The shiny desert oasis we know today as Sin City and the Entertainment Capital of the World has modest roots. As a new railroad town in 1905, Las Vegas was for decades just a rest stop for military convoys and migrant workers on the way to California. The tide began to shift however, with the dedication of the Hoover Dam in 1936. Tourists began to visit the area for the first time. The subsequent decision to legalize gambling in the state of Nevada altered the fortunes of Las Vegas forever.
From the moment Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel’s Flamingo Hotel inaugurated the now-iconic Las Vegas Strip on December 26, 1946, the former desert stopover has become the fastest-growing city in America. Now at 1.8 million people strong, the bright lights of Las Vegas, visible from space, serve as a beacon to tourists from all over the world.