as Vegas (/lɑːs ˈveɪɡəs/, Spanish for “The Meadows”), officially the City of Las Vegas and often known simply as Vegas, is the 28th-most populated city in the United States, the most populated city in the state of Nevada, and the county seat of Clark County. The city anchors the Las Vegas Valley metropolitan area and is the largest city within the greater Mojave Desert. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city, known primarily for its gambling, shopping, fine dining, entertainment, and nightlife. The Las Vegas Valley as a whole serves as the leading financial, commercial, and cultural center for Nevada.
The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and is famous for its mega casino–hotels and associated activities. It is a top three destination in the United States for business conventions and a global leader in the hospitality industry, claiming more AAA Five Diamond hotels than any other city in the world. Today, Las Vegas annually ranks as one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations. The city’s tolerance for numerous forms of adult entertainment earned it the title of Sin City, and has made Las Vegas a popular setting for literature, films, television programs, and music videos.
Las Vegas was settled in 1905 and officially incorporated in 1911. At the close of the 20th century, it was the most populated American city founded within that century (a similar distinction earned by Chicago in the 1800s). Population growth has accelerated since the 1960s, and between 1990 and 2000 the population nearly doubled, increasing by 85.2%. Rapid growth has continued into the 21st century, and according to a 2013 estimate, the population is 603,488  with a regional population of 2,027,828.
“Las Vegas” is often used to describe areas beyond official city limits—especially the areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip, which is actually located within the unincorporated communities of Paradise, Winchester, and Enterprise.
Las Vegas has a subtropical hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification: BWh), typical of the Mojave Desert in which it lies. This climate is typified by long, very hot summers; warm transitional seasons; and short, mild to chilly winters. There is abundant sunshine throughout the year, with an average of 310 sunny days and bright sunshine occurring during 86% of all daylight hours. Rainfall is scarce, with an average of 4.2 in (110 mm) dispersed between roughly 26 to 27 total rainy days per year. Las Vegas is among the sunniest, driest, and least humid locations in all of North America, with exceptionally low dew points and humidity that sometimes remains below 10%.
The summer months of June through September are very hot, though moderated by extremely low humidity. July is the hottest month with an average daytime high of 104.2 °F (40.1 °C). On average, 134 days per year reach or exceed 90 °F (32 °C), of which 74 days reach 100 °F (38 °C) and 7 days reach 110 °F (43 °C). During the peak intensity of summer, overnight lows frequently remain above 80 °F (27 °C) and occasionally above 85 °F (29 °C).While most summer days are consistently hot, dry, and cloudless, the North American Monsoon sporadically interrupts this pattern and brings more cloud cover, thunderstorms, lightning, increased humidity, and brief spells of heavy rain to the area. The window of opportunity for the monsoon to affect Las Vegas usually falls between July and August, although this is inconsistent and varies considerably in its impact from year to year.
Las Vegas winters are short and generally very mild, with chilly (but rarely cold) daytime temperatures. Like all seasons, sunshine during the winter is abundant. December is both the coolest and cloudiest month of the year, with an average daytime high of 56.6 °F (13.7 °C) and sunshine occurring during 78% of its daylight hours. Winter evenings are defined by clear skies and swift drops in temperature after sunset, with overnight lows sinking to 39 °F (3.9 °C) or lower during the majority of nights in December and January. Owing to its elevation that ranges from 2,000 feet to 3,000 feet, Las Vegas experiences markedly cooler winters than other areas of the Mojave Desert and the adjacent Sonoran Desert that are closer to sea level. Consequently, the city records freezing temperatures an average of 16 nights per winter. However, it is exceptionally rare for temperatures to ever fall to or below 25 °F (−4 °C), or for temperatures to remain below 45 °F (7 °C) for an entire day. Most of the annual precipitation falls during the winter months, but even the wettest month (February) averages only four days of measurable rain. The mountains immediately surrounding the Las Vegas Valley accumulate snow every winter, but significant or sustained accumulation of any kind within the city itself is rare. The most recent major event occurred on December 16, 2008, when Las Vegas received 3.6 inches (9.1 cm).
The Venetian Las Vegas
The hotel uses Venice, Italy, as its design inspiration and features architectural replicas of various Venetian landmarks, including the Palazzo Ducale, Piazza San Marco, Piazzetta di San Marco, the Lion of Venice Column and the Column of Saint Theodore, St Mark’s Campanile, and the Rialto Bridge. The design architects for this project were The Stubbins Associates and WAT&G. Interior design was provided by Wilson Associates, And Dougall Associates for the casino.
Hoover Dam, originally known as Boulder Dam from 1933 to 1947, when it was officially renamed Hoover Dam by a joint resolution of Congress, is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the U.S. states of Nevada and Arizona. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Its construction was the result of a massive effort involving thousands of workers, and cost over one hundred lives. The dam was named after President Herbert Hoover.
Since about 1900, the Black Canyon and nearby Boulder Canyon had been investigated for their potential to support a dam that would control floods, provide irrigation water and produce hydroelectric power. In 1928, Congress authorized the project. The winning bid to build the dam was submitted by a consortium called Six Companies, Inc., which began construction on the dam in early 1931. Such a large concrete structure had never been built before, and some of the techniques were unproven. The torrid summer weather and lack of facilities near the site also presented difficulties. Nevertheless, Six Companies turned over the dam to the federal government on March 1, 1936, more than two years ahead of schedule.
Hoover Dam impounds Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States by volume (when it is full). The dam is located near Boulder City, Nevada, a municipality originally constructed for workers on the construction project, about 30 mi (48 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. The dam’s generators provide power for public and private utilities in Nevada, Arizona, and California. Hoover Dam is a major tourist attraction; nearly a million people tour the dam each year. The heavily traveled U.S. Route 93 (US 93) ran along the dam’s crest until October 2010, when the Hoover Dam Bypass opened.
Visiting Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam Tours – The information that you need to plan your trip. Here is where you will find a description of the tour, admission fees, directions and more.
Buy Tickets for Hoover Dam Powerplant Tour – This link will open a new window that takes you to our partner site with Denison Parking where you can purchase tickets on-line in advance of your visit. Note: You can also purchase tickets at Hoover Dam in person, seven days a week (except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.) NOTE: Dam Tour tickets CANNOT be purchased on-line – they are available on a first come-first served basis and must be purchased in person at Hoover Dam. Major credit cards and cash are accepted.
Frequently Asked Questions – Answers to the most asked questions regarding the construction and operations of the dam.
Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States in terms of water capacity. Formed by the Hoover Dam, the reservoir serves water to the states of Arizona, California, and Nevada, providing sustenance to nearly 20 million people and large areas of farmland. Lake Mead is on the Colorado River, about 24 mi (39 km) from the Las Vegas Strip, southeast of the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, in the states of Nevada and Arizona.
At maximum capacity, Lake Mead is 112 miles (180 km) long, 532 feet (162 m) at its greatest depth, has a surface elevation of 1,221.4 feet (372.3 m) above sea level and 247 square miles (640 km2) of surface area, and contains 26.12 million acre feet (32.22 km3) of water.
The lake has not reached full capacity, however, since 1983 due to a combination of drought and increased water demand. As of August 2017, Lake Mead was at approximately 40% of full capacity with 10 million acre-feet of held water. It has been smaller than Lake Powell (the second largest US reservoir when both are full) since 2013.
The lake was named after Elwood Mead (January 16, 1858 – January 26, 1936) who was the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation from 1924 to 1936, during the planning and construction of the Boulder Canyon Project that created the dam and lake. Lake Mead was established as the Boulder Dam Recreation Area in 1936 administrated by the National Park Service. The name was changed to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in 1964, and Lake Mohave and the Shivwits Plateau were added to its jurisdiction. Both lakes and the surrounding area offer year-round recreation options.
The accumulated water from Hoover Dam forced the evacuation of several communities, most notably St. Thomas, Nevada, whose last resident left the town in 1938. The ruins of St. Thomas are sometimes visible when the water level in Lake Mead drops below normal. Lake Mead also covered the sites of the Colorado River landings of Callville and Rioville, Nevada, and the river crossing of Bonelli’s Ferry, between Arizona and Nevada.
At lower water levels, a high-water mark or “bathtub ring” is visible in photos that show the shoreline of Lake Mead. The bathtub ring is white because of the deposition of minerals on previously submerged surfaces.
The fountains – which cost $40 million to build and contain 22 million gallons of water – are one of the top attractions in Vegas. Set in “Lake Bellagio”, facing onto the infamous Strip, they “dance” with choreographed movements every half hour to tracks such as Viva Las Vegas, Luck Be a Lady, and My Heart Will Go On, as well as more modern tracks from the likes of Tiesto. Some casino high rollers are allowed to pick a song from the playlist – though that honour is reserved for few big spenders.
We stayed at The Orleans is a hotel and casino located in Paradise, Nevada. It is owned and operated by Boyd Gaming. It includes the large multipurpose Orleans Arena that can be converted into an ice rink. It is a major home for poker in the Las Vegas Valley and was one of the biggest poker rooms in Las Vegas prior to the 21st century poker boom..
Though The Orleans attracts a fair number of tourists, it is primarily considered to be a locals casino. It is located about 0.8 miles (1.3 km) west of the Las Vegas Strip, but offers from 9:00 am to 12:30 am a free shuttle bus approximately every 30 minutes to sister property Gold Coast Hotel and Casino and The Linq.
The Hotel and Casino opened in 1996. When the casino first opened, it did not perform up to expectations. In 1999 a major addition to the casino and other amenities were added. The success of these changes has been demonstrated by continued expansions in later years.
The Orleans Arena was added in 2003. A second hotel tower was added in 2004.
The location has the notoriety of having hosted the final concert performance from stand-up comedian George Carlin, in June 2008.
Besides its casino and arena, The Orleans includes:
- Movie theater
- Bowling center with 70 lanes, a pro shop
- Beauty salon
- Video game arcade
- Conference facilities