The impact tourists have on local economies varies from state to state and at different times throughout the year but for Las Vegas, tourists are ALWAYS the lifeblood of our economy. Devoted to entertaining tourists, Las Vegas is hailed as the “Entertainment Capital of the World,” and according to Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates in Minneapolis, Minnesota, results from their 2008 Travel Trends Survey reveals Las Vegas as the number one domestic destination beating out Orlando, Florida for the sixth consecutive year. It seems no matter where you turn television commercials, billboards, and magazine and newspaper advertisements are tempting visitors to this 24/7 town. Even during these tough economic times, Las Vegas is tourist frenzy.
So what’s the attraction? Vegas is no longer a dust-blown desert town in the middle of nowhere with little to do. The ever-changing scenery is one of the many reasons why this city is such a great place to visit; there’s always something new to see. Years ago “Sin City” was a bunch of gambling halls, brothels and bars but today it’s a trendy Manhattan metamorphosis with a sprawling skyline of spectacular skyscrapers consisting of fifteen of the world’s twenty largest hotels, with unique architectural designs, themes and reproductions amid bright lights and neon signs on and around Las Vegas Boulevard (a.k.a. “The Strip”); the oldest street in Vegas.
This city of fantasy and fun is a playground for adults and children alike from rejuvenating day spas, specialty boutiques and souvenir shops to magnificent designer stores and outlet malls; with an abundance of sightseeing opportunities, indoor attractions plus thrill rides, arcades and exotic animals, and outdoor activities such as hot air balloon rides, skydiving, and award winning golf courses, and whoever said there were no beaches in the desert has not experienced the Beach at Mandalay Bay. World-renowned for its vibrant club scene and scintillating night life showcasing elaborate variety shows, comedy revues and spectacular Broadway productions, Las Vegas is the number one hotspot to see and be seen; where celebrity sightings have become the norm, the rich and famous come to party and rising stars and headliners perform nightly.
The diverse dining options also lure tourists. From buffets and bistros to fast food and fine dining, some of the best eateries in the world are located in the luxury resort hotels along The Strip. Famed chefs such as Charlie Trotter, Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, Emeril Lagasse and Wolfgang Puck, to name only a few, have opened unique and outstanding specialty restaurants that have transformed Las Vegas into a mecca for world-class cuisine.
This small town with a big city feel is so much more than slot machines and black jack tables. Las Vegas is also known as the wedding capital of the world, from drive-up window weddings to elegant traditional weddings and everything in between; it’s the host city for approximately 4,000 conventions each year and a colorful backdrop for many films, TV series, and reality and game shows. Yet in the middle of all the glamour and glitz there is a growing culture with museums and art galleries, the Las Vegas Philharmonic and the Nevada Ballet Theatre.
And there is still a little of the “old” Vegas left in the downtown area and the main attraction is “The Fremont Street Experience”, an open-air pedestrian mall with a free nightly show that draws approximately 20 million visitors each year. This unique laser light and sound show of super-sized animations and amazing visual effects are displayed on a 17 million dollar Viva Vision screen, one of the largest screens in the world, under a 90 ft. canopy that extends the length of more than five football fields.
Las Vegas offers a little something for everyone, and for all these reasons and more, it’s one place that has to be experienced at least once. The tremendous draw to this pulsating city of high stakes and high rises is evidenced by the 40 million people who visit each year and the 1.7 million people who call it home. If you like at least 320 days of sun, low humidity, little rain and even less snow, this is the perfect place to visit and it’s also a great place to live. Las Vegas is the fastest growing metropolitan city in the country with an influx of over 6,000 new residents each month who relocate for a chance to live the American dream. There’s no place like Las Vegas; just ask the Mayor, Oscar B. Goodman, who says he is the “Happiest Mayor of the Greatest City in the World”.
Whatever brings tourists to the most happening city on the planet; we are extremely grateful because in Las Vegas, tourists rule!