|Gambling mecca, vacation paradise, premier
business destination'these are all definitions of the city that never
sleeps. Reality takes a hike when you enter the world of glittering
casinos with their 24-hour gambling excitement. The scarcity of clocks
adds to the fantasy of those taking time off from from the real world.
As a family vacation destination, the city offers the ultimate in
entertainment for all ages. Where else could you visit Paris, New York,
Venice and the Pyramids in one day? Play a round of golf at some of the
top-rated courses in the United States, be pampered in a luxurious spa, or
take the kids to King Tut's Tomb.
As a business destination, Las Vegas wins hands down with the volume of
facilities and services available for both large conventions or small
business get-togethers. A multitude of upscale eateries are at your
fingertips for a business lunch or dinner, and after-hours entertainment
is plentiful and diverse. The perfect venue to meet, entertain and close
Whether you're planning to move here, attend a business meeting,
sky-dive, get married, or just relax and enjoy, you'll find Las Vegas to
be a city like no other in the world.
The Strip (Las Vegas Boulevard)
Most people think of "the Strip" as the beginning and end of Las
Vegas'the fabled three mile area, otherwise known as Las Vegas Boulevard,
that holds more hotels and hotel rooms than any other city in the world.
Here you'll find the most famous and remarkable hotels and resorts:
Bellagio, with its Italian Renaissance aura; Caesars Palace'the glory that
once was Rome (Las Vegas style); the Flamingo Hilton (where some say Bugsy
started it all); the Mirage, with its white tigers and erupting volcanos;
Paris Las Vegas, with its outstanding replicas of the Eiffel Tower and the
Arc de Triomphe, and its magnifique Parisian atmosphere and charm; and
Treasure Island, with its live pirate battles offered free of charge on a
daily basis. At the "bottom" or south end of the strip, from the
ashes of the Hacienda Hotel, now stands the magnificent Mandalay Bay, with
its tropical atmosphere and a pool with waves you can actually surf. At
the top of the Strip, extreme north end, you'll find the Stratosphere
Tower, visible from miles away'the highest free-standing building in the
western half of the United States, with views, and even rides, from the
top that are indescribable.
Fremont Street (Downtown)
The original Las Vegas, where people hung out in the Thirties and early
Forties, is still standing and thriving, but with a new face, known as the
Fremont Street Experience. Some tourists actually prefer this area to the
Strip because room prices are generally lower, it's an easy walk from one
casino to the next, and it's more reminiscent of the early, nostalgic days
of Las Vegas. In addition to some of the more famous hotels, such as The
Plaza (formerly known as Union Plaza), overlooking Fremont Street, (and
the background in numerous movies), there's the understated classic
elegance of the Golden Nugget, one of the few Triple A & Mobil
four-star rated hotels in Las Vegas. For nostalgia buffs, there's also the
Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, recently renovated to its earlier classic
glory and appearance, and still famous for its 99-cent shrimp cocktail.
Plans are in the works for Neonopolis, a multi-media complex, which will
contain movie theatres, the Neon Museum and a variety of shops.
From the Convention Center at the north end, to McCarran Airport at the
south end, you'll find a busy street, just east of and parallel to Las
Vegas Boulevard. In the last few years a multitude of hotels and motels
have sprouted up, often catering to the business traveler looking for a
straight shot from the Convention Center to the airport, without getting
involved with the Strip, with its congested traffic and tourists.
Off the Strip
In recent years, hotels have sprouted up near the Strip, which are
conveniently accessible by shuttle bus, taxi or car. Most of these hotels
are small cities within a city, and offer some amenities that many of the
major Strip establishments don't, such as movie theatres, bowling alleys
and ice skating rinks; yet they all have the "basics" that
visitors and tourists expect - gambling, restaurants, buffets and
entertainment. Some of the better known of these are The Orleans (one mile
west of the Strip on Tropicana), the Rio Suites and the Gold Coast (across
the street from each other), just west of the Strip on Flamingo. Further
north, a half mile west of the Strip (and just off the I-15 Freeway) on
Sahara, is the Palace Station, the granddaddy of the Station Casinos with
its original approach to fine buffet dining (The Feast). To the east,
there's the Las Vegas Hilton, with the sprawling Convention Center just
adjacent to it. Further south, between Flamingo and Tropicana, east of the
Strip, you'll find the "must see" Hard Rock Hotel & Casino,
next to the original Hard Rock Café, each with its own fantastic giant
neon guitar at the entrance.
This has become something of a phenomenon in itself. Once, Boulder Highway
was a sprawl of small motels and businesses, leading from Fremont Street
eventually out to the city of Henderson and beyond that, to Boulder City
and Boulder (aka Hoover) Dam. But in recent years it's become the
"Second Strip," with its proliferation of large, popular hotels
and casinos. The first property, known as the "Flagship" of
Boulder Highway, is the Showboat Hotel & Casino, long popular with
locals and visitors, and particularly known for its gigantic double
bowling alleys. Further south, you'll approach Boulder Station Hotel &
Casino, one of the first properties to offer child care at a nominal fee
for children of both guests and non-guests; and then there's Sam's Town
Hotel & Casino, which has become the high standard of western-themed
resorts, with its newly added Mystic Falls Indoor Park.
North Las Vegas
The city of North Las Vegas has its Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a major
tourist attraction in itself, as well as Nellis Air Force Base, one of the
strongest military bases in the US, home to the flying Thunderbirds. As
far as accommodations are concerned, there are several spots, popular with
both locals and tourists alike, including The Fiesta and Texas Station
Hotel & Casino, across the street from each other. There's also the
Santa Fe, in northwest Las Vegas, unique for its Olympic-style Santa Fe
Located in the far northwest section of the Las Vegas valley, Summerlin is
a planned community with homes, shops, recreational activities, festivals
and concerts. A major destination is the Regency, (formerly the Resort at
Summerlin) a world-class resort which holds its own against the poshest of
the Strip hotel/casinos. It's also become an important business center.
The latest addition is the new Suncoast Hotel and Casino, which opened in
September of 2000.
The fastest growing community in the state of Nevada (next to Las Vegas,
of course), Henderson is known for its fine schools and community
offerings. It also has its own share of hotel/casinos, including Sunset
Station and The Reserve.
Beyond Las Vegas
For day trips that are well worth the trip, check out nearby Boulder City,
Lake Mead and Hoover Dam to the east and southeast. To the west, there's
Red Rock Canyon, and beyond that Spring Mountain Ranch. In the Toiyabe
Mountain Range, just 45 minutes from Las Vegas is Mt. Charleston, with
several delightful hotels, cabins and bed and breakfasts, where you can
enjoy cooler temperatures in the summer and skiing in the winter.