Las Vegas Fun Facts
Each year roughly 20 million visitors take in the dazzling lights of the Las Vegas Strip. These tourists outnumber Las Vegas residents by about 67 to 1!
The following list depicts some fun, factual, unique, and/or odd facts about Las Vegas. Some of the listed info here changes often because no city on earth sheds its skin more rapidly than Vegas. In light of that, readers can consider elements of the following as a somewhat vague approximation of past or current reality, which is what Vegas is at least partially about anyway. An escape from reality is a big part of the community’s appeal in the first place and specifically why many of us enjoy trips to Las Vegas.
- Las Vegas is a Spanish term meaning ‘The Meadows’.
- Vegas was founded in 1905 and became a legally incorporated city on 3/16/1911.
- Las Vegas celebrated its 100th birthday on May 15, 2005.
- The first hotel-casino to open in Vegas was the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino in 1906.
- The first legally licensed casino was the Northern Club on Fremont Street in 1931 (by Mayme Stocker, a female).
- Hoover Dam was completed in 1935, requiring 5 years time and a labor force of over 21,000 men.
- The first racially integrated Vegas hotel, the Moulin Rouge, opened in 1955.
- The first topless showgirl revue in Las Vegas, Minsky’s Follies at the Dunes, debuted in 1957.
- The iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada” sign located south of Mandalay Bay on the Strip was erected in 1959.
- United Airlines became the first airline to offer regular service to McCarran Airport in 1960.
- Howard Hughes was asked to leave the Desert Inn hotel because he had stayed too long; Hughes shortly thereafter bought the hotel for $13 million in 1967.
- Elvis Presley sold out 837 consecutive shows at the Las Vegas Hilton during his peak Vegas heydays in the 1970’s.
- The mean price per acre in the Las Vegas valley prior to the 2008 recession was about $160,000.
- The price per acre on the Strip prior to the 2008 recession was approximately $11 million.
- There have been 14 hotel implosions in Las Vegas since 1993 ; the New Frontier was the last hotel imploded in 2007.
- Downtown’s Fremont Street was closed to auto traffic in 1994; the Fremont Street Experience subsequently opened in December, 1995.
- The ‘Casino’ movie starring Robert DeNiro and released in 1995 was based on the life of Frank ‘Lefty’ Rosenthal of the old Stardust Hotel. Rosenthal was right-handed, by the way.
Resident & Visitor Demographics :
- Las Vegas proper has roughly 600,000 residents; Clark County has nearly 2 million residents.
- The number of annual Vegas visitors is nearly 40 million.
- The average length of stay for visitors is 4.7 days and 3.7 nights.
- Approximately 60% of Vegas visitors attend some type of show while in town.
- About 77% of all visitors are married.
- Two-thirds of all visitors are employed.
- About 25% of all visitors are retired.
- Over 70% of visitors are over 40 years of age (average visitor is 49 years old).
- About 50% of visitors have a college diploma.
- The proportion of Vegas visitors from Western US states is about 55%.
- The proportion of Vegas visitors from international destinations is about 16% (but steadily increasing).
- Over 92% of Vegas visitors are “very satisfied” with their trips to town.
- The average visitor comes to Las Vegas 1.7 times annually.
Gambling activity :
- The proportion of visitors who gamble at all on trips is nearly 80% (whether they admit it or not).
- The average gambling budget per trip per person is approximately $500.
- The average gambler loses about $240 to the casinos during an average trip.
- The annual Clark County gaming revenue averages about $9 billion.
- There are more than 1750 licensed gaming entities in the area.
- There are over 200,000 slot machines in the area ( 1 slot machine for each 10 residents).
- The average visitor spends just short of 4 hours per day gambling.
- The largest slot machine jackpot ever won in Las Vegas was just under $40 million (at Excalibur in 2003).
- On any random night, there is an estimated $30-$60 million in the larger casino vaults ; on holiday weekends, those estimates double.
- The 23 largest Las Vegas Strip casino – hotels generate average daily gaming revenues of more than $610,000 per casino.
- No blood test or waiting period is required for marriage licenses (with valid ID / proof of age).
- Las Vegas is the top wedding destination city in the US.
- More than 122,000 annual and 330 daily weddings are performed in Vegas.
- There are more than 50 wedding chapels in town ( including casino chapels).
- Marriage licenses cost $60 ; the average cost of filing for divorce is $450.
- Ten famous Las Vegas weddings (actually 17 with Rooney’s altar trips) : Mickey Rooney was married 8 times in Vegas ; Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward; Betty White and Allen Ludden ; Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow ; Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu ; Demi Moore and Bruce Willis ; Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy ; Ted Turner and Jane Fonda ; Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton ; Britney Spears and Jason Alexander (which was annulled within two days).
Rough stats / facts :
- There are over 150,000 hotel rooms in Vegas.
- Las Vegas has 15 of the world’s top 20 largest hotels (based on number of guest rooms).
- MGM Grand launders over 15,000 pillowcases daily.
- MGM Grand has over 18,000 doors.
- Bally’s requires over 1 million rolls of toilet paper annually.
- The Lucky The Clown marquee sign at Circus Circus has 1232 fluorescent bulbs, 14,498 incandescent bulbs, and 3/4 mile of neon tubing; no wonder there are plans to replace it.
- There are over 15,000 miles of neon tubing located on the Strip and downtown’s Fremont Street casino areas.
- The electric bill cost to operate the Luxor pyramid beam is about $60 per hour.
- The Excalibur resort goes through 44,000 Cornish game hens, 15 thousand pounds of hamburger meat, and 4200 pounds of prime rib monthly.
- Caesars Palace has used up more than 2 million maraschino cherries, 11 thousand ounces of caviar, 2 million ounces of tomato juice, and 600,000 ounces of vodka in a year’s time.
- More than 60,000 pounds of shrimp are consumed daily in Vegas.
- Mandalay Bay has 5,300 palm trees ; their popular wave pool has a capacity of 1.65 million gallons of water.
- The Stratosphere Hotel Tower, at over 1100 feet, is the tallest building west of the Mississippi and the 5th tallest nationwide.
- There are 37 golf courses in the area.
- Las Vegas hosts more than 19,000 conventions/meetings annually.
- The area is home to the largest community of Hawaiians outside of Hawaii.
- Prostitution is illegal in the metro Las Vegas area (and virtually all Nevada major metro locations; it is only allowed in a few sparsely populated rural counties).
- The Strip is not located in the Las Vegas township per se, but rather is situated within three unincorporated communities known as Paradise, Winchester, and Enterprise.
- The average weather conditions in Las Vegas includes over 300 annual days of sunshine, 29% humidity, 4 inches of precipitation, average winds of 9 mph, and an average temperature of 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Nevada is one of 7 US states that does not have a state income tax. The state budget is heavily dependent on gaming taxes for revenue.
Off – The – Wall/ Out – Of – A – Dumpster :
- Mobster Ben ‘Bugsy’ Siegel built and opened the original Flamingo Hotel utilizing mob funds in the mid-1940’s. The mob retired (shot and murdered) Bugsy in 1947 for overspending and pocketing their money during the Flamingo project. He was murdered in his girlfriend’s home in Los Angeles while sitting on her couch and reading the LA Times.
- Don’t shoot your neighbor’s noisy, barking dog if it is in their yard…because your neighbor can legally hang you for the offense.
- Though not a fun fact, a research study conducted by Temple and Harvard University researchers showed that Vegas residents are 40% less likely to commit suicide if they leave town. The study also showed that visitors are twice as likely to commit suicide in Vegas vs elsewhere. The community has the highest suicide rate per capita nationwide.
- Several Vegas hotel resorts, including Wynn and Rio, have no tower floors that begin with the number 4. In Chinese culture, the number 4 is considered as bad luck, and high-rolling Asians are important resources for the gambling industry in Vegas. Additionally, in line with such superstitious pursuits, many Las Vegas hotels don’t have a 13th floor.
- One would assume that Las Vegas might be one of the best locations in the country to practice dumpster diving to obtain free food and other commodities for those interested in a ‘freegan’ lifestyle. However, there are stringent laws in force making it illegal in Las Vegas. It is also against ordinances to assist the homeless in public areas.