Las Vegas has come a long way since archaeologists discovered Native Americans lived in the Las Vegas Valley, beginning over 10,000 years ago. Over the centuries the Las Vegas Valley was a marsh with various groups of vegetation. Over the centuries the rivers that created the marsh went underground and the marsh eventually dried up, turning to desert.
Early in the 20th century, wells eventually piped water into the town. This endeavor provided both a stream of fresh water creating the ability for the town to grow. It became a water stop for wagon trains and eventually railroads, coming from Los Angeles traveling east to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
With water and a railroad Las Vegas began to grow. An interesting footnote is shortly after the city’s incorporation in 1911, the State of Nevada somewhat reluctantly became the last western state to outlaw gambling. Over the years the gaming laws in Nevada changed and in1941, hotel owner Thomas Hull opened the El Rancho – which was the êrst resort on what is the Las Vegas Strip today.
Pretty much everyone knows the storyof Bugsy Siegel the story of Bugsy Siegel and how he opened the Flamingo in
1946 and the construction overages and other ênancial decisions cost him his life. A that many people are unaware is Siegel modeled the Flamingo after the casinos that had been operation in Galveston, Texas for several years!
As Las Vegas continued to experience growth by 1954 8 million people a year were visiting Las Vegas. By this time, the mob was achieving more and more integration with the casino properties.
In 1996 the Howard Hughes Las Vegas era began when he was staying at the Desert Inn he refused to vacate his room. Rather than being bothered by management he decided to but the Hotel/Casino.
After getting his êrst taste of Las Vegas ownership he continued to buy more casinos, other real estate and media outlets spending $300 million.
The reality is Las Vegas and Clark County experienced incredibly high growth rates starting in the 1930s and lasting until the recession in the 2000’s. By the mid 2000’s, Las Vegas was the largest city founded in the 20th century!