Las Vegas Strip

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Las Vegas Strip
The Strip
South Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas Boulevard
Bellagio CityCenter
Paris Las Vegas New York-New York Hotel and Casino
The Venetian Grand Canal Shoppes MGM Grand
Length 4.2 mi (6.8 km)
Coordinates 36°07′11″N 115°10′21″W / 36.119684°N 115.172599°W / 36.119684; -115.172599
South end Russell Road
North end Sahara Avenue

The Las Vegas Strip is a stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard in Clark County, Nevada that is 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.

Many of the largest hotel, casino, and resort properties in the world are located on the Las Vegas Strip. The road's cityscape is highlighted by its use of contemporary architecture, lights and wide variety of attractions. Its hotels, casinos, restaurants, residential high-rises, entertainment offerings, and skyline have established the Las Vegas Strip as one of the most popular and iconic tourist destinations in the United States, and the world.[2] Most of the Strip has also been designated an All-American Road,[3][4] and is considered a scenic route at night.[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 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 the city limits. The sign is today located in the median just south of Russell Road, across from the now-demolished Klondike Hotel & Casino, about 0.4 miles (0.64 km) south of the southernmost entrance to Mandalay Bay (the southernmost casino).[6]

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).[7][8] 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.

A long-standing 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.

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 Fabulous 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.[9][10]

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 and businessman Guy McAfee, after his hometown's Sunset Strip.[11]

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 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 six performers and one other major Las Vegas figure upon their deaths. They are Elvis Presley (1977), Sammy Davis Jr. (1990),[12] Dean Martin (1995), George Burns (1996), Frank Sinatra (1998), former UNLV basketball head coach Jerry Tarkanian (2015),[13] and Don Rickles (2017).[14] The Strip lights were dimmed later in 2017 as a memorial to victims of a mass shooting at a concert held adjacent to the Strip.[15] 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.[16]

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.
Gondolas outside of The Venetian.

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.[17]

In 2012, the High Roller Ferris wheel and a retail district called The LINQ Promenade 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.[18]

On October 1, 2017, a mass shooting occurred on the Strip at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, adjacent to the Mandalay Bay hotel. This incident became the deadliest mass shooting in modern United States history.[19]

Future developments[edit]

Transportation[edit]

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.[29]

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

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, Caesars 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.[30]

According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority's annual Las Vegas Visitor Profile Study, only 36% of people said they walked around the Strip, a figure that is a drop from 2013 (52%).[31]

Attractions on the Strip[edit]

Golf[edit]

Wynn Golf and Country Club

In 2000, Bali Hai Golf Club opened just south of Mandalay Bay and the Strip.[32]

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...".[33] In 2005, he opened Wynn Las Vegas, complete with remodeled golf course providing tee times to hotel guests only.

In 2016, a TopGolf opened near the Strip.[34]

Amusement parks and rides[edit]

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

Shopping[edit]

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;[37] 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 Mindfreak at the Luxor, and Michael Jackson: One at Mandalay Bay.[38]

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,[39] and in more recent years Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Barry Manilow, Cher, Elton John, Bette Midler, Donny and Marie Osmond, Garth Brooks, Jennifer Lopez, Reba McEntire, Mariah Carey and Olivia Newton-John have had residencies in the various resorts on the Strip. Currently, the only movie theatre 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).[40]

Gambling has become less of a mainstay in recent years with only 4% of visitors in 2016 saying they came to Las Vegas to gamble, down from 15% in 2013, 12% in 2014 and 10% in 2015.[31]

Venues[edit]

The Strip is home to many entertainment venues. Most of the resorts have a showroom, nightclub and/or live music venue on the property and a few have large multipurpose arenas. Major venues include:

Locations of major landmarks[edit]

Current landmarks[edit]

North towards Fremont Street

Stratosphere
Aztec Inn
Allure, Bonanza Gift Shop
Sahara Avenue Sahara Avenue
Festival Grounds SLS
Hilton Grand Vacations All Net (construction)
Sky
Circus Circus Fontainebleau (on hold), Turnberry
Slots-A-Fun
Resorts World (construction) Guardian Angel Cathedral
Desert Inn Road Desert Inn Road
Trump, Alon (on hold) 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, Elara
Harmon Corner
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 Las Vegas Village
Delano, Mandalay Bay Skyvue (abandoned)
Russell Road Little Church of the West

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
Jackpot Casino/Money Tree Casino Holy Cow/Foxy's Firehouse
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/Riata
Stardust/Royal Nevada
Desert Inn Road Desert Inn Road
Silver Slipper/Golden Slipper
New Frontier/Last Frontier/Frontier Desert Inn
Spring Mountain Road Sands Avenue
Sands
Castaways Nob Hill Casino
Holiday Casino, Holiday Inn
Flamingo Capri/Imperial Palace/Quad
O'Sheas Casino
Barbary Coast/Bill's
Flamingo Road Flamingo Road
Dunes MGM Grand
Aladdin/Tally Ho/King's Crown
Boardwalk Harmon Avenue
Marina
Tropicana Avenue Tropicana Avenue
Hacienda
Russell Road Glass Pool Inn
Klondike/Kona Kai

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. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ "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. 
  4. ^ "Las Vegas Strip Named All-American Road" (Press release). Archived from the original on June 12, 2006. Retrieved June 22, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Scenic Byways". Scenicnevada.org. Retrieved January 19, 2015. 
  6. ^ Alia, K. (14 August 2015). "Las Vegas Escorts, Strippers, Erotic Massages". Hustling.net. Adult Classifieds. Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  7. ^ Joe Schoenmann (February 3, 2010). "Vegas not alone in wanting in on .vegas". Las Vegas Sun. 
  8. ^ "County Turns 100 July 1, Dubbed 'Centennial Day'" (Press release). Clark County, Nevada. June 23, 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2010. 
  9. ^ Newton, Michael (2009). Mr. Mob: The Life and Crimes of Moe Dalitz. McFarland. pp. 40–41. ISBN 9780786453627. 
  10. ^ Rothman, Hal (2003). Neon metropolis: how Las Vegas started the twenty-first century. Routledge. p. 16. ISBN 9780415926133. 
  11. ^ "Las Vegas: An Unconventional History". American Experience. PBS. Retrieved June 7, 2007. 
  12. ^ "Lights to Dim On Vegas Strip in Memory of Entertainer With AM-Sammy Davis Jr". Associated Press. Retrieved January 19, 2015. 
  13. ^ "UNLV honors Jerry Tarkanian". ESPN. Associated Press. February 19, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Strip Lights Dimmed In Fitting Tribute To Rickles". Norm.Vegas. Retrieved April 17, 2017. 
  15. ^ Apgar, Blake (October 9, 2017). "Watch the Las Vegas Strip marquees go dark". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved October 9, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Treasure Island Show Symbolizes New Era for Strip Resort" (Press release). Archived from the original on August 8, 2008. Retrieved June 4, 2008. 
  17. ^ Barboza, David (January 24, 2007). "Asian Rival Moves Past Las Vegas". The New York Times. 
  18. ^ "Vegas4Visitors - Coming Soon". Vegas4visitors.com. Retrieved March 23, 2016. 
  19. ^ Hernandez, Dan; McCarthy, Tom; McGowan, Michael (2017-10-02). "Mandalay Bay attack: at least 50 killed in America's deadliest mass shooting". the Guardian. Retrieved 2017-10-03. 
  20. ^ Velotta, Richard N. (June 3, 2016). "Monte Carlo will transform to Park MGM in $450M makeover". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved December 10, 2016. 
  21. ^ Daniels, Jeff (2017-04-25). "Wynn Resorts board gives nod for $1.5 billion lagoon-theme park in Las Vegas, stock pops 4% on earnings beat". CNBC. Retrieved 2017-04-30. 
  22. ^ "Work on Steve Wynn's Paradise Park to begin late '17 or early '18". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2017-04-25. Retrieved 2017-04-30. 
  23. ^ "County OKs expanded plans for arena on Las Vegas Strip". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2017-10-18. Retrieved 2017-10-22. 
  24. ^ "Redesign pushes Resorts World Las Vegas opening date to 2020". LasVegasSun.com. 2017-05-18. Retrieved 2017-05-18. 
  25. ^ "Fontainebleau on Las Vegas Strip sells for $600M". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2017-08-29. Retrieved 2017-08-29. 
  26. ^ "Site of stalled SkyVue observation wheel for sale on the south Strip". VegasInc.com. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
  27. ^ "Half-price sale: Vacant land on north Strip — $16M an acre". September 5, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Crown pulls out of Las Vegas market with land sale". www.gamblinginsider.com. Retrieved 2017-05-22. 
  29. ^ Garcia, Oskar (March 11, 2011). "Frugal travel: Vegas offers fun at low stakes". San Jose Mercury News. Associated Press. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  30. ^ Nordahl, Darrin (2002). The Architecture of Mobility: Enhancing the Urban Experience Along the Las Vegas Strip. University of California, Berkeley. 
  31. ^ a b "Top 10 takeaways from the annual Las Vegas Visitor Profile Study". www.casinocitytimes.com. Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  32. ^ Moran, Craig (August 2, 2010). "Money-losing golf club may become industrial park". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  33. ^ "Las Vegas Golfing - Wynn Las Vegas & Encore". 
  34. ^ "Topgolf will develop multimillion-dollar, three-level center in Overland Park". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  35. ^ Hubble Smith (September 30, 2011). "Portion of Showcase mall sold for $93.5 million". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved July 18, 2015. 
  36. ^ "New York-New York, Monte Carlo To Be Transformed Into Park-Like District". VegasChatter. April 18, 2013. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Las Vegas Nightclubs". Las Vegas Nightclubs. Retrieved May 22, 2016. 
  38. ^ Glusac, Elaine (September 14, 2007). "The Unlikely All-Ages Appeal of Las Vegas". The New York Times. Retrieved January 19, 2015. 
  39. ^ "The 25 Greatest Headliners in Las Vegas History". Las Vegas Weekly. 
  40. ^ "Showcase Theater". Fandango.com. Retrieved January 19, 2015. 
  41. ^ Geer, Carri (May 25, 1998). "CBS Broadcasting, casino settle in trademark dispute". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  42. ^ "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: Google

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