vegas Valley include Apollo College and ITT Technical Institute.
- Public schools
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) is the major higher education institution in Las Vegas
- University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) also has a campus for the School of Medicine in Las Vegas
- Nevada State College located in Henderson, Nevada
- College of Southern Nevada—formerly known as the Community College of Southern Nevada and Clark County Community College
- Private schools 4 year+
- Design Institute
- National University of Nevada
- Touro University Nevada
- University of Phoenix-Nevada
- Roseman University of Health Sciences
Venues in Las Vegas
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Las Vegas Valley.|
- CAC (Civil Applications Committee)/USGS Global Fiducials Program web page containing scientific description of the region and interactive map viewer featuring declassified high-resolution time-series imagery