The Las Vegas Strip: How Did it All Come to Be?

The Las Vegas Strip: How Did it All Come to Be?
Fotka od Michelle Raponi z Pixabay

Today, the city of Las Vegas is known worldwide, especially for its vibrant streets and iconic resorts. And every year, millions of visitors from every corner of the world troop here to experience the unique city, leaving behind trillions of dollars.

But how did the all-famous Las Vegas strip come to be? This region of southern Nevada has quite the history, from mobs and prostitution to quick weddings and divorces. And today, we’ll explore the history timeline with live casino online gaming expert, Bernard Maumo from OnlineCasinoRank.

The Early Days

“When the 20th century was starting, Las Vegas was nothing more than a small desert outpost,” says Maumo. The journey from that to what we know of the city would then start in 1905, sparked by the completion of the San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Railroad. This railroad connected Southern California with Salt Lake City, making Las Vegas a railroad town. It would then become a city in 1911.

At this time and for the next two decades, gambling was already there. However, it was unregulated and illegal, and was mostly associated with organized crime. The entertainment activity would then become legalized in Nevada in 1931. According to Maumo, “This set up the stage for the future of the city. However, it would also be correct to say the construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s was even more important.” This is because it brought thousands of workers to the area, significantly increasing the need for entertainment and recreational outlets.

The Birth of the Strip

Although Las Vegas was growing, it wasn’t until the 1940s that its transformation would begin. This was a result of several visionary entrepreneurs who saw an opportunity to create something extraordinary. One of these was Thomas Hull, who opened the El Rancho Vegas in 1941. This was the first hotel in what would become the Las Vegas Strip.

Maumo elaborates, “El Rancho brought a new concept in the area, a destination resort. People could now come to the city and enjoy gambling together with captivating shows, and also relax in the same place.” This set the stage, and soon after that, iconic resorts like the Last Frontier and the Thunderbird also emerged. Each added its own distinctive charm to the fast-evolving Strip.

The Post-War Boom

As it had established itself as an entertainment center, “the end of the war was quite the turning point for the Strip,” notes Maumo. “This is the time when resorts like the Flamingo, Sahara, and Desert Inn emerged, most of them being opened with mob money.”  

The Flamingo, in particular, was opened by infamous mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel in 1946, and it brought a new level of luxury. It became a spot for Hollywood celebrities and famous entertainers. It was the symbol of glamour, and paved the way for a new era of extravagant resorts, world-class entertainment, and a vibrant nightlife scene.

Corporate Expansion

“Owing to the fast growth, it was only a matter of time before corporate interests began to shape the Strip,” Says Maumo. Two pivotal figures in this were Howard Hughes’ Summa Corporation and Kirk Kerkorian’s MGM Resorts International. These made huge investments in the strip and iconic resorts such as the Sands, the Stardust, and the Dunes were built. The Sands, in particular, became famous for its Rat Pack shows and played host to legendary performers like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr.

The Modern Era

Over the decades, the Las Vegas Strip has continued to evolve. “The strip has had some remarkable architectural and gaming innovations over the years, and has even embraced live casino online gaming to attract new markets,” says Maumo. Resorts like the Bellagio, the Venetian, and the Wynn Las Vegas have become iconic symbols of the modern Strip with their redefined luxury.

Today, the Strip is even more than just traditional casino gaming. It has lots of entertainment options to cater to diverse interests. You’ll find Cirque du Soleil shows, world-class concerts, Broadway-style productions, high-profile boxing matches, and nightclubs that feature internationally renowned DJs. All these contribute to the vibrant nightlife that has become synonymous with Las Vegas.

Subscribe us

Please wait...
Want to be notified when our article is published? Enter your email address and name below to be the first to know.