Come Have Fun in the Entertainment Capital of the World - Las Vegas
Fun is the right word to describe this fabulous city of incredible delights, with an entire magnificent city built for entertainment and known for being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Anywhere you look in Las Vegas you'll see something fantastic, amazing and completely outrageous in a city made for having fun.
Las Vegas is all about good times, and one thing everyone likes to do when they've had a good time in Vegas is to purchase souvenirs. Las Vegas souvenirs provide keepsake mementos for everyone who has had the time of their lives in "Sin City" and they want something to remember it by. World Wide Gifts is pleased to bring you this collection of souvenirs from Las Vegas that includes Vegas fridge magnets, even fridge magnets that are made in the image of gambling chips! Our Las Vegas souvenirs also include decorative mugs, unique shot glasses, casino key chains, commemorative spoons and Las Vegas souvenir plates.
All of the Las Vegas souvenirs included in the World Wide Gifts Las Vegas collection represent some of the city's most well -known attractions and entertainments, depicted in colorful scenes shown on first quality souvenir items. Whatever your reason for coming to Las Vegas, you are certain to enjoy owning one of these memorable keepsake items, and you'll love buying a few for your friends, too.
What Brings You to Vegas?
The first and most popular answer to that question is simply that you came to be entertained. After all, Las Vegas has been billed as the Entertainment Capital of the World, so if you've been looking for a good time and you've got a vacation coming up, why not head for Nevada and join the other thrill-seekers and gamblers who are quite happy to while away the hours playing the slot machines, taking in a headliner show, or even making a quick stop at the nearest wedding chapel.
While some people come strictly for the opportunity to gamble, people do in fact come to Vegas for business mixed with pleasure. Las Vegas is one of the world's premiere convention destinations, drawing groups from all areas of interest and occupations. In between important meetings and listening to business speeches, convention goers enjoy the glitter and glam of this city built for fun. Folks also come to Las Vegas and enjoy more sedate pursuits, such as taking in a round of golf, or visiting one of the unique museums this city has to offer.
The Beginning of the Story of Las Vegas
So how did this bustling, thriving center of gambling and amusement come about? If you can imagine it before all the bright lights and unusual architecture, at one time this area was nothing but an arid, barren desert wasteland with a few glimpses of green meadows supported by artesian wells. Drive a few miles outside the city today and you'll see that desert region just as dry and empty as it was in the early 19th century when soldiers traveling the Old Spanish Trail caught sight of the lush green meadows and stopped to water their horses. The word vegas means "meadows" in Spanish, hence the nickname given to the spot...The Meadows, "Las Vegas."
A town developed around the watering holes and became a stopping point for pioneers heading west, and when the railroads came through in 1905 Vegas became a central shipping point for the mines in the region. With the building of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s there was an influx of new residents and the beginning of tourism with people coming to visit the dam and Lake Mead, the largest man-made reservoir in the United States. Others came to Las Vegas for the atomic bomb research project known as the Manhattan Project, and people actually threw atomic test watching parties.
The event that set off a revolution and began to shape Las Vegas as we know it today occurred in 1931 when the Nevada State Legislature passed a resolution that legalized gambling and quickie divorces. Opportunity was knocking and a few men with their eyes on the prize began to build the first casinos in Las Vegas.
A City Made of Cards and Built with Gambling Chips (and Mob Money)
It is no secret that the original Las Vegas casinos were funded and managed by infamous organized crime figures like Meyer Lansky and Benjamin aka "Bugsy" Siegel. Before these notorious men came onto the scene, the Strip consisted of no more than a few small gambling clubs. El Rancho Vegas, the first luxury resort hotel with its own casino, opened its doors in 1941, and the transformation of the Las Vegas Strip began.
Coincidentally, the same year that Bugsy Siegel opened the Flamingo Hotel was the first year that the State of Nevada began to levy gaming taxes, so everyone was cashing in. The forties and fifties saw an incredible building boom in Las Vegas, with resort casinos popping up every few years, each bigger and more glamorous than the last.
Timeline and Notable Facts about Famous Casinos in Las Vegas
The Golden Nugget opened the same year as Bugsy's Flamingo Hotel, in 1946. By 1950, Wilbur Clark's Desert Inn with its 3-story sky room was thriving, featuring astonishingly luxurious accommodations, twenty-four gaming tables and sensational entertainment. The next decade saw The Sands, Stardust, The Sahara, Riviera, Dunes, and Tropicana open up, and the Moulin Rouge was the first to welcome black entertainers.
It was the end of the nineteen-fifties when the state of Nevada found another avenue to capitalize on the entertainment value of the growing gambling city by opening the Las Vegas Convention Center in 1959. There's an old saying in real estate that goes, "If you build it, they will come. " This theory has been proven for Las Vegas for certain, because no matter how many new casinos opened up, there was no shortage of people thronging to come in and gamble.
Best, Hottest, Most Famous Casinos in Las Vegas Today
Let's be honest. People come to Vegas to gamble. It's a craving, an urge that must be satisfied, and you'll get your fill of the addiction in Las Vegas. Spectacular, extravagant, glamorous resort hotels are home to a never-ending array of games of chance. Which game is it that grabs your attention? Is it the clatter of the dice that has you mesmerized? For some people, there's nothing more enticing than the gentle swishing sound of a deck of playing cards being shuffled and dealt, while others fall under the spell of the roulette wheel.
It's the breathless excitement of the flashing lights and spinning slot machines, the anticipation of your number coming up on the wheel, the undying dream of winning big that really draws people to Las Vegas. It's the casinos, the grand and glamorous, the warm and friendly, the extravagant and over-the-top luxurious casinos of Las Vegas that brought in 39,727,022 visitors last year, with a gaming revenue for the year of $6.2 billion.
The Top Five Casinos in Las Vegas
Caesars Palace: If you've always wanted to take a vacation in Italy, you will fall in love with the atmosphere of ancient Rome and the opulence of this elegant resort designed to perfectly emulate the grand palace of a Roman emperor. Glamorous marble columns provide a luxurious backdrop for the traditional quarter slot machines.
The MGM Grand: From the moment you pass the two stone lions guarding the entrance of Las Vegas' largest casino, you are in a wonderland of excitement, with 165 gaming tables, and more than 3500 slot machines. This is a great venue for championship boxing matches and big name concert entertainment, and they also have some fantastic restaurants including one by renowned Chef, Emeril Lagasse.
The Bellagio: Opulence, luxury, over-indulgence... imagine the very best of everything and that's exactly what you'll find at the iconic Bellagio. Before you even get inside this incredible five star resort and casino you are going to be completely overwhelmed and impressed by the amazing lighted fountain show out front. Spectacular gushes of water perform a delightful ballet set to rhythmic music accompanied by a stunning light show. The fountain at the Bellagio is one of the most iconic images of the city, and a favorite image that is often seen on souvenirs from Las Vegas.
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino: Have you ever dreamed of taking a romantic beach vacation in a tropical paradise? Picture a lovely scenario with swaying palm trees, golden sand, the sound of ocean waves... and then there are the other sounds of clanging bells and sirens when you win big on the slot machines. Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino lets you enjoy a holiday at a South Seas beach resort- it even has its own beach!- and gamble in a luxurious and elegant setting that attracts high rollers and celebrities to its plush gaming tables.
The Luxor Hotel & Casino: Even the mightiest Egyptian Pharaoh could not have perceived of the incredible luxuries available at this enormous ultra-modern pyramid shaped hotel resort and casino. Shining from atop the Luxor is a brilliant light billed as the brightest beam of light in the world, capable of illuminating heaven itself. You can play all of the traditional casino games, and there is even a rookie poker room where you can get free lessons on how to play. (Your luck is your own.)
All the casinos in Las Vegas are great, so don't limit yourself to the five on this list. You might want to try the family friendly Excalibur Hotel, or if you're looking for a great hipster vibe check into the world's very first Hard Rock Hotel. The Aladdin Hotel has been completely rebuilt after the original one was imploded in 1998, around the same time that the Bellagio was christened the world's most expensive hotel to build, costing $1.7 billion in construction costs. The Palms Casino Resort is one of the most chic and popular Vegas casinos, made famous by becoming the setting for the CineVegas Film Festival, and the television shows "Real World: Las Vegas," and "Celebrity Poker Showdown." The first casino tattoo shop is also located in the Palms. Don't miss seeing the magnificent Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the Echelon mega-resort complex, and the Palazzo.
And everyone has to take some time to explore MGM Mirage's City Center, a sensational collections of opulent hotels, luxurious residences, glamorous health and beauty spas and some of the most spectacular shopping in the world.
Dazzling Entertainment and Neon Lights
You can't gamble all the time (well, you can, but there are other things to do in Vegas) so in between hands of poker or turns at the slot machines you really have to take in a show. The most famous entertainers in the world have played in Las Vegas, giving some of the most flamboyant, exotic, and glittering performances you'll ever see in your life. In the 1960s it was the infamous Rat Pack drawing the crowds to Vegas, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. Evil Knievel made a name for himself when he jumped his motorcycle over the fountains at Caesars Palace in 1973. And of course, the iconic Wayne Newton has put on more than 25,000 shows in Las Vegas.
Today there all kinds of amazing shows to fascinate and amuse, ranging from spectacular arena concerts to cozy cabarets, with magic shows, stand-up comedians, acrobatic shows, and in a place called Sin City there are bound to be adult shows as well.
Celine Dion gives an incredible performance at the Coliseum inside Caesar's Palace, singing many of her most well-known numbers and including a few favorites from other singers like Ella Fitzgerald and Billy Joel. Other great Vegas shows include the eccentric Blue Man Group, Donny and Marie Osmond are still performing, and you can prepare to be mystified and astounded when you go see Criss Angel, David Copperfield, or Penn & Teller. Cirque du Soleil is another astonishing and amazing performance you won't want to miss while you're in Las Vegas, and there are always plenty of dancing girls and high kicks to keep you amused.
Libations in Las Vegas: It's Party Time
There's probably nowhere else in the U.S. that tolerates public drunkenness like the city of Las Vegas, unless it's maybe New Orleans during Mardi Gras. The difference is that in Vegas, the party lasts all year long, and all night long. You've heard the saying, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." In the bright lights and glamorous atmosphere of Las Vegas you'll find some of the most extreme partying anywhere, and while you can always keep a drink at your elbow when you're throwing the dice, sometimes you need to know when to fold 'em and step away from the gaming tables... and go enjoy some of the city's top drinking spots.
Frankie's Tiki Room: It's possibly the only tiki bar in the country that's open twenty-four hours a day. The world's top tiki artists have paintings and carvings on display, and they serve a killer zombie cocktail.
Freakin' Frog: Take your pick from one of 500 beers from all around the world, or have a shot or two from the biggest whiskey and Scotch collection in the United States.
Double Down Saloon: There's a great punk rock vibe here in a favorite hangout of quite a few celebrity chefs, and they make a great-tasting bacon martini. This is also the bar where the famous "Ass Juice" was invented, which despite its off-color name has a surprisingly delicious flavor.
Red Square Vodka Vault: Put on your fur coat and order your favorite of one of 200 types of vodka in their upscale ice bar, and make friends with a "Vodka Goddess" who will bring you an ounce of caviar for every fourth drink you buy.
Wet Republic Ultra Bar: You can live it up like a rock star at this sexy swimming pool day-club, with a private cocktail waitress bringing you drinks all day long as you party surrounded by gorgeous people.
Mixing Business with Pleasure at the Las Vegas Convention Center
From the explosive growth of the casino industry, to the extravagantly appealing entertainments, people are magnetically drawn to Vegas. More people just kept coming, and when the Las Vegas Convention Center gave the world yet another reason to come to Vegas, they jumped on the opportunity and businesses and industries of all variations starting scheduling their annual conventions in Las Vegas...and they still do.
The Las Vegas Convention Center is a massive 3.2 million square feet complex on Paradise Road, right next to the Strip and only a few steps from more than one hundred thousand hotel rooms. Las Vegas Convention Center is world-renowned for its premiere exhibit and meeting facilities, one of the most modern and versatile convention centers on the planet.
More than twenty thousand conventions are held at the Las Vegas Convention Center each year, with nearly 5 million attendees, all of whom take time to enjoy the many entertainments and pleasures of going to a business convention in a city known as the Entertainment Capital of the World.
Here Comes the Bride: Vegas Wedding Chapels
Another really popular reason for coming to Las Vegas is to get married in one of the city's famous wedding chapels. More than 1.9 million people were married in Las Vegas last year, giving good reason for another one of the city's nicknames, "Marriage Capital of the World." There is no waiting period for a marriage license in Nevada, and it only costs $60, so it isn't at all unusual for couples to make a split-second decision to run down to the nearest wedding chapel and tie the knot.
There are lots of great wedding venues, with spectacular themed weddings including the iconic Elvis wedding. Elvis impersonators walk the streets all over the city, and lots of them are licensed ministers who can perform wedding ceremonies dressed in full Elvis regalia. (Not everyone knows it, but Elvis himself got married in Las Vegas in 1968 when he married Priscilla Presley at the old Aladdin Hotel.)
For those who take a little time to plan their Las Vegas weddings and go for the whole package with bachelor/ bachelorette parties and a honeymoon, you won't find a better location for a truly marvelous wedding. From over-the-top pre-celebration parties, to stunning wedding ceremonies, to incredibly romantic honeymoons, Las Vegas provides the most incredible weddings in the world.
On a side note, divorces can be obtained just as quickly as marriage licenses in Las Vegas, and you don't even have to appear in court to get the judge to sign your divorce documents. There's even a special divorce service for one-party petitioners when the other party can't be located, probably established for the folks who spent a little too much time at one of the city's hot drinking spots and may not even remember meeting their new bride or groom.
One More Enjoyable Entertainment in Vegas: the Museums
In a city known for extremities and unusual sights, there have to be some incredible collections. Las Vegas is home to quite a few of the world's most unusual and interesting museums, and it's worth taking some time away from the gaming tables and the shows to spend some time wandering and exploring these fantastic Las Vegas museums.
Atomic Testing Museum: Learn all about the Manhattan Project and the Nevada Test Site for atomic bombs, and you can also see exhibits that include pieces of the Berlin Wall and the World Trade Center.
Boulder City and Hoover Dam Museum: Three dimensional interactive displays tellthe story of the construction of this spectacular dam that transformed the Nevada desert in the 1930s.
More great museums to visit while in Las Vegas include: the Liberace Museum, the Lost City Museum, Clark County Museum, Bellagio Fine Art Museum, Las Vegas Natural History Museum, and the infamous Mob Museum.
Whatever entertainments you enjoy while you're visiting the Entertainment Capital of the World, you will certainly want to have a few souvenirs from Las Vegas as keepsakes of your wonderful experience.