Las Vegas Strip

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"The Strip" redirects here. For other uses, see The Strip (disambiguation).
Las Vegas Strip
The Strip
South Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas Boulevard at night
Bellagio Caesars Palace
Welcome to Las Vegas sign Excalibur Las Vegas
New York, New York MGM Grand
Length 4.2 mi (6.8 km)
South end Russell Road
North end Sahara Avenue

The Las Vegas Strip is a stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard in Clark County, Nevada, known for its concentration of resort hotels and casinos. The Strip is approximately 4.2 miles (6.8 km) in length,[1] 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,[2][3] and is considered a scenic route at night.[4] Many of the largest hotel, casino, and resort properties in the world are located on the Las Vegas Strip. Fourteen 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 and lights. 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.[5]

Boundaries[edit]

looking north, 2013
Looking south

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).

In the strictest sense, "the Strip" refers only to the stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard that is roughly between Sahara Avenue and Russell Road, a distance of 4.2 miles (6.8 km).[6][7] However, the term is often used to refer not only to the road but also to the various casinos and resorts that line the road, and even to properties that are not on the road but in proximity. 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, Rio, Palms, and Hooters casinos.

The traditional definition considers the Strip's northern terminus as the SLS, though travel guides typically extend it to include the Stratosphere, 0.4 miles (0.64 km) to the north. Mandalay Bay, located just north of Russell Road, is the southernmost resort considered to be on the Strip (the Klondike was the southernmost until 2006, when it was closed, although it was not included in Las Vegas Strip on some definitions and travel guides).

Because of the number and size of the resorts, the Resort Corridor can be quite wide. Interstate 15 runs roughly parallel and 0.5 to 0.8 miles (0.80 to 1.29 km) to the west of Las Vegas Boulevard for the entire length of the Strip. Paradise Road runs to the east in a similar fashion, and ends at St. Louis Avenue. The eastern side of the Strip is bounded by McCarran International Airport south of Tropicana Avenue.

North of this point, the Resort Corridor can be considered to extend as far east as Paradise Road, although some consider Koval Lane as a less inclusive boundary. Interstate 15 is sometimes considered the western edge of the Resort Corridor from Interstate 215 to Spring Mountain Road. North of this point, Industrial Road serves as the western edge.

The famous "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign is located in the median just south of Russell Road, across from the now-demolished Klondike Hotel & Casino. Another similar (and newer) "Welcome to Fabulous Downtown Las Vegas" sign is in the median a mile north of the Strip at the intersection of Las Vegas Blvd and South 4th St. Newer resorts such as South Point and the M Resort are on Las Vegas Boulevard South as distant as 8 miles south of the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign. Marketing for these casinos usually states that they are on southern Las Vegas Boulevard and not "Strip" properties.

Southern half of Las Vegas Strip at night with CityCenter construction on the bottom right, 2007
Southern half of Las Vegas Strip at night with CityCenter construction on the bottom right, 2007
Las Vegas Strip from the south east, 2012
Las Vegas Strip from the south east, 2012

History[edit]

Early years (1930s–1990s)[edit]

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.[8][9]

The Strip in the 1940s. Pictured is the gas station of the Hotel Last Frontier, the second hotel on the Strip.

Las Vegas Boulevard South was previously called Arrowhead Highway, or Los Angeles Highway. The Strip was named by Los Angeles police officer Guy McAfee, after his hometown's Sunset Strip.[10]

Caesars Palace was established in 1966. In 1968, Kirk Kerkorian purchased the Flamingo and hired Sahara Hotels Vice President Alex Shoofey as President. Alex Shoofey brought along 33 of Sahara's top executives. The Flamingo was used to train future employees of the International Hotel, which was under construction. Opening in 1969, the International Hotel, with 1,512 rooms, began the era of mega-resorts. The International is known as Westgate Las Vegas today.

The Desert Inn on the Strip in the 1960s

The first MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, also a Kerkorian property, opened in 1973 with 2,084 rooms. At the time, this was one of the largest hotels in the world by number of rooms. The Rossiya Hotel built in 1967 in Moscow, for instance, had 3,200 rooms; however, most of the rooms in the Rossiya Hotel were single rooms of 118 sq. ft (roughly 1/4 size of a standard room at the MGM Grand Resort). On November 21, 1980, the MGM Grand suffered the worst resort fire in the history of Las Vegas as a result of electrical problems, killing 87 people. It reopened eight months later. In 1986, Kerkorian sold the MGM Grand to Bally Manufacturing, and it was renamed Bally's.

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. The Rio and the Excalibur opened in 1990. 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.

The lights along the Strip have been dimmed in a sign of respect to five performers and one other major Las Vegas figure upon their deaths. They are Elvis Presley (1977), Sammy Davis Jr. (1990),[11] Dean Martin (1995), George Burns (1996), Frank Sinatra (1998), and former UNLV basketball head coach Jerry Tarkanian (2015).[12] In 2005, Clark County renamed a section of Industrial Road (south of Twain Avenue) as Dean Martin Drive, also as a tribute to the famous Rat Pack singer, actor, and frequent Las Vegas entertainer.

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 MGM Grand Adventures Theme 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.[13]

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.

Recent years (2000–present)[edit]

Four-segment panorama of the Cosmopolitan, Bellagio, and Caesars Palace (left to right) from the Las Vegas Strip, across from the Bellagio fountains.

With the opening of Bellagio, Venetian, Palazzo, Wynn and Encore 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 2004, MGM Mirage announced plans for CityCenter, a 66-acre (27 ha), $7 billion multi-use project on the site of the Boardwalk hotel and adjoining land. It consists of hotel, casino, condo, retail, art, business and other uses on the site. City Center is currently the largest such complex in the world. Construction began in April 2006, with most elements of the project opened in late 2009. Also in 2006, the Las Vegas Strip lost its longtime status as the world's highest-grossing gambling center, falling to second place behind Macau.[14]

In 2012, the High Roller Ferris wheel and a retail district called The LINQ broke ground, in an attempt to diversify attractions beyond that of casino resorts. Renovations and rebrandings such as The Cromwell Las Vegas and the SLS Las Vegas continued to transform The Strip in 2014. The Las Vegas Festival Grounds opened in 2015. In 2016, the T-Mobile Arena, The Park, the Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino, and the Park Theatre opened. Smaller changes and developments are taking place as well.[15]

Pending[edit]

The Monte Carlo Resort and Casino will undergo a two-year, $450 million makeover to be completed by end of 2018.[16]

Genting Group bought the site of the Stardust in 2013 with plans to build and open Resorts World Las Vegas in early 2019.[17]

The All Net Resort and Arena was planned to open in 2017, but is delayed until 2018 or 2019.[18]

The Wynn Paradise Park has been announced for 2020.[19] Work is expected to begin at the end of 2017.[20]

The Riviera was demolished in August 2016 to make way for the Las Vegas Global Business District Project.

Crown Resorts purchased the site of the New Frontier in August 2014 with plans for a new resort named Alon Las Vegas. They pulled out the project in December 2016. However, the developers continue to explore options to get the project started.[21]

Plans to build the Las Vegas Raiders Stadium near The Strip were made public the end of March 2016.[22]

The unfinished Fontainebleau,[23] the unfinished Skyvue ferris wheel,[24] and the land of the former La Concha Motel[25] are for sale.

Transportation[edit]

The Las Vegas Monorail pulling into the Sahara Station in Paradise.

RTC Transit (previously Citizens Area Transit, or CAT) provides bus service on the Strip with double decker buses known as The Deuce. The Deuce runs between Mandalay Bay at the southern end of the Strip (and to the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign and South Strip Transfer Terminal after midnight) to the Bonneville Transit Center (BTC) and the Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas, with stops near every casino. RTC also operates an express bus called the Strip and Downtown Express (SDX). This route connects the Strip to the Las Vegas Convention Center and Downtown Las Vegas to the north, with stops at selected hotels and shopping attractions (Las Vegas Premium Outlets North & South).

While not on the Strip itself, the Las Vegas Monorail runs on the east side of the Strip corridor from Tropicana Avenue to Sahara Avenue.[26]

Several free trams operate on the west side of the Strip:

Most hotel properties along the Strip provide free shuttles between other properties and attractions.

Prior to CAT bus service beginning operations in 1992, mass transit on the Strip was provided by a private transit company, Las Vegas Transit. The Strip route was their only profitable route and supported the whole bus system.[citation needed]

Pedestrian traffic[edit]

The Strip traffic during the day, looking north from the MGM Grand. The strip has a number of pedestrian footbridges.

Concerning pedestrian safety and to help alleviate traffic congestion at popular intersections, several pedestrian footbridges were erected in 1990s. Some feature designs that 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.[27]

Attractions on the Strip[edit]

Golf[edit]

In 2000, Bali Hai Golf Club opened just south of Mandalay Bay and the Strip.[28]

In recent years, all golf courses on the Strip but the Desert Inn Golf Course have been removed to make way for building projects. Even though many golf courses along the Strip were being torn down, such as the Tropicana Country Club and the Dunes golf course, developer Steve Wynn, founder of previously owned Mirage Resorts, purchased the Desert Inn and golf course for his new company Wynn Resorts. The Wynn Golf Club is "...the only golf course attached to a resort on the Las Vegas Strip...".[29] In 2005, he opened Wynn Las Vegas, complete with remodeled golf course providing tee times to hotel guests only.

Amusement parks and rides[edit]

The strip is home to many amusement parks and rides. These include:

Shopping[edit]

The Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace

Entertainment[edit]

Nevada National Guard assist with New Year's Eve security

The Las Vegas strip is well known for its lounges, showrooms, theaters and nightclubs;[32] most of the attractions and shows on the Strip are located on the hotel casino properties. 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.[33]

Many notable artists have performed in Las Vegas, including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Wayne Newton, Liza Minnelli, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Liberace,[34] and in more recent years Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Barry Manilow, Cher, Elton John, Bette Midler, Donny and Marie Osmond, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Mariah Carey and Olivia Newton-John have had residencies in the various resorts on the Strip. The only movie theatre[when?] directly on the Strip is the 10-screen Regal Showcase Theatre in the Showcase Mall next to the MGM Grand (opened in 1997 and operated by Regal Entertainment Group).[35]

Venues[edit]

The strip is home to many entertainment venues, many of them multipurpose. These include:

Locations of major landmarks[edit]

Current landmarks[edit]

For a full list of hotels on the Strip, see List of Las Vegas Strip hotels.
North towards Fremont Street

Stratosphere
Aztec Inn
Allure, Bonanza Gift Shop
Sahara Avenue Sahara Avenue
Festival Grounds SLS
Hilton Grand Vacations All Net Resort and Arena (construction)
Sky
Circus Circus Fontainebleau (on hold), Turnberry
Slots-A-Fun Global Business District (construction)
Resorts World (construction)
Desert Inn Road Desert Inn Road
Trump, Alon (construction) Encore
Fashion Show Mall Wynn
Spring Mountain Road Sands Avenue
Treasure Island Palazzo, Sands Expo
Venetian
Mirage Casino Royale
Harrah's
Linq, High Roller
Flamingo
Caesars Palace Cromwell, Westin
Flamingo Road Flamingo Road
Bellagio Bally's
Paris
Cosmopolitan Planet Hollywood
Harmon Avenue Harmon Avenue
CityCenter (Aria, Vdara, Mandarin Oriental) Grand Chateau, Signature
Monte Carlo Showcase Mall
T-Mobile Arena, New York-New York MGM Grand
Tropicana Avenue Tropicana Avenue
Excalibur Tropicana, Hooters
Luxor
Delano, Mandalay Bay Skyvue (abandoned)
Russell Road

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign

South towards Interstate 215 I-215.svg

Former hotel/casino locations[edit]

North towards Fremont Street

Vegas World/Million Dollar Casino Silver Nugget
Honest John's Casino/Jolly Trolley Casino/Big Wheel Casino/Centerfold Casino/Jackpot Casino/Money Tree Casino Holy Cow/Foxy's Firehouse Casino
Sahara Avenue Sahara Avenue
El Rancho Vegas Sahara/Club Bingo
Wet 'n Wild
Thunderbird/Silverbird/El Rancho
Riviera
Westward Ho La Concha Motel
Silver City Casino/Silver Five/Riata Casino/El Morocco
Stardust/Royal Nevada Big Red's Casino/CBS Sports World Casino
Desert Inn Road Desert Inn Road
Silver Slipper/Last Frontier Village/Golden Slipper
New Frontier/91 Club/Pair-O-Dice/Last Frontier/Frontier Desert Inn/Player's Club/Desert Spa/Khoury's El Rancho Rio
Spring Mountain Road Sands Avenue
Sands/La Rue Casino/Matty's Tropics
Castaways/San Souci/Red Rooster Night Club Nob Hill Casino/Trade Winds
Holiday Casino, Holiday Inn/River Queen
Flamingo Capri/Imperial Palace/Quad
O'Sheas Casino
Barbary Coast/Bill's Gamblin' Hall and Saloon/Gansevoort/Empey's Desert Villa/Times Square Motel
Flamingo Road Flamingo Road
Dunes/Dunes Golf Course MGM Grand/Bonanza Casino/Three Coins
Little Caesars Casino/The Galaxy
Aladdin/Tally Ho/King's Crown
Holiday Inn, Boardwalk Harmon Avenue
Lucky Slots Casino/Silver Saddle Casino
Marina
Tropicana Avenue Tropicana Avenue
Hacienda
Russell Road
Klondike/ Kona Kai Motel

South towards Interstate 215 I-215.svg

Demolished or closed Strip casinos and hotels[edit]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Google (June 17, 2010). "Overview of the Las Vegas Strip" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved June 17, 2010. 
  2. ^ "U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary Downey Announces New All-American Roads, National Scenic Byways in 20 States" (Press release). Federal Highway Administration. June 15, 2000. Retrieved June 22, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Las Vegas Strip Named All-American Road" (Press release). Archived from the original on June 12, 2006. Retrieved June 22, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Scenic Byways". Scenicnevada.org. Retrieved January 19, 2015. 
  5. ^ Lukas, Scott A. (2007). "Theming as a Sensory Phenomenon: Discovering the Senses on the Las Vegas Strip". In Scott A. Lukas. The Themed Space: Locating Culture, Nation, and Self. Lexington Books. pp. 75–95. ISBN 0-7391-2142-1. 
  6. ^ Joe Schoenmann (February 3, 2010). "Vegas not alone in wanting in on .vegas". Las Vegas Sun. 
  7. ^ "County Turns 100 July 1, Dubbed 'Centennial Day'" (Press release). Clark County, Nevada. June 23, 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2010. 
  8. ^ Newton, Michael (2009). Mr. Mob: The Life and Crimes of Moe Dalitz. McFarland. pp. 40–41. ISBN 9780786453627. 
  9. ^ Rothman, Hal (2003). Neon metropolis: how Las Vegas started the twenty-first century. Routledge. p. 16. ISBN 9780415926133. 
  10. ^ "Las Vegas: An Unconventional History". American Experience. PBS. Retrieved June 7, 2007. 
  11. ^ "Lights to Dim On Vegas Strip in Memory of Entertainer With AM-Sammy Davis Jr". Associated Press. Retrieved January 19, 2015. 
  12. ^ "UNLV honors Jerry Tarkanian". ESPN. Associated Press. February 19, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Treasure Island Show Symbolizes New Era for Strip Resort" (Press release). Retrieved June 4, 2008. 
  14. ^ Barboza, David (January 24, 2007). "Asian Rival Moves Past Las Vegas". The New York Times. 
  15. ^ "Vegas4Visitors - Coming Soon". Vegas4visitors.com. Retrieved March 23, 2016. 
  16. ^ REVIEW-JOURNAL, RICHARD N. VELOTTA LAS VEGAS (June 3, 2016). "Monte Carlo will transform to Park MGM in $450M makeover". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved December 10, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Resorts World construction to ramp up this year, finish in 2019". VegasInc.com. May 4, 2016. Retrieved May 7, 2016. 
  18. ^ Karp, Hannah. "Las Vegas Betting New Venue Hits Jackpot". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved April 12, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Wynn Resorts plans to build 38-acre lagoon called Wynn Paradise Park - TravelWeds". TravelWeds. Retrieved April 12, 2016. 
  20. ^ REVIEW-JOURNAL, TODD PRINCE LAS VEGAS (2017-01-26). "Developer Steve Wynn to start work on Paradise Park before end of '17". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2017-02-05. 
  21. ^ REVIEW-JOURNAL, RICHARD N. VELOTTA LAS VEGAS (2016-12-15). "Crown Resorts pulls out of Alon project on Las Vegas Strip". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2016-12-17. 
  22. ^ "Las Vegas Sands Details $1.3B UNLV, NFL Stadium Plan". Law360.com. Retrieved April 9, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Fontainebleau on north Strip for sale". VegasInc.com. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Site of stalled SkyVue observation wheel for sale on the south Strip". VegasInc.com. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
  25. ^ http://vegasinc.com/news/2014/sep/05/half-price-sale-vacant-land-north-strip-16m-acre/
  26. ^ Garcia, Oskar (March 11, 2011). "Frugal travel: Vegas offers fun at low stakes". San Jose Mercury News. Associated Press. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  27. ^ Nordahl, Darrin (2002). The Architecture of Mobility: Enhancing the Urban Experience Along the Las Vegas Strip. University of California, Berkeley. 
  28. ^ Moran, Craig (August 2, 2010). "Money-losing golf club may become industrial park". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  29. ^ http://www.wynnlasvegas.com/Amenities/Golf
  30. ^ Hubble Smith (September 30, 2011). "Portion of Showcase mall sold for $93.5 million". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved July 18, 2015. 
  31. ^ "New York-New York, Monte Carlo To Be Transformed Into Park-Like District". VegasChatter. April 18, 2013. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  32. ^ "Las Vegas Nightclubs". Las Vegas Nightclubs. Retrieved May 22, 2016. 
  33. ^ Glusac, Elaine (September 14, 2007). "The Unlikely All-Ages Appeal of Las Vegas". The New York Times. Retrieved January 19, 2015. 
  34. ^ "The 25 Greatest Headliners in Las Vegas History". Las Vegas Weekly. 
  35. ^ "Showcase Theater". Fandango.com. Retrieved January 19, 2015. 
  36. ^ Geer, Carri (May 25, 1998). "CBS Broadcasting, casino settle in trademark dispute". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  37. ^ "Las Vegas Little Caesar's Casino Chips including the Sports Book Chips". Oldvegaschips.com. Retrieved July 21, 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing / Google

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