Las Vegas Facts

Michael Bryan

Michael Bryan

Published: 21 Dec 2021

Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas sign

As one of the most popular cities in the United States, Las Vegas attracts more than 40 million visitors year after year. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic’s peak, it still recorded a staggering 19 million visitors in a year. Compare this to Paris’ 12.6 million visitors, or 30 million during the pre-pandemic. People visit Las Vegas for several reasons but mainly for leisure, entertainment, nightlife, cuisine, travel, and gambling. Macau may have stolen the spotlight in recent years (as some gaming aficionados now refer to it as the gambling capital of the world), but this city is still the Entertainment Capital of the World“. It still is the top choice if you want the best place to play casino. For many, no one beats Vegas. Read these 70 Las Vegas facts to find out what it’s like in this Sin City.

  1. Las Vegas is one of the major cities in the United States.
  2. Las Vegas is arguably the most popular city in the state of Nevada.
  3. As of 2021, the city’s population is approximately 650,000.
  4. Las Vegas is the most populated city in the state of Nevada.
  5. The city’s total land area is 352 km² (more than 2 times smaller than New York City).
  1. The Mexican scout, Rafael Rivera was the first non-Native American that came to Las Vegas Valley.
  2. Rafael Rivera gave the name “Las Vegas” which means “The Meadows.” This is to recognize the wild grasses of the area.
  3. Today, the Las Vegas Valley leads the financial, commercial, and cultural sectors for the state of Nevada.
  4. The city’s nickname is the “Entertainment Capital of the World” and “Sin City”.
  5. Las Vegas is the biggest city within the greater Mojave Desert.
  6. People from Las Vegas are called Las Vegan.
  7. Las Vegas is in Clark County (Clark County’s population accounts for more than 50% of the state of Nevada).
  8. The city has a high threshold for several adult entertainments.
  9. Las Vegas’s area code is 702 and 725.
  10. Las Vegas’ official website is lasvegasnevada.gov.
  1. Las Vegas is the 26th-most populated city in the country.
  2. The city is popular for its gambling industry.
  3. There are over 140 casinos in the city.
  4. The city ranks as one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations.
  5. Before the COVID-19 breakout, Las Vegas received 42 million visitors, while a year after the pandemic, it only had 19 million visitors.
Table of Contents

A lot of people attend business conventions here.

When it comes to business conventions, Las Vegas is part of the top 3 destinations in the country. Every year, there are at least 20,000 meetings and conventions held in the city. The Las Vegas Convention Center, for instance, is one of the biggest convention centers on Earth, where it has over 225 meeting rooms with seating capacities ranging from 50 up to 2,500.

Las Vegas convention center
Image source: Flickr

The city is the “King of the Hospitality Industry.”

As a world leader in the hospitality industry, it already amassed countless awards, including the Five Diamond Award (with more awards than any other city in the world). The AAA Five Diamond Award is only given to hotels and restaurants around North America as recognition by the AAA or American Automobile Association for providing the best luxury services.

Pawn Stars is from Las Vegas.

Filmed in Las Vegas, Nevada since its release in 2009, the reality television series Pawn Stars is arguably the most popular TV show in its class. Its cast including Rick Harrison, Austin “Chumlee” Russell, Corey Harrison, and Richard Harrison, provide a fair value for their customers who may want to pawn or sell their things or valuables — a win-win for both sides. Want to pawn and potentially be part of the show? You can visit them at 713 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89101, United States.

“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”

The famous quote, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” is about people enjoying gambling, 24-hour liquor sales, and strip clubs in the city, while forgetting all about it when they return to their normal lives. Most Las Vegas strip clubs perform a topless-only show, though there are some places in the area where being totally naked is allowed, and in these places, consumption of alcohol is forbidden.

Las Vegas offers easy marriage.

Are you hot to get married? Las Vegas is a place that offers easy marriage. With no waiting period, a couple can agree to get married in no time. Indeed, they can just step into a chapel in Vegas, exchange vows, receive their marriage license, and run off into the sunset as newlyweds!

Las Vegas weddings
Image source: Flickr

It is the Marriage Capital of the World.

As it offers easy marriage, it’s no surprise that the City hosts more weddings than any other place in the United States. From the couple’s first wedding, to the renewing of vows, there are up to 9,000 wedding events held here each month, making it the “Marriage Capital of the World.”

Divorce is easy in Las Vegas.

And as easy marriage is, divorce is also no sweat here in Las Vegas. It can’t be granted within a day, though, but can be effective for as fast as 10 days (provided it’s an uncontested divorce or both sides agree). If the couple wants to proceed, the filing fee can be as low as $199.

Prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas.

Nevada is the only state in the United States that legally allows regulated prostitution. But in contrast to the belief of some people, prostitution is not legal in the entire state. In fact, it is illegal in Clark County (which includes Las Vegas). Currently, licensed prostitution is only allowed in 10 counties such as Churchill County, Elko County, Esmeralda County, and Lander County.

Las Vegas’ population was less than 10,000 during 1941.

During the year 1941, the City’s population was only 8,400. It was in the 1960s when the count started to grow gradually. Consequently, the population spiked heavily in Las Vegas during the 90s and the early 2000s, when the population nearly doubled, increasing by over 80%.

The Valley’s population is 2,770,000.

The Las Vegas Valley is a key metropolitan area and home to the three largest incorporated cities of the state of Nevada (Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson). As of 2021, Las Vegas Valley’s population is nearly 3 million people. Meanwhile, the Valley continues to be one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the world.

The first people lived in Las Vegas Valley 10,000 years ago.

More than 10,000 years ago, the Paleo-Indian people lived in the land of what we now call the Las Vegas Valley. Researchers have discovered their tools scattered in the area. In the later years of the historic people or around 2000 years ago, the Anasazi and Paiute tribes also used the Valley to settle in.

There is a growing settlement in the Mojave Desert.

The Valley is an ecological part of the Mojave Desert (a xeric desert in the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada mountains) and is the smallest and driest desert in North America. Almost half of the Desert’s size is in Las Vegas, Nevada, and currently, there’s a growing amount of human settlement in the area.

desert, hot
Image source: Pixabay

July to August is Las Vegas’ hottest month.

The ideal months to visit Las Vegas are from September to November, as well as March to May. As much as you can, you may want to avoid January and December (this is typically the coldest months), while July and August are the hottest months. Nonetheless, if the weather temperature is not an issue for you, there’s always a perfect travel package available year-round.

If it snows, it usually doesn’t reach an inch.

Las Vegas gets little snow (from December to February) every five-year interval, and it’s very rare for that snow to cover the ground and collect to over an inch. On average, Las Vegas receives 5 inches of rain and 0 inches of snow each year. To compare, the United States averages 38 inches of rain per year and 28 inches of snow per year.

The Las Vegas Strip is filled with glamour.

The stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard in Clark County is famously known as the Las Vegas Strip. The Strip is highly popular for its resort hotels and casinos with its contemporary architecture, lights, and a large diversity of attractions.

MGM Grand is in Las Vegas Strip.

The legendary hotel and casino, MGM Grand, is located on the Las Vegas Strip. This hotel is the largest single hotel in the country, with over 6,500 rooms. It is owned by MGM Growth Properties and The Blackstone Group, under the management of MGM Resorts International.

The MGM Grand Garden Arena is home to the Hall of Famers.

The MGM Grand Garden Arena is famous for hosting massive sports events like boxing, combat sports, professional wrestling, and various college sports. This place is home to the Hall of Famers that have made their multi-million dollar matches here — Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather, and Canelo Álvarez.

MGM Resorts International is found beyond Las Vegas.

The American global hospitality and entertainment giant, MGM Resorts International is not just present in Las Vegas, but also dominating other states or cities such as Detroit, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. MGM Resorts International is a publicly-traded company under the stock code MGM in NYSE.

Caesars Palace attracts upper-class visitors.

Do you want to experience a luxury hotel at its finest? Then Caesars Palace is the best place to start! With roughly 4,000 rooms and suites across its area, including a variation of lavish villas, visitors can choose for as little as $3,000 up to $35,000 a night. Furthermore, guests can pick in a wide variety of restaurants that can serve endless flavors and international cuisines.

Caesars Palace
Image source: Pixabay

Steve Wynn started to plan the Wynn Las Vegas in 2001.

Another luxury resort and casino is Wynn Las Vegas, or simply known as Wynn. Owned by the American real estate tycoon, Steve Wynn, he first revealed this resort and casino back in August 2001. Today, Wynn Las Vegas boasts one of its restaurants at the Resort (the Five-Star Chinese Restaurant, Wing Lei). It is the very first Chinese restaurant in the U.S. to collect multiple valuable awards, including the Michelin Star, which is one of the hardest to obtain.

Steve Wynn became the youngest casino owner in Las Vegas.

Although Steve Wynn was not born in Las Vegas (born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1942), he moved to Sin City in 1967, along with his family. Steve’s father was an owner of bingo establishment chains in the eastern United States. Upon his arrival in Las Vegas, he immediately acquired a few stakes in the Frontier Hotel and Casino (a hotel that operated from October 30, 1942, until July 16, 2007). By 1973, Steve’s company became the biggest shareholder of the said hotel, which made him the youngest casino owner in Las Vegas. As of this writing, Steve is 79 years old.

The city’s neon tubing can reach Los Angeles.

If we add up all the neon tubing that we see in the signages in all the stores, hotels, and casinos in Las Vegas, it can reach over 24,000 km, or about 55 times the length of Las Vegas, to Los Angeles, California. Moreover, the city has approximately 10 million lightbulbs in the stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard alone.

The people of Las Vegas love shellfish.

Las Vegas and its visitors consume more than 55,000 lb of shellfish daily, the highest in the country. The city imports these mainly from Southeast Asia, which has several dilemmas such as the abuse of mangrove swamps where the farms are based, and the addition of pesticides and antibiotics in the fish farms that are banned in the country. Thus, some of its sellers now prioritize wild-caught local species.

Taking McCarran International Airport will bring 8 km closer to the city.

McCarran International Airport’s construction started in 1942 and opened in 1948. This airport has a couple of passenger terminals and four runways. McCarran International Airport’s name was changed to Harry Reid International Airport during the first quarter of 2021. The Clark County commissioners approved and supported the change of name via unanimous vote. This is to honor the long-time U.S. Senator from Nevada, Harry Reid.

McCarran International Airport's
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Las Vegas’s hotel occupancy rate is extremely healthy.

For many hotels around the world, their ideal occupancy to make profit should be at least 70% or more. But for Las Vegas, the average occupancy rate for its hotels is close to 90%. According to a survey, the hotel’s guests usually book for travel and vacation (more than 50%), attend conventions (15%), and gamble (5 to 10%).

William Lee Bergstrom gambled $777,000 in a single bet at the Horseshoe Casino, Las Vegas.

There was once a legendary man in Las Vegas named William Lee Bergstrom. Also known as the “Phantom Gambler” and the “Suitcase Man,” he holds the record for entering the biggest bet in casino gaming history which was $777,000 on September 24, 1980 — he won and doubled his money. If the Phantom Gambler would have placed his bet today, that would be equivalent to $2.31 million.

William Lee Bergstrom disappeared for 3 and a half years after winning in Las Vegas.

When Phantom Gambler or William Lee Bergstrom won the historic bet in Horseshoe Casino, Las Vegas, he tried to stay under the radar and even disappeared for more than 3 years. He came back to gamble on March 24, 1984, and placed another huge bet ($538,000) which he won again. In the same year, Bergstrom would continue his success until November 16, 1984, when his winning streak came to a halt, ultimately losing 1 million dollars.

Las Vegas’ Phantom Gambler committed suicide on February 4, 1985.

According to some reports, the Legendary Gambler, William Lee Bergstrom had borrowed a huge chunk of his money for his first bet on September 24, 1980, and intended to take out his own life if he lose. Fortunately, he won and traveled the world and enjoyed the money for several years before returning to the big stage. However, the Phantom Gambler truly committed suicide on February 4, 1985, for an uncertain reason. His family said that he was not broke at all. He still had at least $600,000 at the time of his death on his account. Bergstrom’s story is still alive in the streets of Las Vegas until this day.

A software engineer won $39.7 million in Las Vegas.

In 2003, a man who just wanted to watch NCAA college basketball tried his luck at Excalibur hotel-casino, Las Vegas. The 25-years-old software engineer from Los Angeles played in a slot machine and won $39.7 million. The winner, who wanted to remain unidentified, surpassed the odds at the time of one in 16.7 million, making him the largest jackpot winner in Las Vegas history.

Terrance Watanabe sold his business to gamble.

After his father died in 1977, Terrance Watanabe inherited the Oriental Trading Company. However, he later sold his entire stake in the company in the year 2000 and became more interested in gambling. Giving more attention to Blackjack and Baccarat, Watanabe slowly lost his discipline. In 2007, the man gambled for a long time, primarily at Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, and lost over $125 million.

Terrance Watanabe was banned from Wynn Las Vegas for excessive gambling.

Although he was banned from certain casinos such as Wynn Las Vegas, it did not stop him from moving from one casino to another. Terrance Watanabe was addicted to more stuff than just gambling. According to the people who saw him, he also used to drink up to three bottles of vodka every day and is suspected of using dangerous substances like cocaine. He was even reported to have perpetrated sexual advances toward employees.

Caesars Entertainment Corporation (the operator of Caesars Palace) got fined a total sum of $225,000 for letting Watanabe continue playing in an intoxicated state. As of late, Watanabe still owes more than $10 million and is in a serious threat of jail time.

Archie Karas is one of the biggest winners and losers in Las Vegas.

One of the most popular gamblers of all time, Archie Karas claims the title of the longest and largest winning streak in recorded gambling history. Starting as a poor man in the year 1992, he came to Las Vegas with $50 in his hands. He obtained a $10,000 loan from someone and turned this into more than $40 million by 1995, his games of choice were Poker, Dice, and Baccarat. However, this huge winning run would come to an end and he would then lose all of his winnings in just 3 weeks due to bad money management and gambling.

Charles Barkley almost lost it all in Las Vegas.

The basketball Hall of Famer and two-time gold medalist Olympian, Charles Barkley, once said, “I went to Vegas a bunch of times and won a million dollars. Probably 10 times. But I’ve also gone to Vegas and lost a million probably three times as much.” Barkley’s game of choice was Baccarat, Dice, Roulette, and Blackjack. Unfortunately, the Basketball Superstar handed over most of his fortune to the casinos in Las Vegas. His estimated losses, $30 million.

The High Roller can cater to more than 2,000 people per hour.

The High Roller is the biggest Ferris wheel in the country with a height of 550 ft, ticket fares starting at $34.75 for adults and $17.50 for the younger ones. Located at Linq Hotel (owned and operated under Caesar’s Entertainment Corporation), it opened to the public in 2014. Now it offers a very unique cocktail experience, thanks to its bar and bartender, and the full 30-minute rotation of the wheel that will surely give an excellent city view.

High Roller Ferris wheel
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

You can experience the Fountains of Bellagio every day.

If you’re in Las Vegas, you can experience the Fountains of Bellagio every day as the fountain show starts from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Mondays to Fridays) and from noon until midnight (Saturdays and Sundays). Enjoy the big dancing water fountain synchronized to music for 15 to 30 minutes. It takes 30 workers and engineers to maintain the Fountain with over 1,000 pieces of equipment.

There is a growing community underground.

Under the bright lights of Las Vegas, many destitute people are living underground. More than 1,000 of them have found a home in the sewage tunnels under Sin City. Although many people see them as the opposite of the “American Dream,” for some of these people, their fight and hope for a better life is not yet over but simply just the beginning.

The CEO of FedEx took one of his biggest gambles in Las Vegas.

Frederick W. Smith, the founder and CEO of FedEx since 1971, experienced turbulence in his business when he was just starting. Roughly two years after his opening, he found himself on a brink of bankruptcy. With just $5,000 left in his business fund, he flew to Las Vegas and took his chances. A week later, he grew his $5,000 to $27,000, good enough for his company to stay in operation and to get back on its feet. Of course, that $27,000 was not enough to make everything happen. But from there and then, tides have turned in his favor and he has managed the business to grow it to be what FedEx is today.

The best-selling bingo dauber ink is purple.

There is a wide variety of bingo dauber ink colors from blue, violet, orange, red, ruby red, yellow, aqua, green, magenta, and pink. But based on the stores that sell this bingo dauber in Las Vegas, their best seller is the purple ink.

Its commercial establishments are water-friendly.

Approximately 100 million gallons of “recycled water” are poured on man-made lakes and fountains in Las Vegas. This treated water typically comes from the hotels around the city from their sinks, bathtubs, washing machines, and showers.

You can indulge in the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas.

The Heart Attack Grill is one of the most popular hamburger restaurants in the City. Its goal is to bring its customers a delicious hamburger treat and other goodies filled with unhealthy options, offering high sugar content, fat, and cholesterol. The names of the food on the menu are humorous, like the “Octuple Bypass hamburger, for example. Cigarettes are also available in the restaurant for adults and candy cigars for kids.

A customer in Heart Attack Grill had a heart attack while eating.

It’s a scary thought but a few customers of the Heart Attack Grill have experienced real health problems while eating there. One of the most unforgettable moments according to the restaurant’s owner himself was when a customer ordered their “Triple-Bypass Burger” and suffered a heart attack while eating it, a dark ode to the name of the restaurant. When the owner called 9-1-1 for help, many customers around were excited and chanting around, even taking photos, thinking it was a stunt.

It is the brightest place on Earth.

As one of the most electrifying places on the planet, Las Vegas made it possible for observers in the International Space Station to see its colorful lights, making the city the brightest place on Earth when you are in outer space.

Las Vegas from space
Image source: Flickr

Not all casino staffs are loyal.

When it comes to money matters, the temptation of cheating and theft will always be there in any casino. Many players and customers do it to make a quick profit, but at least 30% of these incidents are actually committed by the staff.

Cheating at the casino is a felony.

A person who cheats at a casino in Las Vegas will be charged with a felony. Once sentenced, they could face up to six years of imprisonment, including a fine of thousands of dollars. Moreover, violations will be penalized by the casino, whereas they also have the right to notify the police immediately if they have solid evidence.

Las Vegas’ Desert Inn gave free ice cream for several months.

Businessman Howard Robard Hughes Jr. once ordered 200 gallons of Banana Nut ice cream in Las Vegas’ Desert Inn from Baskin-Robbins. After a few days, Howard decided he wants another flavor to eat. Thus, the Inn found itself with a lot of unwanted Banana Nut ice cream. The staff chose to give it away to guests for free for several months.

The “Black Book” refers to the blacklisted people at the casino.

The city has a list, which they call the “Black Book”, of people whom they have banned from entering their casinos. There are at least 30 individuals on the list since its first record in 1960. Most of these people on the list are affiliated with mob groups, like the Italian-American mobster, Marshall Caifano.

Professional sports bettors are often curious about the Las Vegas odds.

Las Vegas is one of the gold standards for making sports betting odds. Sports bookmakers around the world highly respect the odds they release, making it the “main currency” of most sports media. For example, based on the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight in 2015, they have placed Mayweather as the favorite and Pacquiao as the underdog (for every $100 bet on Mayweather, you’ll get $33 if he wins while Pacquiao went as high as $275 at some point).

There is sophisticated mathematics behind the sports betting odds.

The Vegas odds determined their sports betting odds through high tech computer algorithms, advanced mathematics & formulas, power ratings (a statistical representation of how strong every team is versus its competition), and through the experience of its traders or the professionals behind it.

Las Vegas is also suited for people who have an active lifestyle.

Some people think of Las Vegas as the best place for gambling alone, but it’s also ideal for people with an active lifestyle. It has over 60 parks and playgrounds, home to several of the finest golf courses in the United States, countless skate parks, softball and soccer fields, and community centers.

Las Vegas is one of the answers to the “Money, Money, Money problem.

The Swedish pop group ABBA has a song that crossed Las Vegas in “Money, Money, Money”. In the song, there’s a woman who works hard all day and night, but no matter how hard she tries, she still finds herself broke, putting her in the misery of self-pity and depression — the answer? It’s either, If I got me a wealthy man, I wouldn’t have to work at all,” or Las Vegas! “Win a fortune in a game, my life will never be the same.