Since it was established in 1905, Las Vegas has become one of the most alluring cities in the world. Over a span of more than 100 years, the city has transformed from a mere desert valley with a handful of residents and a single gas station into a land of neon lights, myths and legends.
From the many buildings that have gone up and down, to the famed people who have walked the casino floors, here are a few fun facts about the history of this extraordinary city:
- The Strip isn’t really in Las Vegas – it’s actually located just south of the city limits.
- When the Sahara opened it had the largest freestanding neon sign in town at 100 feet.
- Vegas Vic, the gigantic neon cowboy watching over Fremont Street, is the world’s largest mechanical neon sign.
- The famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign was created in 1959 by Betty Willis.
- The Strip was named by a Los Angeles Police officer after Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip.
- The Beatles stayed at the Sahara Hotel when they played at the Convention Center in 1964.
- Businessman and movie producer Howard Hughes stayed in his hotel suite at the Desert Inn for so long that he was asked to leave, but he bought the entire hotel instead.
- Famed mobster Bugsy Siegel named the Flamingo Hotel after the long legs of his showgirl girlfriend.