From its first hotel - Hotel Nevada - in 1906 - Las Vegas has grown-up, and how. Bugsy Siegel's Fabulous Flamingo Hotel, bankrolled by the Mob, opened in 1946, the forerunner of today's luxury hotels that line the Strip and beyond. The Rat Pack lent their unique lounge cool to Vegas from their base at the Sands Hotel and Casino in the 50s and 60s - Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jnr forever tied in with how we view the place. There was Elvis in the 1970s, and today Vegas hosts the biggest names in Entertainment, for our entertainment.
Then in 1989 Steve Wynn opened the Mirage, the first of the luxury mega-resorts. He prompted a wave of (competitive?) building - the Luxor, Treasure Island, MGM Grand, New York New York, Monte Carlo - just some of the 23 major hotel-casinos that have appeared since 1989, creating the geography of the Las Vegas Strip that we see today. Steve Wynn's latest venture, the Wynn, opened in 2005, setting the new standard for opulence and luxury in Vegas. This is a town where new standards get set on a pretty regular basis.
The good news for visitors is that there are an awful lot of hotels with over 120,000 hotel rooms available. And they would all like your business, please. Want to stay in a pyramid?, take a gondola to go shopping?, or eat out in the middle of an air-conditioned Central Park? Vegas can offer you all of this and more, and with the opening of the Las Vegas Monorail it's easier than ever before to get around quickly and easily.
There are world class restaurants and all you can eat buffets, plenty of bars and lounges (many offering free entertainment), nightclubs, great shopping, and attractions ranging from Madame Tussauds to the Guggenheim. Cheap and easy transport options means you're never too far away from the action, whatever your idea of 'the action' is. The resort hotels are attractions in their own right - so go along and enjoy.
We would suggest you try a website such as Expedia to look at room rates as the hotels have such flexible rates depending on dates. But do book ahead - Vegas is a draw for conferences and conventions as well as lots of other tourists, and you don't want to spend your trip trying to find somewhere to stay - particularly on weekends and holidays.
For more on the history of the city, you might enjoy the book Las Vegas Weddings..
Hitching Post Wedding Chapel - vintage postcard
Little Church of the West - vintage postcard
© Flamingo Hotel