Las Vegas, located in southern Nevada near the Colorado River, is the largest city in the state. Discovered by Spanish explorers in 1829 and settled by Mormons in the 1850s, the area that would become Las Vegas developed as a stopping point for settlers on their way to California.
At the turn of the century, railroads helped grow the city, but the most significant development came in 1931, when gambling became legal in Nevada. Casinos and hotels sprung up in the downtown area; after World War II, “the strip” was created, with huge hotels, restaurants and entertainment and gambling complexes that lure vacationers and fortune seekers from both coasts. Las Vegas now has more hotel rooms than any city in the world, and 19 of the world’s 20 largest hotels. Those looking to visit should have no problems finding a travel agent that is well equipped to highlight all that Las Vegas has to offer. With no city or state taxes and new hotels constantly creating jobs, Las Vegas attracts young transplants seeking fortunes from its bustling economy.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Henderson remained a relatively small factory town. In the early 1980s, the first master planned community, Green Valley, was plotted. Henderson’s population in 1980 was 24,363; by 1990 it had more than doubled, and by the end of the twentieth century Henderson had reached 175,381. Local estimates project the 2010 population will reach 310,000 as a steady stream of new residents and businesses continue to be attracted to the area. By 1999 Henderson overtook Reno as Nevada’s second largest city.
The city celebrated its 50 year birthday in 2003. Henderson’s unparalleled growth in the past two decades shows little signs of slowing. It’s no wonder that Nevada’s second largest city, with a thriving economy, master-planned communities, world-class recreation, and proximity to several of the country’s national and man-made treasures, is one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation.
Boulder City was designed to be a model city. It was built by the Six Companies and U.S. Government to provide homes for the men building Boulder (now Hoover) Dam. The Federal Government owned the entire town for nearly 30 years until January, 1960 when the town was turned over to the State of Nevada. Boulder City is still very much a government town, with many of its residents working for the National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Nevada Department of Fish & Game, Department of Energy, Bureau of Land Management, and Western Area Power Administration.
While most cities in the American west are relatively new compared to older cities in the east and elsewhere, Boulder City, Nevada is significantly historic with regard to its creation and relationship to the Hoover Dam.
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