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Bright neon lights, grand casinos, luxury hotels; These are just a few things that come to mind when you think about Las Vegas.
This major entertainment center is also home to top-notch amenities, like spas, golf courses, and fine-dining restaurants. The flashy Nevada city is an oasis in the desert, with plenty of business conventions and shopping centers for those who like to spend a pretty penny.
But what else is there for you to learn about one of North America’s top destinations? Continue reading to discover something new about the slick streets of Sin City.
Facts About Las Vegas
Whether you’re interested in facts about its vibrant nightlife and high-stakes gambling or want to know a bit about the city’s many amenities, here are some riveting facts about Las Vegas.
1. Pre-pandemic, Las Vegas Attracted an Average of Over 40 Million Visitors Per Annum
Approximately 40 million visitors made their way to the palm tree-lined streets of Sin City in 2019 (42.52 million, to be precise). This is no surprise, as Las Vegas is a popular tourist destination. The entertainment capital of the world is one of the most visited North American cities.
2. The Brightest Place on Earth… or Not
While some speculate that Vegas is the “brightest spot on earth,” it turns out that may not even be the case.
NASA says that that is a claim based on Las Vegas’ sheer concentration of hotels and casinos.
3. Over 150 Marriages Take Place in Las Vegas Every Day
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In addition to being renowned as the world’s entertainment capital, you may be surprised to learn that Las Vegas is also the marriage capital of the world. According to Las Vegas City Hall, over 150 marriages take place here.
Who wouldn’t say, “I do?” After all, it’s so easy and convenient to do so, thanks to the City Hall’s no waiting period.
4. Britney Spears’ 55-Hour Marriage Was Officiated at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas
Speaking of marriage, the “Princess of Pop,” Britney Spears, wed Jason Alexander at Vegas’ Little White Wedding Chapel in 2004. Their infamous marriage lasted just 55 hours, which is less than three days.
5. Las Vegas Has Over 50 Wedding Chapels
The most famous of these is the Little White Wedding Chapel.
6. There Are Over 150 Casinos in Las Vegas
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With millions making their way to Vegas each year, it’s no wonder that there are over 150 casinos in the city. In fact, the Las Vegas Valley has the most casinos in the U.S. However, there are many things to do in Las Vegas that aren’t gambling.
7. Las Vegas Has at Least 150,000 Hotel Rooms
Yes, you read that right.
With millions of people visiting the Nevada city each year, they surely need some place to rest up, which explains all the rooms. Plus, these hotels (and motels) generate a lot of revenue for the city of Las Vegas.
It’s not just gamblers and poker players staying in these rooms. Businessmen, families, and wedding guests make use of them too.
8. More Than Half of the Largest Hotels in the World Are in Las Vegas
With Las Vegas being a popular destination for people from all over the world, it is no wonder it has become renowned for its luxurious hotels. In fact, some of the biggest hotels in the world are located here.
Some of these hotels include the magnificent MGM Grand and the luxurious Luxor Hotel.
9. The World’s Largest Gold Nugget Is Found in Las Vegas
Image by Golden Nugget Las Vegas on Facebook
Marvel at the world’s largest gold nugget on display at the Golden Nugget Las Vegas. In 1980, Kevin Hillier found the 61-pound Hand of Faith using a metal detector and sold it to the Golden Nugget for over $1 million.
10. Las Vegas Is Home to the World’s Largest Mechanical Neon Sign
“Go big or go home“ looks like Sin City’s motto. Standing at an awe-inspiring 40 feet (over six times the average American), the familiar Vegas Vic is known as the world’s largest mechanical neon sign.
The cowboy, Vegas Vic, has been standing there since 1951, keeping a watchful eye over the city.
11. It Costs Almost 5x the Minimum Wage per Hour To Keep the Luxor Sky Beam On
It costs a pretty penny to keep the lights of the famous Sky Beam on. As of 2022, the Las Vegas minimum wage was $10.50 per hour (excluding health benefits). How much does it cost to keep the Luxor Sky Beam on? About $51 an hour.
12. You Probably Won’t Find Clocks or Windows in Your Favorite Casino
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“Viva Las Vegas turnin’ day into nighttime, turnin’ night into daytime.”
Few words ring truer than what Elvis Presley belted out in his hit song, “Viva Las Vegas.” Casinos don’t have windows or put up clocks on the walls because they want you to lose track of time while gambling. The longer you play (and lose), the more money the casino makes. Sorry.
13. Every Year, Las Vegas Hosts Over 22,000 Conventions
Las Vegas is renowned as a global hub for conventions and events, hosting more than 22,000 conventions annually. While this may sound excessive, it’s important to recognize the significant economic impact these events can have on the city.
From attracting new visitors to boosting local businesses, conventions and trade shows in Las Vegas are invaluable to the region’s economy. It’s even been estimated that the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority made $329 million in 2021.
14. 11% of People Who Visit Vegas Do So to Attend Conventions
When people who travel to Las Vegas were asked their reasons for doing so, 11% said they were attending conventions. 11% may not sound like much, but when you look at the actual number of people, that’s over 6.5 million people annually.
15. Sneaky Casino Layouts
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Do you recall the fact that casinos do not have clocks (or windows) in them, so gamblers lose track of time? Well, it appears that casino owners have discovered yet another sneaky way to keep you longer.
In fact, casinos in Vegas are set up to look like department stores, with maze-like isles that make it tricky for you to leave. Pretty slick, huh?
16. What’s in a Name?
You’d think that the Las Vegas Strip would fall under Sin City—after all, why else would it have that name?—but that’s not the case. Interestingly, the Las Vegas Strip actually falls under the unincorporated Clark County’s jurisdiction.
17. Speaking of Names…
Have you ever considered where Las Vegas got its name or what it means? Look no further. Its name actually comes from Spanish for “the meadows” or “the fertile valleys.” Rafael Rivera, a Spanish trader, spotted rich meadows of wild yet lush desert grass and bestowed the name upon this area.
The (watered) roots of Sin City’s name are interesting, especially since Vegas is considered a desert, having hot and dry weather most of the time.
18. McCarran International Airport Gets Very Busy
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Formerly known as Las Vegas International Airport, McCarran is the United States’ (and North America’s) seventh busiest airport. It’s actually estimated that over 51 million people (yes, 51 million) fly through the airport every year. That’s quite a lot of traffic.
19. A Hearty Appetite for Shellfish
Las Vegans consume about 60,000 pounds of shrimp daily. Yes, you read that right. It turns out that this level of consumption is higher than that of the rest of the country combined.
20. It Is the Most Populous City in Nevada
With a population of close to 660,000 people, Las Vegas is the largest city in the state of Nevada and the 26th most populous city in the United States.
21. The City’s Iconic Welcome Sign Was Designed by Betty Willis in 1959
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Located just south of the strip, the welcome sign has become a popular tourist attraction and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Las Vegas.
What makes this fact even more fascinating is that Betty Willis was a local and one of the first-ever female professional artists to design neon signs. This fact is especially interesting as neon art and design are very distinct and complex, making her achievement all the more impressive.
22. Betty Willis Didn’t Copyright the Vegas Sign
Instead, she sold the design to Clark County for $4,000. If you were to convert that to today’s money, you’d find that it would be close to $40,000.
But it wasn’t all about the money; Betty Willis considered it a gift to her local community. Thanks to the design not being copyrighted, you’ll find that the sign has been replicated across many types of souvenirs. This is something interesting to think about when you purchase a Vegas sign t-shirt at one of the many souvenir stalls in Sin City.
23. The Las Vegas Valley Is Also Home to Many Natural Wonders
Las Vegas’ location in the desert also offers visitors the opportunity to explore the surrounding area’s natural beauty. Take Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, for example. The state’s first National Conservation Area offers exciting hiking trails, rock climbing opportunities, and a scenic drive to enjoy stunning views.
24. The Largest Reservoir in the United States Is in Las Vegas
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The Las Vegas Valley also offers visitors the chance to experience the beautiful Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States. Plus, you’ll spot the Valley of Fire State Park nearby, which is famous for its unique red sandstone formations.
Water from the Colorado River flows into Lake Mead, with the lake being 532 feet deep when full.
25. Sin City’s Oldest Hotel Is the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino
First opened in 1906, this spot is the city’s oldest operating hotel and casino. The Golden Gate Hotel and Casino has survived throughout the years, overcoming outlawed gambling and the Prohibition.
Prohibition is the period between 1920 and 1933 when sales of alcoholic beverages like wine and whiskey were, ahem, prohibited.
26. Las Vegas Is Home to the World’s Second Largest Hotel
Back to hotels. Given Sin City’s penchant for the opulent and extravagant, it should be no surprise that The Venetian Las Vegas and the Palazzo fall under this category.
This luxurious resort is the second largest in the world, with 7,017 rooms combined. The Venetian has 36 floors, whereas the Palazzo boasts a whopping 53 floors. The Grand Canal shopping center connects the two hotels.
27. The Largest Bronze Statue in the U.S. Calls Las Vegas Home
Image by MGM Grand Las Vegas on Facebook
The renowned MGM Grand Las Vegas features the magnificent MGM Grand lion sculpture.
Standing at an impressive 6 feet tall and weighing 100,000 pounds, this bronze statue symbolizes true craftsmanship.
28. The Moulin Rouge Was Las Vegas’ First Racially Integrated Casino
In 1955, the Moulin Rouge debuted in Las Vegas, Nevada, as the city’s first racially integrated hotel and casino.
29. Las Vegas Receives Little Rain
The city receives less than 5 inches of rainfall per year, whereas the U.S. average is around 30 inches.
30. Las Vegas Has Strange Rules Around Lottery Playing
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You’d think a city known for legal gambling would allow the lottery, right? Well, playing the lottery is actually illegal in the state of Nevada. But Nevadans can play the lottery out of state.
31. “Gray Water” Is Used at the Bellagio’s Fountains
It may sound strange, but it isn’t; “gray water” is actually untreated domestic wastewater from showers and kitchen sinks, for example. This water is reused and not wasted, which is environmentally friendly.
32. The Bellagio Uses “Gray Water” in Its 1,200 Fountain Show
Not only is the Bellagio Fountain show itself impressive, but the fact that 1,200 fountains are used is remarkable. The impressive feat of engineering and entertainment draws in tens of thousands of spectators.
33. Give Your Heart a Break…or Not
Image by Heart Attack Grill on Facebook
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but you may need one on speed dial when at the Heart Attack Grill. Located on Fremont Street, its menu includes its infamous “Quadruple Bypass Burger,” which is sure to test the limits of your heart.
34. Cure a Hangover in No Time
Partied too much while celebrating a win at the casino? With “Hangover Heaven,” you can book a service that’ll come straight to you and replenish lost water and electrolytes with much-needed IV fluids and IV vitamins.
35. There’s a Museum Dedicated to the Mob
The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement (AKA, the Mob Museum) offers a unique look into Sin City’s criminal past, including its sinful ties to organized crime.
36. More Than Just a Poker Face
Image by The Smith Center on Facebook
Las Vegas has continually demonstrated that it offers visitors more than just gambling. The slick city is home to the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, a renowned theatrical venue and among the top theater venues worldwide in terms of ticket sales.
37. Las Vegas Got Its First Telephone in 1907
The first telephone was installed at the Hotel Nevada in 1907, and you’ll find a plaque commemorating it at today’s Golden Gate Hotel and Casino.
38. It’s Home to the Tallest Observation Tower in the Country
Aptly named the Stratosphere, the observation tower stands at 1,149 feet and is the tallest in the U.S.
39. Most of Las Vegas’ Domestic Tourists Come From California
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And most of the city’s international tourists come from friendly Canada.
40. The Luxor’s Sphinx Replica Is Bigger Than the Original
The sphinx at the 4-star Luxor Hotel & Casino is actually bigger than Egypt’s original one. Luxor Hotel’s sphinx is 110 feet tall, whereas its antique Egyptian counterpart is over 40 feet shorter.
41. A $100 Bet by a Software Engineer Turned Into a $39.7 Million Win
In 2003, a man’s life changed forever when he won just under $40 million at the Excalibur Hotel & Casino. This was the largest amount anyone has ever won in Las Vegas. He received $1.5 million annually.
42. Fremont Street Is Las Vegas’ First Paved Street
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Builders first paved it in 1925, and it was also Las Vegas’ first to receive a stoplight in 1931.
43. Las Vegas Casinos Make Over 40% of Their Revenue From Gaming/Gambling
And the balance? Well, casinos generate the rest from hotel bookings, food orders, and beverages.
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