Las Vegas

History of Las Vegas: How the City Has Evolved Over The Decades

As you see it today, Las Vegas is a city of mega-hotels, widespread gambling, and monumental buildings. However, during the early history, it was not more than a dusty village with some green meadows. Native Americans became the first inhabitants of the town by settling in the arid land of Las Vegas. Over the decades, those arid lands turned into the megacity, and the abandoned land became the center of attention. How did a city far from civilization emerged and flourished into the famous city it is today?

 

The Early Explorations

Native Americans, known as the Paleo Indians, were the first inhabitants of the land. They settled in the area some 12,000 years ago. The Anasazi and Paiute came later and settled there.

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The European Expedition

The Spanish were the first Europeans to enter the area in 1829. Santa Fe trader Antonia Armijo led the expedition with Rafael Rivera. They were searching for a new route from Santa Fe to Los Angeles and accidentally arrived on the land, and they named it Las Vegas, which means "the meadows," because of the greenery of the valley.

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The Arrival of Mormon Missionaries

Mormon missionaries arrived in the area in 1855. They planted fruits and vegetables and started building adobe structures in the valley.  The crop cultivation remained a success during the first year; however, it failed during the second year, and the missionaries left the town at the end of 1857

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The Arrival of Mormon Missionaries

 

Mormon missionaries arrived in the area in 1855. They planted fruits and vegetables and started building adobe structures in the valley.  The crop cultivation remained a success during the first year; however, it failed during the second year, and the missionaries left the town at the end of 1857.

The Era of Reconstruction and the Arrival of Railroad

 

During the reconstruction era, the railroad developments started in the USA, and in 1890 the railroad developers decided to include Las Vegas in the Las Angeles and Salt Lake City railroad routes. With the arrival of the railroad, the fate of the city changed.

 William A Clark, the railroad company investor,  played a vital role in developing the city. He purchased the land, secured water rights to the springs there. Moreover, he built a railroad depot and a station cafe in Las Vegas that was the town's first casino. The secondary railroad lines were also constructed to connect the area to the cities of Tonopah and Goldfield.

The Rise of Gambling Capital of the World

The rise of the gambling capital started when gambling, drinking, prostitution and, casinos developed rapidly in the city.  The city suffered a setback in 1910 when Nevada put a ban on gambling and outlawed it. However, in 1931 gambling became legal in Nevada, and the city's casinos flourished once again.

Las Vegas As Tourist Destination

By 1921, small ranches emerged in the city, and soon it became a weekend destination for the people of surrounded cities like Los Angeles. Moreover, the Hoover Dam's construction during the great depression was a blessing in disguise for the city. It was one of the largest public works by the federal government. The dam gave two important commodities to the city, water, and electricity. Las Vagas benefited from the dam workers who came to the town for casinos and other activities.

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Las Vegas on the Rise

 

Las Vegas suffered a setback during WWII; however, it regained development pace when the first hotel EI Rancho Vegas, opened in 1941, followed by many others over the next few years. The Riviera, The New Frontier, The Sands, and the Sahara were some of the most famous hotels. In 1989, Steve Wynn introduced a new trend in the hotel construction and constructed Mirage, a mega-hotel and resort. Moreover, by 1994, Las Vegas had 86,000 hotels, including 20 mega-hotels and resorts.

 

Contemporary City

Las Vegas is on its way to the rapid growth. The city got a lot of income from the casinos and entertainment industry. Billion dollar renovation was made to keep the city modern and updated. The city has various hotels, golf courses, and high profile event venues. It has multiple tourist attraction, and  49.5 million people visit the megacity every year

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