Las Vegas By Junket
Did you know Las Vegas is the home of the 15 largest hotels in the world, like the Venetian and the Palazzo? Or that the daily consumption of shrimp there is higher than in the rest of the nation combined? Or that the Las Vegas strip is the brightest place on Earth when viewed from outer space?
One of the world’s most famous and beloved tourist destinations, Las Vegas is a glittering toy in the sandbox of America. Thousands of sparkling lights, neon signs, and out-of-this-world atmosphere ensure the party goes on all day, every day.
They Call It “Sin City”
Las Vegas has been known as “Sin City” since its earliest days, for the gambling, saloons, and red-light districts it embraced, in addition to the presence of notorious gangsters like Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, who was partly responsible for the creation of its most successful hotels and casinos.
For visitors looking for a wide range of entertainment, there is more to Vegas than casinos, bars, and buffets. Experience a gondola ride and imagine you’re on an Italian vacation. Admire underwater life during a visit to the Shark Reef Aquarium or hear big cats roar at the Lion Habitat Ranch. Explore some of the natural beauty surrounding the city at one of the state parks. Take a day trip to feel the desert wind on your face at the Hoover Dam bridge.
The Junket Las Vegas Experience will immerse you in a thrilling exploration of the darker side of this city of lights and fascinate you with stories of the colorful characters responsible for Sin City’s rise to fame.
The incredible nightlife of Las Vegas is available 24/7, but after the sun goes down, meet up with expert local guides as they introduce you to the notorious criminals, dirty deeds, and secret nightclubs of the city’s original vice district on the thrilling Mobsters and Gangsters Speakeasy Crawl.
Discover nefarious secrets, notorious legends, and hidden crime scenes on the celebrated Vegas Ghosts tour, and explore some of the most haunted locations in town where you will:
In addition to the Junket Las Vegas Experience, the city is comprised of a wealth of immersive resorts featuring high-end shopping, world-class restaurants, and incredible attractions. Las Vegas also features a wide range of unique activities, such as:
From a desert boomtown built around gambling and vice, Las Vegas has established itself as a world-famous entertainment center that few cities can rival.
Las Vegas History
Despite the desert heat, the area that is now Las Vegas was actually once a rich marshland yielding an abundance of vegetation. Over thousands of years, the marsh receded and water all but disappeared from the area, becoming trapped underground only to rise to the surface centuries later and transformed the land into an oasis surrounded by arid desert.
In 1829, a group of Mexican explorers en route from New Mexico to Los Angeles camped some 100 miles northeast of present-day Las Vegas. A scouting party led by Rafael Rivera rode west to find water. Rivera ventured into the desert alone and discovered a lush, green valley and freshwater springs. The land was named Las Vegas, or “the meadows,” for the abundance of grass growing despite the merciless desert sun.
Over the next century, Mexican settlers used Las Vegas as a stopover on their route to California via the Old Spanish Trail, many with dreams of discovering riches during the gold rush. Mormons from Salt Lake City settled in Las Vegas to protect a mail route, building adobe structures and mining for lead, though they had abandoned the area by 1858.
As the railroad industry grew, land developers saw Las Vegas as a prime location for a stop along the railroad servicing San Pedro, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles, connecting Las Vegas to major cities on the West Coast. With the arrival of the railroad in 1905, Las Vegas became a boomtown, with stores, saloons, and boarding houses popping up all over the area.
“[Las Vegas is] the most extreme and allegorical of American settlements, bizarre and beautiful in its venality and in its devotion to immediate gratification.” – Joan Didion
Mostly occupied by railroad workers and cattle ranchers, Las Vegas thrived with the spirit of the Wild West – complete with drinking, gambling, and ladies of the night. Despite Nevada’s ban on gambling in 1910, bootleg casinos and illegal gambling dens continued to operate.
This blatant disregard for the law would see Las Vegas become a breeding ground for vice and organized crime, as several mobsters from the East Coast established roots in the city.
When gambling became legal in Nevada once again in 1931, new casinos, restaurants, and entertainment venues opened up along the only paved road in the city – Fremont Street. Venue owners hoped to attract the thousands of workers who had arrived for the construction of the Hoover Dam some 30 miles away.
The Mob Comes to Town
Although World War II slowed growth in Las Vegas, the city found success with a string of hotels opening along Highway 91, which would one day be known as The Strip. These hotel builders included East Coast mobsters Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky among their ranks. During the 1950s and 1960s, many Las Vegas hotels were built that were funded by racketeering and drug trafficking, although mafia-financed casinos would eventually be pushed out by reputable businesses.
The casino scene boomed and would cement Las Vegas’ reputation as America’s playground, where glamorous resort hotels welcome you to forget the real world for a while. Entertainment venues featured beautiful showgirls and famous singers, and thousands flocked to see famous artists like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra perform. Over the next few decades, the Strip would produce high-end resorts inspired by iconic locations, like Egypt, New York, Paris, and Rome.
Las Vegas Today
What Happens in Vegas…
“Las Vegas looks the way you’d imagine heaven must look at night.” – Chuck Palahniuk
Players of the game of chance will enjoy spinning-reel adventures at more than 160,000 slot machines in the city. Those who prefer classic table games such as poker and roulette can bet their bottom dollar at one of over 60 casinos on and around the Strip. Luxury resorts with ultra-stylish rooms compete for your attention with immersive surroundings and lavish culinary experiences.
Elaborate stage shows mean there is never a moment of boredom in Las Vegas for entertainment seekers, from the Beatles to classic TV game shows. One-of-a-kind museums and fine art galleries beckon those looking for culture away from the casinos, and the city even offers an array of family-friendly attractions for guests of all ages.
Not just a desert oasis of glitz and glamour, Las Vegas is also surrounded by natural wonders just waiting to be explored. From one of the largest man-made lakes in the world to the desert beauty of Red Rock Canyon, the great outdoors invites you to take a breath of fresh air.
A city created for the pursuit of pleasure, Las Vegas is the ultimate escape, immersing visitors in a journey to far-away landmarks around the world, from the New York skyline to the Eiffel Tower. Be mesmerized by romantic European dancing fountains. Admire the icons of ancient Egypt or taste the flavors of Morocco. Travel the globe without leaving the city as the whole world awaits you in Las Vegas.
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