Known as ‘The Entertainment Capital of the World’, Las Vegas or Vegas is famous for casinos, night clubs and every possible entertainment facility that exists. Nothing in Vegas is too loud, busy or too brash. Fondly known as ‘Sin City’, just remember what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
With more five-diamond hotels than anywhere else in the world and the top three destinations for business conventions, Vegas is the ultimate escape. Follow us on a tour of a lifetime. Vegas but not as you know it.
Las Vegas was established in 1931 when the state of Nevada legalised gambling. At this point Vegas was just a dirt town in the desert. World War Two saw the installation of an airforce base and airmen who needed to let off steam. Fast forward to 1951, the Moulin Rouge in downtown became the first racially integrated casino-hotel in Vegas.
Las Vegas has always been progressive, a place where anything goes – and anyone goes. Take a walk on the wild side of Vegas with us, as we explore the musical heritage and little-known cultural heritage of this fast-track town.
Las Vegas and Music
Many major rock stars and singers would not be where they are today if not for Las Vegas. A vacation to Vegas has to start on the music heritage trail if you want to know what makes this town tick.
Liberace, the pianist and singer, established the concert residency; something unheard of at that time. A series of concerts that launched his career and created the concert residency circuit for others that remain popular to this day.
Unfortunately, a lot of the early style hotels and casinos no longer exist. But it’s worth visiting the sites of these places to soak up all the historical vibes. Starting with the Riviera Hotel and Casino built on the strip in 1955 to much acclaim. Liberace was known as “Mr Showtime” and reportedly earned over $45,000 a week: utterly unheard of at that time.
The Riviera is no longer there, the land sold on to a new owner, and a new modern casino will be built on this site soon.
Another famous venue for music history is the New Frontier Hotel and Casino, Paradise, Nevada. Home to legends such as Elvis Presley and Diana Ross and the Supremes. This hotel was the height of fashion and meaningful in music history right up until the time it was demolished in 2007.
Not all music history has disappeared: it’s possible to visit the Las Vegas Hilton, now known as the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino, home to Elvis and his 837 sell-out concerts starting in 1969 to 1977.
There is no venue more famous than Caesar’s Palace. Still going strong after many renovations, Caesar’s Palace has housed more famous people than any other venue, culminating in the multi-million dollar residency held by Celine Dion. Dion is heralded with making Vegas residencies fashionable again.
Las Vegas and Sport
It’s not just music for which Vegas is famous; it’s also sport. Boxing is particularly renowned, and both the MGM Grand and Caesars Palace have been home to some infamous boxing matches.
Muhammad Ali lost his fight with Leon Spinks in 1978, and the MGM hosted the legendary Tyson vs Holyfield fight where Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear. Nowadays many boxing matches are held at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.
5 Places to Escape to on Your Las Vegas Vacation
So now you know a little history. It’s time to check out the weird and wonderful side to Las Vegas: and there is no shortage of fabulous places to stay.
The Luxor Hotel and Casino
Starting with the Luxor Hotel and Casino, this hotel is what the name says it is – straight out of Egypt complete with a glass pyramid and huge seated sphinx. You can’t miss the Luxor Hotel.
New York, New York Hotel and Casino
Just as you would expect, this hotel and casino was built to look like the New York skyline complete with the Statue of Liberty. The hotel even has a roller coast onsite for those seeking an extra thrill.
The Bellagio Las Vegas
If you want to push the boat out, stay at the Bellagio Las Vegas, an Italian experience in the middle of the desert. Home to the dancing water fountains that light up to music every night. Sitting on the site of the famous Dunes Hotel, today the Bellagio houses professional poker tournaments.
Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino
The oldest and the best. Stick with tradition, walk in the shoes of all the famous that have gone before. Also the backdrop to some well-known films, Caesars Palace is the site for ‘The Hangover’ and ‘The Hangover Two’.
For a new option, the latest edition to the strip will be the Circa Resort due to open in December 2020. This hotel will be 44 stories high and stand in a prominent position in Fremont Street.
Finally, you can’t go to Vegas without mentioning the films.
Films made in Las Vegas
The hotels in Las Vegas are in thousands of films over the years. Here are just a few examples.
The Venetian was home to ‘Miss Congeniality’ starring Julia Roberts in 2005; ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ with Brad Pitt was filmed at the Bellagio, and Caesars Palace.
Bally’s Las Vegas was featured in the aptly titled ‘Honeymoon in Vegas’ with Nicolas Cage, and the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino played host to Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz in the 2008 film ‘What Happens in Vegas’.
Fans of the game ‘Grand Theft Auto’ will know the setting, in Vegas. For one reason or another, Las Vegas has created its own culture. This desert town has seen more celebrities than Hollywood over the years.
If you need any more reasons to plan your escape to Vegas, just consider one more. It’s all-round amazing: fabulous food and gorgeous sunshine go hand in hand with fun and excitement. So go and have a brilliant vacation in Las Vegas.