The resort city of Las Vegas is situated near the stunning Spring Mountains of the Mojave Desert in the state of Nevada, America. Popular for its business and entertainment facilities, the city welcomes almost forty million visitors every year. Discovered by nomadic tribes in the eighth century BC and later visited by tribes in the first century AD, the region was not named until the nineteenth century, when European explorers encountered the valley. Positioned in a desert basin surrounded by mountains, the name is derived from the Spanish for ‘the meadows’, as the area was filled with wild grasses and springs. Founded as a city in 1905, Las Vegas was officially incorporated in 1911. The construction of the Hoover Dam and the legalisation of gambling in 1931 brought economic stability to the region, marking the start of its commercial development.
Location: Getting to Las Vegas and Traversing the City
Las Vegas is well served by the McCarran International Airport, which lies 8 kilometres south of the city centre and handles millions of passengers annually. There is a free shuttle bus that operates between the three terminals, and taxis and public buses can be found at Terminal 1 on Level Zero. Should vehicle rental be required, a free bus provides transport to the car hire facility around 5 kilometres away, where eleven companies are based. Within the city, public buses are an economical way to get around, and these serve a wide area, whilst the Las Vegas Monorail is a great way to travel to the Strip.
Business: Las Vegas as a Convention and Meeting Destination
For a number of years, Las Vegas has been ranked as one of the top three destinations in America for business conventions and meetings, playing host to over five million delegates in 2013. With such a huge role in the local economy, along with tourism and gaming, business requirements are excellently catered for by facilities such as the Las Vegas Convention Center. Adjacent to the Strip, the venue is renowned for its large capacity and its versatility. As well as a vast exhibition space, there are 144 meeting rooms to suit parties of anywhere between 20 and 2,500 delegates. With its array of amenities, the venue was awarded Gold Certification from the International Association of Convention Centers in 2012.
Culture: Be Dazzled by the Lights of Las Vegas
Although Las Vegas is famous for its abundance of casinos, great effort has been put into the diversification of the economy. Such investment has included the construction of the Freemont Street Experience, which holds free music concerts and is popular for its light and sound shows. The thrilling Cirque du Soleil ‘Mystère’ extravaganza can be watched at Treasure Island, and Town Square is the place to go to enjoy a variety of shopping and entertainment facilities.
Activities: Unearth History and Explore Scenic Surroundings
Visitors keen to learn about the history of Las Vegas can discover how organised crime influenced the development of the city at The Mob Museum. To escape the hustle and bustle, a trip to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area provides many opportunities for hiking or rock climbing. The beautiful Spring Mountain Ranch State Park is situated within the conservation area, boasts spectacular scenery, a picnic spot, and has a theatre programme during the summer months. After a busy day, there are a plethora of restaurants, theatres and nightclubs to unwind in.