Las Vegas History

Las Vegas History
1829 – 2000

Las Vegas History 1929 – 1950

  • 1829 – Discovered by Spanish explorers.
  • 1855 – First settlement by Mormons in Las Vegas.
  • 1905 – Town of Las Vegas established by auctioning of land.
  • 1911 – The City of Las Vegas is incorporated.
  • 1926 – First commercial airline flight in Las Vegas History, Western Airlines.
  • 1931 – Hoover Dam construction begins in Black Canyon.
  • 1931 – Gambling is legalized in Nevada.
  • 1935 – Hoover Dam dedicated by President Franklin Roosevelt.
  • 1940 – Las Vegas records show Clark County population 16,414 (Las Vegas – 8,422).
  • 1941 – El Rancho Vegas opens on the Strip. El Cortez Hotel opens in downtown Las Vegas.
  • 1942 – Last Frontier Hotel opens. (Later called New Frontier and Frontier.)
  • 1944 – The first Helldorado parade and rodeo is conducted.
  • 1946 – A name closely associated with las vegas history, Bugsy Siegel opens Flamingo Hotel. State levies first gaming taxes.
  • 1950 – Clark County population 48,289. (Las Vegas – 24,624.)

Las Vegas History 1955 – 1977

  • 1955 – Gaming control strengthened.
  • 1959 – Las Vegas Convention Center opens. The Nevada Gaming Commission is created.
  • 1960 – Clark County population 127,016. (Las Vegas – 64,405.)
  • 1960 – El Rancho destroyed by fire.
  • 1966 – Howard Hughes arrives to live at Desert Inn.
  • 1967 – Nevada allows publicly traded corporations to obtain gambling licenses.
  • 1970 – Clark County population 273,288. (Las Vegas – 125,787.)
  • 1975 – Nevada gaming revenues first crack $1 billion mark.
  • 1977 – Clark County gaming revenues first crack $1 billion mark.
  • 1977 – Legislature allows Nevada-based casinos to operate casinos outside Nevada’s borders.

Las Vegas History 1980 – 1992

  • 1980 – Clark County population hits 463,087 (Las Vegas – 164,674)
  • 1980 – Las Vegas celebrates 75th birthday.
  • 1981 – Las Vegas celebrates Golden Anniversary of Gaming.
  • 1985 – First National Finals Rodeo held in Las Vegas.
  • 1989 – A new era in las vegas history starts when the Mirage opens November 22, with 3,039 rooms.
  • 1990 – Clark County population 741,459. (Las Vegas – 258,295.)
  • 1990 – Excalibur opens June 19, to date the world’s largest resort hotel with 4,032 rooms.
  • 1992 – First Las Vegas Bowl held at Silver Bowl.

Las Vegas History 1993

  • 1993 – Flamingo Hilton announces plans to raze Bugsy’s suite and office.
  • 1993 – Dunes Hotel sold to Steve Wynn’s Mirage Inc.
  • 1993 – North tower and Dunes sign imploded October 27.
  • 1993 – Money won by Nevada casinos tops the $6 billion mark for the first time in Las Vegas history.
  • 1993 – ITT Sheraton Corp. purchases Desert Inn Hotel from Kirk Kerkorian’s Tracinda Corp.
  • 1993 – Dunes Hotel imploded October 27.
  • 1993 – Grand Slam Canyon Adventuredome opens August 23.
  • 1993 – Luxor Hotel opens October 15 with 2,526 rooms.
  • 1993 – Treasure Island Hotel opens October 27 with 2,900 rooms.
  • 1993 – MGM Grand Hotel and Theme Park opens December 18, with 5,005 rooms and a 171,500-square-foot casino; to date the largest resort hotel-casino in the world.
  • 1993 – Nevada passes legislation for financing of “The Fremont Street Experience.”

Las Vegas History 1994

  • 1994 – Boulder Station Casino on Boulder Highway in Las Vegas open.
  • 1994 – Plans to construct New York-New York Hotel Casino announced.
  • 1994 – Work begins on Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas.
  • 1994 – Sam’s Town on Boulder Highway expands with the opening of a 650-room tower.
  • 1994 – A 300-room hotel-casino named Boomtown opens on Blue Diamond Road at I-15.
  • 1994 – Skywalks are built over the intersection of Tropicana Boulevard and the Las Vegas Strip.
  • 1994 – McCarran Airport opens connector road system that tunnels under the east-west runways.
  • 1994– The Fiesta, the first hotel-casino in North Las Vegas, opens with 100 rooms.

Las Vegas History 1995

  • 1995 – Vegas World closes February 1. Work begins on Stratosphere Tower and casino.
  • 1995 – The first Hard Rock Hotel opens March 10.
  • 1995 – Monorail begins running between MGM Grand and Bally’s hotel-casinos on June 14.
  • 1995 – Bill Bennett retires from Circus Circus Enterprises, then buys the Sahara Hotel-Casino
  • 1995 – ITT Corp. buys Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip.
  • 1995 – Construction begins on Steve Wynn’s 46-story, $1.7 billion 3,000-room Bellagio.
  • 1995 – Circus Circus Enterprises buys Hacienda and surrounding 100 acres.
  • 1995 – Downtown Las Vegas opens the $70 million Fremont Street Experience December 13.
  • 1995 – Las Vegas reports a 29 million visitor volume for the year.
  • 1995 – Landmark Hotel imploded November 7.

Las Vegas History 1996

  • 1996 – Ground breaking ceremonies for Las Vegas Hilton’s “Star Trek: The Experience”.
  • 1996 – Las Vegas Strip beautification project is finished in March.
  • 1996 – Wayne Newton celebrates 25,000th Las Vegas performance.
  • 1996 – Siegfried and Roy celebrate 15,000th Las Vegas performance.
  • 1996 – Work completed on first tunnel under the Las Vegas Strip at Desert Inn Road..
  • 1996 – Stratosphere Tower, the tallest structure west of the Mississippi, opens April 30.
  • 1996 – Hilton Hotels Corp. purchases Bally’s Entertainment Corp. for $3 billion.
  • 1996 – Caesars Magical Empire opens in Caesars Palace June 18.
  • 1996 – Monte Carlo opens June 21.
  • 1996 – The 1,100-acre Las Vegas Motor Speedway opens in September.
  • 1996 – Building permits for the $500 million, 2,900-room Paris Las Vegas Casino Resort issued..
  • 1996 – Hyatt Hotel Corp. plans to build a 500-room hotel on the shores of Lake Las Vegas
  • 1996 – The Sands Hotel, after 44 years of continuous operation, is closed June 30.
  • 1996 – Sheldon Adelson plans to build 6,000-room Venetian megaresort on the former Sands site.
  • 1996 – Flamingo Hilton celebrates 50th anniversary.
  • 1996 – Caesars Palace celebrates 30th anniversary.
  • 1996 – Hacienda Hotel Casino imploded December 31 to make way for Mandalay Bay.
  • 1996 – 29.6 million people visit Las Vegas in 1996. Clark County population hits 1.1 million.

Las Vegas History 1997

  • 1997 – The Tropicana Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip celebrates its 40th anniversary.
  • 1997 – New York-New York Hotel Casino opens on the Las Vegas Strip January 3.
  • 1997 – Hilton Hotels Corp. makes hostile takeover move against ITT Corp. The deal involves ownership of Caesars Place and The Desert Inn.
  • 1997 – Construction of the Venetian Hotel and Resort begins.
  • 1997 – Steve Wynn calls for a “go slow” approach to future expansion in Las Vegas.
  • 1997 – Coca Cola Co. opens a store marked by a 100-foot-tall glass Coca Cola bottle.
  • 1997 – The first non-stop flight from Frankfurt, Germany lands at McCarran International Airport.
  • 1997 – Sunset Station Hotel-Casino opens June 10.
  • 1997 – The Forum Shops at Caesars opens 35 new shops, stores and restaurants, doubling the size of the upscale shopping mal.
  • 1997 – The Aladdin Hotel closes November 25 making way for a new gambling and hotel complex.
  • 1997 – The Desert Inn Hotel Casino completes $200 million renovation and expansion.
  • 1997– New owners change the name of the Boomtown Hotel Casino to Silverton.
  • 1997 – Harley Davidson Cafe opens on the Las Vegas Strip.
  • 1997 – Caesars Palace opens a new tower in December.
  • 1997 – Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. buys Showboat Inc. in a $1.154 billion deal.
  • 1997 – The Frontier Hotel is sold to Phil Ruffin, a Kansas industrialist, for $165 million.
  • 1997 – Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino opens new tower giving the resort a total of 2,556 suites.

Las Vegas History 1998

  • 1998 – “Star Trek: The Experience” opens January 4 at the Las Vegas Hilton.
  • 1998 Circus Circus announces that Mandalay Bay will be the name of the resort.
  • 1998 – Purchase includes Caesars Palace and The Desert Inn..
  • 1998 – Eagle Canyon Airlines buys Las Vegas-based Scenic Airlines.
  • 1998 – The old Aladdin Hotel is imploded on April 27.
  • 1998 – Northwest Airlines and Japan Airlines inaugurate non-stop service June 1 from Tokyo to Las Vegas.
  • 1998 – Korean Airlines flies three non-stop charters from Seoul, Korea, to Las Vegas.
  • 1998 – Starwood Hotels & Resorts buys ITT Corp. for $14.6 billion. The 1998 – Bellagio, billed as the most expensive hotel in the world ($1.7 billion) opens October 15.
  • 1998 – Las Vegas Convention Center’ expansion, boosts its total space to 1.9 million square feet.
  • 1998 – The Debbie Reynolds hotel-casino, is sold by auction to the World Wresting Federation.
  • 1998 – The Las Vegas Motor Speedway is sold to Speedway Motorsports Inc.
  • 1998 – A 66-year-old Las Vegas resident hits a $27-million Megabucks jackpot at Palace Station Casino.
  • 1998 – The D gates open at McCarran International Airport.
  • 1998 – Annual gross gaming revenue in Nevada hits the $8.1 billion mark.
  • 1998 – Annual number of visitors to Las Vegas totals 30.6 million people.
  • 1998 – Hilton Hotels Corp. spins off its gaming division to Park Place Entertainment Corp.

Las Vegas History 1999 – 2000

  • 1999 – Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. purchases the Rio Hotel-Casino Inc. for $888 million, Jan. 1.
  • 1999 – MGM Grand Inc. takes 100 percent ownership of New York-New York Hotel & Casino.
  • 1999 – Mandalay Bay Resort opens March 2 with 3,300 rooms.
  • 1999 – Four Seasons Hotel opens March 2 with 424 rooms.
  • 1999 – Japan Airlines adds a fourth nonstop flight per week in April from Tokyo to Las Vegas.
  • 1999 – Phase I of the Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino opens May 3 with 3,036 suites.
  • 1999 – The Las Vegas Convention Center celebrates its 40th birthday.
  • 1999 – Circus Circus Enterprises changes its name to Mandalay Resort Group.
  • 1999 – The Resort at Summerlin opens July 15.
  • 1999 – Paris Las Vegas Casino Resort opens September 1.
  • 1999 – Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Tina Turner, Wayne Newton and Don Rickles are among the many entertainers booked by Las Vegas resorts to ring in the new century.
  • 2000 – A $3 billion deal closes to sell Caesars Palace to Park Place Entertainment.
  • 2000 – The Resort at Summerlin changes its name to The Regent Las Vegas.
  • 2000 – MGM Grand Inc. purchases Mirage Resorts Inc., the largest corporate buyout in gaming history.
  • 2000 — Steve Wynn buys the Desert Inn and closes it on August 28.
  • 2000 — El Rancho (formally the Thunderbird, then the Silverbird) is imploded on October 3.

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