Las Vegas was inhabited by the Paiute Indians for hundreds of years. The first reported visit by someone of Eurpoean descent came in 1829 by Rafael Riviera, a scout with a party of Spanish explorers searching for water while en route to nearby Los Angeles.
Spaniards in the Antonio Armijo party later named the area Las Vegas, which is Spanish for "the meadows". Las Vegas originally served as a rest area for pioneers traveling towards Los Angeles.
In 1865, Octavius D. Gass built a ranch on what now is now downtown Las Vegas. The ranch was later sold to Montana senator William Clark, who used the land to complete a railroad line between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles.
Las Vegas officially became a city in 1911 and, at the time, was a fashionable railroad town. In 1931, gambling was legalized and today, gaming, conventions, retail, dining, and tourism drive the Las Vegas economy.
The legalization of gambling in 1931 led to the advent of casino-hotels, for which Las Vegas is world famous. Major development occurred in the 1940s and most of the original large casinos were managed or at least funded under mob figures Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, Meyer Lansky or other mob figures at this time.
In the late 1960s, businessman Howard Hughes purchased many casino-hotels, as well as television and radio stations in the city. This led to more legitimate corporations purchasing casino-hotels as well, and the once powerful mob was eventually run out by the federal government.
Today, Las Vegas is the 28th most populous city in the United States and is home to a spectacular collection of hotels, residences, sensational entertainment, and extraordinary shopping. Billed as "The Entertainment Capital of the World", it is second only to Macau, China in gambling revenue.
Industry and Employment in Las Vegas
Also nicknamed "Sin City", Las Vegas has a wide variety of entertainment. Casinos such as the world famous Bellagio Hotel and Casino and MGM City Center offer exciting rounds or roulette, poker, and blackjack. Exotic foods and extravagant flavors of fine dining can be enjoyed at Bruce and Eric Bromberg's Blue Ribbon, Scott Conant's Scarpetta, and David Myers' Comme √áa.
However, Las Vegas is not just casinos and restaurants. Sample the sophistication of the city while visiting the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art and the Left of Center Art Gallery and Studio. Las Vegas also offers an array of retail outlets and a diverse nightlife that is sure to satisfy all who partake.
Education in Las Vegas
Decision-making can be confusing for a student when selecting a school and program of study, but there are a variety of options when it comes to choosing a school and program in Las Vegas.
"Technology and healthcare are really taking off in Las Vegas," says Cara Roberts, director of public relations for the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. "Construction and real estate are huge as well. But our hospitality industry is as big as ever. Tourism is still our driving force."
Private Colleges & Universities
Public Colleges & Universities
- Community College of Southern Nevada
- Nevada State College
- University of Nevada - Las Vegas
- University of Nevada School of Medicine at Las Vegas