The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Park MGM Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, is a megaresort hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, United States. The hotel, with a height of 360 ft, has 32 floors, featuring a 102,000-square-foot casino floor with 1,400 slot machines, 60 table games, 15 poker tables, it is operated by MGM Resorts International. The hotel offers 2,992 guest rooms, including 259 luxury suites; the Monte Carlo was converted into Park MGM between late 2016 and 2018, with the upper floors being converted into a boutique hotel, NoMad Las Vegas. The hotel named to invoke the Place du Casino in Monte Carlo, featured chandelier domes, marble floors, neoclassical arches, ornate fountains, gas-lit promenades; as of 2010, Monte Carlo had a AAA-Four-Diamond rating. The original Monte Carlo included 22,000 sq ft of retail stores, plus convention facilities, a spa, fitness center, a hair salon, a 2,000-square-foot exercise room, a pool area, which includes a wave pool lazy river, the Street of Dreams shopping area collection of retail stores which includes Optica, Marshall Rousso, Harley Davidson of Las Vegas and Art of Music.
A 21,000 sq ft pool area includes a wave pool with changing wave patterns, a "Lazy River" feature. The CityCenter Tram offers access to the Bellagio and Crystals retail district in the CityCenter complex, with service every 5 minutes. On October 7, 2010, the JabbaWockeeZ began performance of their residency at Monte Carlo, entitled "MÜS. I. C"; this show was performed five nights per week at the 1,224-seat Monte Carlo Theater, which under its previous name hosted magician Lance Burton, who performed there between June 21, 1996 and September 4, 2010. In 2012, the JabbaWockeeZ show moved to the 800-seat Monte Carlo Pavilion. On October 11, 2015, Blue Man Group discontinued their show at the Monte Carlo and moved back to the Luxor to open a new show, which opened on November 18, 2015. On October 18, 2018, Britney Spears announced a new residency show at the Park MGM opening in February 2019 titled Britney: Domination; as of 2009, the Monte Carlo print advertising campaign featured humorously misspelled French words coupled with glamorous images.
The campaign's tagline was "Unpretentiously luxurious". Park MGM is located on part of the former site of the Dunes golf course. Mirage Resorts purchased the Dunes in 1992 and closed it in January 1993. In May 1994, Mirage and Gold Strike Resorts announced a joint venture to build a $250-million casino targeted at budget-conscious visitors, on 43 acres of the Dunes site. Ground was broken for the hotel in March 1995. Circus Circus Enterprises acquired Gold Strike in June 1995 and took over its role of managing the project. Gold Strike had hoped to name the project as the Grand Victoria, the same name as the casino being developed by the company in Illinois, but that idea was discarded because of potential confusion with the MGM Grand. "Victoria" and "Victoria Bay" were reported as names for the property. Details about the property were revealed in July 1995, including that it would be named the Monte Carlo and feature Belle Époque architecture, based on the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco; the Monte Carlo opened to the public at midnight on June 21, 1996, following an invitation-only pre-opening celebration, including a fireworks show.
The project cost $344 million to build. On January 25, 2008, at 10:57 AM, a three-alarm fire was reported on the exterior of the top six floors and roof of the casino. Portions of the hotel facade's Exterior Insulation Finishing System burned with some debris falling off and starting smaller secondary fires on ledges three floors below; the fire was contained an hour after it began. It was an exterior fire; the Hotel & Casino reopened to guests on February 15, 2008. MGM Mirage officials put the total losses due to fire damage and loss of business at just under $100 million. Fire investigators interviewed witnesses and investigated the scene, determined the cause of the fire was the improper cutting and welding operations by contractors who were installing a steel catwalk; the 5,200-seat Park Theater at the Monte Carlo was built and opened on December 17, 2016. The theater has had residencies by Ricky Cher; the theater will be holding a 2 year residency by Lady Gaga from 28 December 2018 until further notice called Enigma as well as the first concert residency by Janet Jackson beginning in May 2019 titled Janet Jackson: Metamorphosis.
In June 2016, MGM announced a joint venture with Sydell Group that the Monte Carlo would be renovated and rebranded as the Park MGM, named after the adjacent dining and entertainment district, The Park, that opened in April 2016, the NoMad Hotel would occupy the top floors. It will feature the new Eataly restaurant. Both hotels began construction at the end of 2016, with completion planned for 2018; the property was renamed Park MGM on May 9, 2018. ‘’’Hotel32’’’ was an ultra-luxury, boutique hotel located on Monte Carlo's top floor. The new extension opened on August 10, 2009; the hotel had 50 lofts ranging in size from 850-square-foot studios to 2,000-square-foot penthouses and could only be accessed via a private elevator. All Hotel32 guests had access to a dedicated Suite Assistant, who provides personal butler and concierge services and numerous high-tech touches, including a TV integrated into the bathroom mirror. Guests had access to Lounge32. Nomad Las Vegas offered its guests a branded iPhone at check-in to promote the use of hotel amenities.
The system, running Hotel Evolution software, enabled the
Casino Royale Hotel & Casino
The Best Western Plus Casino Royale is a casino and hotel on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. The casino caters to low rollers, features low table minimums for roulette and blackjack; the casino until offered 100 times odds on craps at all times. Casino Royale now offers 100 times odds only when offering a $5 minimum bet, offers 20 times odds when offering a $3 minimum bet "at selected dates and times", it is known for its promotional slot play. Timeshare promotions in Las Vegas give out Casino Royale slot play, to be used at specific machines. To date, March 2017, the casino has resisted the Las Vegas Strip trend of adding a resort fee to their daily room charge. Before 1992, this property neighbored the Sands Hotel Casino to the south, contained several motels and casinos: Bill's Place, Bon Aire Motel, Motor Inn Motel, Louigi's Charcoal Broiler, Frank Musso's Restaurant. In the 1960s, a Denny's restaurant and Travelodge were built here. Nob Hill Casino opened between the two in 1978, closing in 1990.
On January 1, 1992 the casino reopened as the Casino Royale with a facade that united the property from the Denny's restaurant on the north side, to the adjacent Travelodge on the south, purchased and used for hotel rooms. In the late 1990s Casino Royale had highest odds allowed in craps; the game was a 50 cent minimum bet game,which allowed a player to place 100 times more in the odd bet. It was not uncommon to see 50 cent bets with $25 to $50 odds bets; this was. The Casino Royale was the first casino property on the Las Vegas Strip to install Geoff Hall's Blackjack variant Blackjack Switch; the success of Blackjack Switch at the Casino Royale lead to the game spreading to many other casinos. In January 2013, the property was rebranded as part of the Best Western hotel chain; the Casino Royale was represented in the 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as the Royal Casino. There is a hidden achievement in Project Gotham Racing 4 in which the player must take a picture in front of the Casino Royale while in an Aston Martin DBS.
Circus Circus Las Vegas
Circus Circus Las Vegas is a hotel, 123,928 sq ft casino, RV park located on the Las Vegas Strip in Winchester, Nevada. It is operated by MGM Resorts International. Circus Circus features circus acts and carnival type games daily on the Midway. Circus Circus is the largest permanent big top in the world; the Lucky The Clown marquee at the entrance was provided by Young Electric Sign Company and was constructed in 1976. Previous owners of Circus Circus Las Vegas were Jay Sarno and Stanley Mallin and Mandalay Resort Group known as Circus Circus Enterprises Circus Circus was opened on October 18, 1968 by Jay Sarno and Stanley Mallin, becoming the flagship casino for Circus Circus Enterprises. Architects Rissman and Rissman Associates designed a giant circus tent shaped main structure, built by R. C. Johnson Construction of Las Vegas. At its opening, the $15 million facility only included a casino; the lack of a hotel resulted in financial problems, as the casino was not able to attract high rollers.
Sarno obtained a $23 million loan from the Teamsters Pension Fund to construct a hotel. As part of the arrangement, the Chicago Outfit's enforcer, Anthony Spilotro was granted a gift shop concession in the hotel. In addition to a government investigation into the organized-crime connections and Mallin were being investigated for tax code violations; the casino's financial problems continued and Sarno, along with his partner Stanley Mallin, decided to sell out. In 1974, ownership changed with the sale of the casino to William Bennett and William Pennington for $25 million; the facility was expanded with hotel tower additions in 1972, 1975, 1980, 1986, 1996. A blog reported that on July 1, 2009, Slots-A-Fun would begin the re-branding process in order to be incorporated into Circus Circus; the hotel rooms are located in several buildings including: The West Tower The Casino Tower The Skyrise Tower Circus Circus Manor Motor Lodge RV Park Circus Circus offers: Slots-A-Fun Casino Ballrooms – space for up to 600 people Race and Sports Book – 80 seats, with 18 big screens Three swimming pools "Chapel of the Fountain" The Adventuredome is a 5-acre indoor amusement park located within the resort.
The park is inside a large pink glass dome connected to the hotel and offers 25 rides and attractions including the Canyon Blaster roller coaster, rock climbing wall, 18-hole miniature golf course, an arcade, clown shows, Xtreme Zone, Pikes Pass, Virtual Reality Zone, Midway Games, carnival-type games. Splash Zone Las Vegas Newest Water Park, it features thrilling a kiddie playground. The hotel's famous midway was featured in the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever. In his journalistic novel of the early 1970s, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson wrote, "The Circus-Circus is what the whole hep world would be doing Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war; this is the sixth Reich. The ground floor is full of gambling tables, like all the other casinos... but the place is about four stories high, in the style of a circus tent, all manner of strange County-Fair/Polish Carnival madness is going on up in this space." When the Thompson work was adapted to film in 1998, the fictional "Bazooko Circus" was a thinly veiled stand-in for the world-famed resort, which had refused permission for the filmmakers to shoot on their property.
The Adventuredome Theme Park and the Canyon Blaster roller coaster were featured in the 1999 movie Baby Geniuses. The theme park was known as Joyworld in the movie. Characters in 1977's post-apocalyptic Damnation Alley seek out at the abandoned Circus Circus to play. In Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and Vanessa sneak into the Circus Circus. In the 1992 movie Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, the oversized child Adam is shown laughing and smiling at the Lucky the Clown pylon; the Midway was featured in the 1978 film Corvette Summer, when Mark Hamill was being lured into a scam by a "salesman". In the game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Circus Circus is featured as The Clown's Pocket. A recreation of the hotel called "Ringmaster" can be found in the 2014 racing video game The Crew, near the northern end of the strip. In the TV series Vega$, private detective Dan Tanna lived in a converted warehouse next to Circus Circus, was shown driving past the resort in his classic Ford Thunderbird. Official website Vegas.com
Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is a luxury resort casino and hotel on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. The resort opened on December 15, 2010, is located just south of the Bellagio on the west side of Las Vegas Boulevard, it consists of two highrise towers, the Boulevard Tower and the Chelsea Tower, both of which are 184 meters tall. The $3.9 billion project features 3,027 rooms, a 110,000 sq ft casino, 300,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space, a 40,000 sq ft spa and fitness facility, a 3,200-seat theater, 150,000 sq ft of meeting and convention space. In 2013, the hotel was rated "The Best Hotel in the World" by Gogobot. In 2015, the resort was named to the Condé Nast Traveller Gold List as one of the "Top Hotels in the World". Cosmopolitan features 3,027 hotel rooms; the Cosmopolitan's 100,000 sq ft casino features views of the Las Vegas Strip. The Pools at the Cosmopolitan features three different types: a relaxing pool, day club pool and nightclub pool; the Cosmopolitan is home to the Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub, the top grossing nightclub in the United States in 2012.
In January 2014, the Cosmopolitan added Rose. Rabbit. Lie. Plans for the property were first announced in April 2004; the developer, 3700 Associates, was a joint venture formed by David Friedman, Ian Bruce Eichner, Soros Fund Management. The developers purchased the site, an 8.5-acre U-shaped parcel surrounding the Jockey Club timeshare building, for $90 million from a company controlled by New Frontier owner Margaret Elardi. Further details about the project, including the Cosmopolitan name, were released in November 2004; the Cosmopolitan's design team was led by Friedmutter Group as executive architect, with Arquitectonica as the design architect for the building's themed exterior. The building was engineered by DeSimone Consulting Engineers; the interior design team included Digital Kitchen, the Friedmutter Group, The Rockwell Group, Jeffrey Beers, Adam Tihany, Bentel & Bentel. The resort was built on; because the Cosmopolitan occupies much of the parking lot, it was agreed that the Club residents could use part of the Cosmopolitan's parking garage.
The Cosmopolitan was the second Las Vegas hotel, after The Palazzo, to feature an underground parking garage underneath the hotel. As a result, the parking garage was built first. In December 2007, work finished on the 70-foot hole for the parking structure, while other foundation work remained in progress; the hotel was planned to open and be operated by Hyatt as the Grand Hyatt Las Vegas. Original plans called for the casino to be on the second floor, but this was changed and the casino was built on ground level, like most other Las Vegas hotel-casinos. Planned condo units were replaced with studios and other hotel rooms. In January 2008, it was reported that the $3.9 billion project faced financial complications, as Eichner's company defaulted on a $760 million construction loan from Deutsche Bank when the developer missed a payment after failing to secure refinancing for the project. Construction moved forward. In late February 2008, Global Hyatt Corporation and New York-based Marathon Asset Management agreed to recapitalize the condominium-hotel project.
However, one month the developer said Deutsche Bank AG would begin foreclosure proceedings. They bought the hotel for $1 billion during the summer and hired The Related Cos. developers of Time Warner Center in New York, to re-position the asset, manage the development process and assist in leasing the retail and restaurant collection. Related recommended many revisions, including bringing the casino entrance onto the strip. In June 2008, Hearst Corp filed a trademark suit against the owners of the casino. Hearst owns the trademark to Cosmopolitan magazine. In March 2010, the suit was settled, the resort was renamed Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. In August 2008, it was announced that MGM Mirage, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Hilton were in talks to acquire the property, it was speculated that MGM Mirage would integrate the project into CityCenter. In April 2009, the Sun reported that the hotel would be managed by Hilton and would become the Hilton's first in their new Denizen hotel line; that month, those plans changed.
In June 2009, 400 homeowners filed a lawsuit against the developers, claiming breach of contract and seeking refunds for their deposits. They believed that the projected finish date of June 2010 was unrealistic and expressed fear that the developers might turn the condo rooms into hotel rooms only or "finish the building as a shell and not do any interior work."In April 2010, it was announced that the Cosmopolitan would open in stages, beginning in December and ending in July 2011. It was the only hotel-casino to open on the Strip in 2010; the project opened on December 15, 2010, became part of Marriott International's Autograph Collection, a collection of independent hotels with access to Marriott's reservation and rewards system. In January 2014, the
Las Vegas Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is a stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard in Clark County, Nevada, known for its concentration of resort hotels and casinos. The Strip is 4.2 miles in length, located south of the Las Vegas city limits in the unincorporated towns of Paradise and Winchester. However, the Strip is referred to as being in Las Vegas. Many of the largest hotel and resort properties in the world are located on the Strip; the boulevard's cityscape is highlighted by its use of contemporary architecture, a wide variety of attractions. Its hotels, restaurants, residential high-rises, entertainment offerings, skyline have established the Strip as one of the most popular and iconic tourist destinations in the world. Most of the Strip has been designated as an All-American Road and is considered a scenic route at night; the casinos that were not in Downtown Las Vegas along Fremont Street were limited to outside the city limits on Las Vegas Boulevard. In 1959, the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign was constructed 4.5 miles outside the city limits.
The sign is today located in the median just south of Russell Road, across from the now-demolished Klondike Hotel & Casino, about 0.4 miles south of the southernmost entrance to Mandalay Bay. In the strictest sense, "the Strip" refers only to the stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard, between Sahara Avenue and Russell Road, a distance of 4.2 miles. However, the term is used to refer not only to the road but to the various casinos and resorts that line the road, to properties that are not on the road but are in proximity to it. Phrases such as Strip Area, Resort Corridor or Resort District are sometimes used to indicate a larger geographical area, including properties 1 mile or more away from Las Vegas Boulevard, such as the Hard Rock, Rio and Hooters casinos. A long-standing definition considers the Strip's northern terminus as the SLS, though travel guides extend it to include the Stratosphere 0.4 miles to the north. Mandalay Bay, located just north of Russell Road, is the southernmost resort considered to be on the Strip.
Because of the number and size of the resorts, the resort corridor can be quite wide. Interstate 15 runs parallel and 0.5 to 0.8 miles to the west of Las Vegas Boulevard for the entire length of the Strip. Paradise Road runs to the east in a similar fashion, ends at St. Louis Avenue; the eastern side of the Strip is bounded by McCarran International Airport south of Tropicana Avenue. North of this point, the resort corridor can be considered to extend as far east as Paradise Road, although some consider Koval Lane as a less inclusive boundary. Interstate 15 is sometimes considered the western edge of the resort corridor from Interstate 215 to Spring Mountain Road. North of this point, Industrial Road serves as the western edge. Newer hotels and resorts such as South Point, Grandview Resort, M Resort are on Las Vegas Boulevard South as distant as 8 miles south of the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign. Marketing for these casinos states that they are on southern Las Vegas Boulevard and not "Strip" properties.
The first casino to be built on Highway 91 was the Pair-o-Dice Club in 1931, but the first resort on what is the Strip was the El Rancho Vegas, opening on April 3, 1941, with 63 rooms. That casino/ resort stood for 20 years before being destroyed by a fire in 1960, its success spawned a second hotel on what would become the Strip, the Hotel Last Frontier in 1942. Organized crime figures such as New York's Bugsy Siegel took interest in the growing gaming center leading to other resorts such as the Flamingo, which opened in 1946, the Desert Inn, which opened in 1950; the funding for many projects was provided through the American National Insurance Company, based in the notorious gambling empire of Galveston, Texas. Las Vegas Boulevard South was called Arrowhead Highway, or Los Angeles Highway; the Strip was named by Los Angeles police officer and businessman Guy McAfee, after his hometown's Sunset Strip. Caesars Palace was established in 1966. In 1968, Kirk Kerkorian purchased the Flamingo and hired Sahara Hotels Vice President Alex Shoofey as President.
Alex Shoofey brought along 33 of Sahara's top executives. The Flamingo was used to train future employees of the International Hotel, under construction. Opening in 1969, the International Hotel, with 1,512 rooms, began the era of mega-resorts; the International is known as Westgate Las Vegas today. The first MGM Grand Hotel and Casino a Kerkorian property, opened in 1973 with 2,084 rooms. At the time, this was one of the largest hotels in the world by number of rooms; the Rossiya Hotel built in 1967 in Moscow, for instance, had 3,200 rooms. On November 21, 1980, the MGM Grand suffered the worst resort fire in the history of Las Vegas as a result of electrical problems, killing 87 people, it reopened eight months later. In 1986, Kerkorian sold the MGM Grand to Bally Manufacturing, it was renamed Bally's; the Wet'n Wild water park was located on the south side of the Sahara hotel. It closed at the end of the 2004 season and was demolished; the opening of The Mirage in 1989 set a new level to the Las Vegas experience, as smaller hotels and casinos made way for the larger mega-resorts.
The Rio and the Excalibur opened in 1990. These huge facil
Las Vegas Valley
The Las Vegas Valley is a major metropolitan area in the southern part of the U. S. state of Nevada. The state's largest urban agglomeration, it is the heart of the Las Vegas–Paradise-Henderson, NV MSA; the Valley is defined by the Las Vegas Valley landform, a 600 sq mi basin area surrounded by mountains to the north, south and west of the metropolitan area. The Valley is home to the three largest incorporated cities in Nevada: Las Vegas and North Las Vegas. Five unincorporated towns governed by the Clark County government are part of the Las Vegas Township and constitute the largest community in the state of Nevada; the names Las Vegas and Vegas are interchangeably used to indicate the Valley, the Strip, the city, as a brand by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to denominate the region. The Valley is affectionately known as the "ninth island" by Hawaii natives and Las Vegans alike, in part due to the large number of people from Hawaii who live in and travel to Las Vegas. Since the 1990s the Las Vegas Valley has seen rapid growth, tripling its population of 741,459 in 1990 to 2,227,053 estimated in 2018.
The Las Vegas Valley remains one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States, in its short history has established a diverse presence in international business, urban development and entertainment, as well as one of the most iconic and most visited tourist destinations in the world. In 2014, a record breaking 41 million visited the Las Vegas area, producing a gross metropolitan product of more than $100 billion; the first reported non-Native American visitor to the Las Vegas Valley was the Mexican scout Rafael Rivera in 1829. Las Vegas was named by Mexicans in the Antonio Armijo party, including Rivera, who used the water in the area while heading north and west along the Old Spanish Trail from Texas. In the 19th century, areas of the valley contained artesian wells that supported extensive green areas, or meadows, hence the name Las Vegas; the area was settled by Mormon farmers in 1854 and became the site of a United States Army fort in 1864, beginning a long relationship between southern Nevada and the U.
S. military. Since the 1930s, Las Vegas has been identified as a gaming center as well as a resort destination targeting adults. Nellis Air Force Base is located in the northeast corner of the valley; the ranges that the Nellis pilots use and various other land areas used by various federal agencies, limit growth of the valley in terms of geographic area. Businessman Howard Hughes arrived in the late 1960s and purchased many casino hotels, as well as television and radio stations in the area. Legitimate corporations began to purchase casino hotels as well, the mob was run out by the federal government over the next several years; the constant stream of tourist dollars from the hotels and casinos was augmented by a new source of federal money from the establishment of what is now Nellis Air Force Base. The influx of military personnel and casino job-hunters helped start a land building boom, now leveling off; the Las Vegas area remains one of the world's top entertainment destinations. The valley is contained in the Las Vegas Valley landform.
This includes the cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, the unincorporated towns of Summerlin South, Spring Valley, Sunrise Manor, Enterprise and Whitney. The valley is technically located within the larger metropolitan area, as the metropolitan area covers all of Clark County including parts that do not fall within the valley; the government of Clark County has an "Urban Planning Area" of Las Vegas. This definition is a rectangular area, about 20 mi from east to west and 30 miles from north to south. Notable exclusions from the "Urban Planning Area" include Red Rock, Blue Diamond, Mount Charleston; the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is the largest police department in the valley and the state and exercises jurisdiction in the entire county. There are 3,000 police officers that cover the city of Las Vegas; the department does not exercise primary jurisdiction in areas with separate police forces such as North Las Vegas, Boulder City, Nellis Air Force Base and the Paiute reservation.
The Las Vegas Valley lies in the Mojave Desert. The surrounding land is desert with mountains in the distance; the Las Vegas Valley lies in a high-altitude portion of the Mojave Desert, with a subtropical hot-desert climate. The Valley averages less than 5 in of rain annually. Daily daytime summer temperatures in July and August range from 100 °F to 110 °F, while nights range from 72 °F to 80 °F. Low humidity, tempers the effect of these temperatures, though dehydration, heat exhaustion, sun stroke can occur after a limited time outdoors in the summer; the interiors of automobiles prove deadly to small children and pets during the summer and surfaces exposed to the sun can cause first- and second-degree burns to unprotected skin. July and August can be marked by "monsoon season", when moist winds from the Gulf of California soak much of the Southwestern United States. While not only raising humidity levels, these winds develop into dramatic desert thunderstorms that can sometimes cause flash flooding.
Winters in the Las Vegas Valley are chilly, but sunny. Winter highs in December and January range from 52 °F to 60 °F, while nighttime lows range from 34 °F to 42 °F (