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Las Vegas Holidays & Travel Guide

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A guide to holidays in Las Vegas - Set in the middle of the vast Mojave Desert, Las Vegas was created entirely to entertain and has been described as the world's largest theme park. This psychedelic city of sin is home to over a million people and welcomes 35 million more each year to its lavish hotels and casinos. Visitors today are amazed that only 70 years ago this thriving metropolis was a backwater with less than a thousand inhabitants whose only guests were railway passengers stopping off to stretch their legs on the long journey between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.

 

Things started to change in March 1931 when the State of Nevada legalised gambling; one month later the City issued six licenses, then in 1946, Mafia don Ben 'Bugsy' Siegel opened the sensationally lavish Flamingo Hilton on Highway 91. Las Vegas Boulevard was born and the city would never be the same.

 

Soon stars like Elvis, Liberace and Sinatra were making the pilgrimage to what was fast becoming America's premier entertainment Mecca. In the early days the Mafia dominated the gambling industry but in the 1960s their influence waned and soon all the large hotels and casinos were controlled by big business.

 

Las Vegas has 18 of the largest 21 hotels in the world and walking down 'The Strip' visitors will see the skylines of New York and Paris, discover the canals of Venice and the Pyramids of Egypt and, at Treasure Island, see a full on-sea battle between a Pirate ship and a British Galleon. Despite these excesses, room rates and restaurant bills are the lowest in the western world - all subsidised by gamblers intent on a free holiday.

 

Although the principal draw card is still gambling, Las Vegas is now marketed as a family destination and there is no shortage of theme parks, shopping malls or golf courses. However, the vast majority of visitors come to gamble and the incredible displays are mostly designed to lure passers-by into the casinos, and once there it's hard to leave; the exits are discreetly hidden.

 

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Las Vegas holidays - Top Places To Go

 
1. Venetian Hotel and Casino
3355 Las Vegas Boulevard
www.venetian.com
What is it? No expense was spared creating the Venetian Hotel, in fact two billion dollars was spent recreating Venice in the Nevada Desert and the result is fairly spectacular. Guests can travel around the hotel in a gondola - real canals run through the hotel - and a replica of St Mark's Square and the Basilica turns from night to day every three hours; visitors have to look carefully to notice that the sky is actually a vast fresco. The only thing missing are the pigeons and the backpackers. The casino itself is massive, featuring 2,500 slot machines and 125 gaming tables. For guests taking a break from the tables, there are five swimming pools, a fitness centre, and 17 restaurants - mostly pizzerias. One of the main attractions is Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, a wax museum presenting some of the world's biggest icons including stars, politicians, record-breaking athletes and legends. Hours of Operation: Hotel and Casino: daily 24 hours. Madame Tussauds: opening hours vary depending on the season, but generally daily 10am to 11pm Phone:(702) 414 1000
2. Bellagio Hotel and Casino
3600 S. Las Vegas Boulevard
www.bellagiolasvegas.com
What is it? The Bellagio is one of Las Vegas' most opulent hotels and most popular casinos. With an Italian theme, the great bulk of the Bellagio sits in its own vast garden. It has over 3,000 rooms and hundreds of slot machines and gaming tables, however its best-known attraction is its amazing water show - a breathtaking union of water, music and light. Between 3pm and midnight (from 12pm on weekends) Bellagio's world-famous fountains 'dance' to opera, classical or whimsical music with carefully choreographed movements. Beyond the Bellagio's gracious lobby lies the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, a magnificent garden abounding in fragrance, texture and colour. The hotel also has a new fine arts gallery that hosts contemporary art exhibits; it is currently exhibiting a series of celebrity portraits by Andy Warhol. Hours of Operation: Daily 24 hours. The art gallery opens daily 9am to 10pm Phone:(702) 693 7111
3. The Mirage
3400 S. Las Vegas Boulevard
www.mirage.com
What is it? Another MGM mega-casino, the showpiece at the Mirage is a Volcano that shoots flames 100ft (30m) into the night sky every 15 minutes (6pm to midnight), spewing smoke and transforming a tranquil waterfall into spectacular streams of molten lava. As you'd expect of Las Vegas, it's all quite naff, but great entertainment. Siegfried & Roy's White Tigers are the other signature attraction at the Mirage (unfortunately the Siegfried & Roy show has been cancelled indefinitely due to the near-fatal attack on Roy Horn by one of the tigers during a performance). Unlike conventional tigers, which have black and gold markings, the white tiger is white with black stripes, pink paws and ice-blue eyes. There are only a few dozen white tigers in the world, which makes them rarer than the panda bear. The open-air Tiger Habitat features a swimming pool with fountains and simulated mountain terrain for the tigers' enjoyment and the public's entertainment. Another popular attraction is the aquarium located behind the Front Desk. This 20,000-gallon saltwater aquarium is home to angelfish, puffer fish, tangs, sharks and other exotic sea creatures. Hours of Operation: Daily 24 hours Phone:(702) 791 7111

 

Las Vegas holidays - Top Events

1. National Finals Rodeo

From

To
 

What is it? Referred to as the 'Superbowl of Rodeos', cowboys and cowgirls from across America and Canada work hard all year in the hope of being one of the top 15 to qualify for the NFR and to compete for the prize money. Events include bull riding, calf roping, team roping, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, steer wrestling and barrel racing. Where is it? Thomas & Mack Center
2. Burning Man

From 2006-08-28

To 2006-09-04
 

What is it? The Festival of the Burning Man is one of the most unique festivals. Drawing crowds of over 20,000 each year from all over the world, the celebration is of art, creativity and humanity. Unlike most other festivals in the world, this one has no commerce; no shops, no rock stars, no rollercoasters. It is simply a gathering, albeit a very large one. The Black Rock Desert, two or three hours north of Reno is the setting. The serenity of the place allows festival goers the environment to feel uninhibited and expressive. The emphasis is on community and people helping one another and all who attend do so in friendship. And on the last day, the bonfire of the Burning Man takes place setting the skies alight in fire while the community dances around. Due to the non-commercial nature of the festival, those attending are advised to bring everything they might need for themselves with them as little or nothing will be available. Where is it? Black Rock Desert

 

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About This Page

Information on Las Vegas Holidays, Las Vegas Hotels, Holiday Packages in Las Vegas (city breaks, short stays, all inclusive and luxury deals). Also provides links and resources to Air Travel, Flights and Las Vegas Car Hire Options

Holidays Travel Guide content from www.wordtravels.com, copyright Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information contained in the travel guide is subject to change at short notice. Travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevent authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to a person as result of information contained above.