Las Vegas


2010: 583,756, #30 in U.S., #1 in Nevada

1950: 24,624

2010 Metropolitan Area: 1,951,269, #30 in U.S.


Las Vegas was established in 1905 as a railroad town in the desert along the San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Railroad.


Tallest buildings: Stratosphere Tower, 1,149 feet (1996), and Fontainebleau Resort, 735 feet, (2010)

List of tallest buildings

Most of Las Vegas’s tall buildings are hotels on the Strip (not downtown). Las Vegas claims to have nine of the 10 largest hotels in the U.S., and 17 of the largest 20.

The Stratosphere Tower is the tallest free-standing observation tower in the United States. The Eiffel Tower at the Paris Las Vegas (460 feet, 1999) also has an observation deck. The tower is about half the size of the original Eiffel Tower.


Las Vegas has no downtown department stores. Five blocks of downtown’s Fremont Street were closed in 1994 to make a pedestrian mall that features the Fremont Street Experience, a canopy with light-and-sound shows at night.


Amtrak does not serve Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Monorail (2004) serves hotels on the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard (the Strip) on a four-mile route, but it does not go downtown.

Downtown Las Vegas
(Photo by John Keyes)


The Las Vegas Natural History Museum and the Neon Museum are north of downtown. The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is on the Strip.


The Eclipse movie theater opened downtown in 2016. The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, home of the Las Vegas Philharmonic and Broadway Las Vegas, opened in 2012.


The Las Vegas Aviators, Triple-A Pacific Coast League affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, play at Las Vegas Ballpark (2019) in Summerlin, west of downtown. The Vegas Golden Knights (2017) of the NHL play at T-Mobile Arena (2016), on the Las Vegas Strip. The Thomas and Mack Center at UNLV has sporting events and concerts.

Map of Downtown Las Vegas