Snapshot of Las Vegas, Nevada

Learn a short of history of Las Vegas with this quick profile.

Population: 603,093

Population in Clark County: 1,996,542

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8 and 9

Major Airport: McCarran International Airport

Companies With a Major Presence: MGM Mirage, Harrah’s, Clark County School District, U.S. Air Force, local government

Once a watering hole for explorers en route to California, and later a train stop on the westward route, Las Vegas has always had a kind of magnetism for gambling and carousing. But it wasn’t until the 1930s that the town really started booming when Hoover Dam was built, creating Lake Mead and bringing water to Las Vegas and the entire Southwest.

But the Las Vegas we know and love today really started around 1946. That’s when Bugsy Siegel took over the Flamingo casino, establishing Las Vegas as the place for the mob to launder money. What followed was the largest hotel building boom in American history.

Today, Las Vegas is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and it’s not just because of gambling. There’s world-class shopping, dining, clubbing and more. It’s also one of the fastest-growing cities in America, drawing an average of 7,000 new residents a month (with 2,000 moving away). With no state or corporate income tax, a relatively low cost of living, and sunshine 85 percent of the year, living in Las Vegas is no longer the gamble it once was.

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