"Ours was the first and will doubtless be the last party of whites to visit this profitless locale." -Lieutanant Joseph Christmas Ives in 1857, on sailing up the Colorado River to a point near the present location of Las Vegas.
In 1970 there were slightly more than 20,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas. The number today is a staggering 151,000 and rising: another 11,000 are under construction, with a whopping 35,000 more on the drawing board. Vegas already has almost two times the hotel space as New York City. In fact, 15 of the world's 20 largest hotels are found in Las Vegas! The number of tourists has risen from 21 million in 1990, to 39 million in 2006. And they arrive ready to empty their pockets: tourists spent $15 billion here last year, and only 40% of that was in the casinos.
Where is some of that money spent? Let me show you...
Right: Somebody should tell the Bellagio about this bug...even fantasy gardens require a good blast of pesticide.
Video of the hourly fountain show outside the Bellagio.
Does anyone remember we're in the Mojave Desert?
Next: The Old Spanish Trail