The settlement of Las Vegas was first established in 1829 by a party of Mexican merchants who were travelling from New Mexico to Los Angeles. They stopped there to take on some water and decided it would be the perfect place to resupply on the journey to California. They named the area Las Vegas which is Spanish for ‘The Meadows’.
The region belonged to Mexico until 1844 when a war took place between Mexico and the United States and the territory changed hands. In the months leading up to the war a fort was built by John Fremont and this fort is still standing today. Further developments did not occur for a number of years until some land was purchased for a railroad that was being built across Southern Nevada. Some degree of farming had been carried out in the area but the population really grew when the railroad opened in 1902 and it officially became founded as a city in 1905 and was incorporated as part of Clark County in 1911.
A recession was experienced in the area in the late 1910s which coincided with the end of the boom created by the railways. However, this did not last too long and the population soon began to grow again in the 1930s when workers who were constructing the Hoover Dam moved into the area. During this period the population rose quite substantially from 5000 to 25000. As well as providing a great deal of employment in the area while it was being built, the Hoover Dam continued to have a huge impact on the area even when construction was finished. The Dam became known as a tourist attraction, along with Lake Mead which the Dam created. More hotels began to be built in the area to cater for these tourists.
By the 1950s the area was well known as a place where people could enjoy a visit to the casino and be entertained by some of the biggest stars in the world, including the ‘Rat Pack’. However, it was also quite widely known that money made from organised crime was used to pay in part for these casinos, and also that money laundering was undoubtedly going on. Official investigations were carried out into these practices and during this time then other cities did try and tempt people away to the casinos that they had on offer. This connection with the mob never really went away but it did not dampen any enthusiasm for visiting Las Vegas and in the end nowhere else was really able to compete.
Casino resorts began to be built in Las Vegas in the late 1980s and since this time is has developed into the place that everyone knows today. The area did suffer from the economic downturn in the late 2000s but now appears to be recovering from this. The main thing that keeps people coming back to Vegas time and again is that there really is something for everyone. People that would normally spend their vacations on the best golf courses in Canada will enjoy the luxury that is available in some of the best Las Vegas hotels.