Some call it Sin City, most know it as Vegas. Whatever you call one of the fastest growing cities in The United States, there is no denying it's importance in the pop culture of the world during the last one hundred years. It is no doubt one of the most famous cities in the world and one that sees millions of tourists flock The Strip to take in world-class entertainment, casino gambling that can't compare to anywhere else in the world, Hollywood star-gazing, famous nightclubs and scenic desert vistas.
The lights never go out and the people never sleep in Vegas! It's an endless party for young spring-breakers, a retreat for seniors looking for a warm climate where they can relax have some fun and a holiday circus for young families. There is something for everyone to enjoy but those lights that are always one and droves of people who live in and flock to the city were not always there. Not too long ago, there was nothing but a vast and desolate desert taking up the space that the City of Las Vegas, Nevada now occupies.
It wasn't until the early 1900's that the area started to see some growth with people starting to settle there and industry starting to sprout up. In 1930, construction began on the Hoover Dam and the population boom that followed brought the population from five thousand to twenty-five thousand almost overnight!
These new residents were people taking jobs to help with the construction of the dam. Although some of these men brought families with them, the majority of them were young and single which created a demographic that craved something that was not readily available in the middle of the Mojave Desert; entertainment.
That entertainment came in the form of showgirls and casinos and in the years that followed, was set to a backdrop of more neon lights than anyone had ever seen before! The entertainment branched out too and sports events, large scale concerts and other famous events that have made Las Vegas a top tourist destination.
The characters who orchestrated the rise of Las Vegas as the entertainment capital of the world were just as entertaining so to speak. Local businessmen no doubt had a share in it's rise but it was the Mafia crime lords and Mormon financiers, with their contradicting and contrasting views about how things should be run, that created some of the more interesting business deals in the growing city. For decades, it was the mob who controlled things in Vegas and there was not much anyone else could do about it.
Today the mob is gone but Vegas still flourishes under what some might call not so moral standards. None-the-less, residents of the city live normal lives like they would anywhere else despite the fact that tourists are continually flocking to their city in droves to check out the next big act, the opening of the newest resorts and casinos and to visit some of the attractions outside the city such as the Grand Canyon and Death Valley National Park.
Being away from the city lights and seeing that sprawling desert out there helps the modern tourist see just how harsh of an environment those early settlers had to deal with.