Las Vegas metropolitan area

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This article is about the Las Vegas area in the state of Nevada. For other uses, see Las Vegas (disambiguation).

The Las Vegas metropolitan area, better known as the Las Vegas Valley, is a 600 square mile basin that is part of Clark County in southern Nevada. The area contains the largest concentration of people in the state. The history of the Las Vegas metropolitan area naturally coincides with the history of the city of Las Vegas, Nevada.

In 2005, the valley played host to 34.7 million visitors.

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Lasvegas.strip.arp.750pix.jpg
The Las Vegas Strip, looking south, in 2003. In the background are the mountains at the Southern border of the Las Vegas Valley
Contents

History

Main article: Las Vegas history

The area was previously settled by Mormon farmers in 1854 and later became the site of a U.S. Army fort in 1864, beginning a long relationship between southern Nevada and the U.S. military. Since the 1930s, Las Vegas has generally been identified as a gambling center as well as a resort destination primarily targeting adults. Relatively inexpensive real estate prompted a residential population boom in the Las Vegas Valley in the 1990s and continues to the present day.

Nellis Air Force Base is located in the northeast corner of the valley. The ranges that the Nellis pilots use and various other land areas used by various federal agencies limit growth of the valley to the north.

Boundaries

Las Vegas Valley

The metropolitan area generally thought to be defined by the Spring Mountains on the west, Sheep Mountains to the North, Muddy Mountains, Eldorado Range and Lake Mead to the east, and the Black Mountains to the south.

Frenchman Mountain, locally know as Sunrise Mountain, and other nearby peaks to the east are capped by Vishnu Schist rock, which is some of the oldest rock on the earth, having been created about 2 billion years ago.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Area

Boulder City and Blue Diamond are not within the Valley but are generally considered to be part of the greater metropolitan area.

Gaming Reporting Areas

The state of Nevada divides the state into several gaming districts or areas. The reporting districts affecting the Las Vegas Valley are:

Geography

Las Vegas viewed in false color, from 438 miles (705 km) by TERRA satellite. Grass-covered land, such as golf courses, appears in red.  The picture bottom is just south of  Sunset road and the airport, the Spring Mountains on the West and Sunrise Mountain on the East
Enlarge
Las Vegas viewed in false color, from 438 miles (705 km) by TERRA satellite. Grass-covered land, such as golf courses, appears in red. The picture bottom is just south of Sunset road and the airport, the Spring Mountains on the West and Sunrise Mountain on the East

The land in the Las Vegas Valley is sandy desert with mountains in the distance. Water from the valley flows in to Lake Mead, an artificial lake created by the damming of the Colorado River.

Air quality

Being located in a desert valley creates issues with air quality. From the dust the wind picks up from disturbed desert, to the smog produced by vehicles to the pollen in the air, the valley can have some bad air days.

Pollen can be a major issue several weeks a year with counts ocassionally in the 70,000 plus range. Local governments are trying to control this by banning plants that produce the most pollen.

The dust problems usually happen on very windy days, so they tend to be seasonal and of a short duration.

Smog on the other hand gets worst when there is no wind to move the air out of the valley. Also in winter it is possible to get an inversion in the valley air that actually traps any smog in the valley.

The county is working to control these problems and has shown some success over the years. The constant tightening of Federal requirements for allowable particles in the air, make the task of meeting air quality standards difficult.

Economy

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LasVegas-Casino.jpg
Interior of a casino. A major part of the city economy is based on tourism including gambling.

While some might conclude from the yellow pages that lawyers and escorts are the major businesses, the driving force is the tourism industry. While in the past the casinos were the major attraction, shopping, conventions and fine dining are major forces in attracting the tourist dollar. With about 130,000 hotel rooms, as of 2005, to fill, the conventions help fill the hotels, destination restaurants, and shopping malls on the strip.

There is a balance between all of the tourist operations in town. The conventions need hotel rooms, dining, and entertainment options. The hotels need the conventions, and tourists to fill their rooms. The restaurants depend on travelers in the hotel rooms to fill their tables. Everyone depends on a good road system to get travelers into town as well as available and reasonably priced airline seats

Over the past few years, retirees have been moving to the valley driving businesses that support them, from housing to health care.

Las Vegas has been trying to expand its manufacturing and research base. There have been some positive signs from the World Market Center being developed in the City and the recently announced Alzheimer's research center in 2005 in addition to many smaller businesses.

While the cost of housing spiked up over 40% in 2004, the lack of business and income taxes still makes Nevada an attractive place for many companies to relocate to as well as expand into. Being a true 24 hour town, call centers have always seemed to find Vegas a good place to find workers willing to work at all hours.

Construction is strong. New strip casinos take years to build and employ thousands of workers. The same could be said of the housing boom with new home sales around 15,000 units in 2004. With the introduction of Turnburry Towers several years ago, developers discovered that the was a large demand for high end condominiums. At the end of 2004, it was estimated that as many as 80 major condominiums were in various stages of development.

Incorporated cities

Unincorporated Cities and Towns

Media

Newspapers

  • Boulder City News is a weekly newspaper, serving Boulder City.
  • Henderson Home News is a weekly newspaper, serving the Henderson.
  • Las Vegas Advisor
  • Las Vegas Business Press
  • Las Vegas CityLife weekly paper
  • Las Vegas Review-Journal[1] (http://www.reviewjournal.com/) is the primary local newspaper in the Las Vegas Valley. It is a morning paper published seven days a week. The Saturday, Sunday and holiday editions are combined with the Las Vegas Sun.
  • Las Vegas Sun[2] (http://www.lasvegassun.com/) is an afternoon paper published five days a week. On other days, it is combined with the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
  • Valley Times is a defunct newspaper that was discontinued around 1985. It covered the North Las Vegas area in the 1970s and 1980s.

Magazines

Culture and attractions

Convention centers

At the end of 2004, Las Vegas had over 9 million square feet (800,000 m²) of convention center space.

  • Las Vegas Convention Center 3.2 million square feet (300,000 m²) as of 2004.
  • Sands Expo and Convention Center and Venetian Congress facility with over 1.8 million square feet (170,000 m²) as of 2004.
  • Mandalay Bay Convention Center with nearly 1 million square feet (90,000 m²) as of 2003.
  • Las Vegas Hilton with 220,000 square feet (20,000 m²) as of 2004.
  • Harrah's Las Vegas with 25,000 square feet (2,300 m²) as of 2004.

Events

Landmarks

Shopping

Museums

Part of this project showcases a dual use concept. So the parking area is actually the roof of the reservoir. The shade structures in various areas are actually Photovoltaic cells used to generate power for the site.

Recreation

With approximately 90% of Nevada owned by the United States, it should not be a surprise that the Federal Government land offers some of the largest playgrounds in the area.

Boating

Parks

  • City of Las Vegas

Golf

Hiking

Rock climbing

Sports

Las Vegas is one of the largest cities in the United States to have no major-league level professional sports teams. Several reasons have been cited for this:

  • Las Vegas only became a large market very recently.
  • The perceived stigma of legal sports betting may be seen as being in conflict of interest with any potential pro sports team being located in Las Vegas by the NBA, the NFL, Major League Baseball and the NHL. The former three leagues have especially strong anti-gambling policies, going so far as to prohibit their leagues' personnel from having any involvement in gambling interests. There are currently no laws preventing Nevada sports books from accepting bets on local professional teams, and many casinos have said they would not voluntarily take a local team "off the boards."
  • Some potential owners believe a professional sports franchise would have serious difficulty competing for an audience in a city with so many entertainment options. Also, Las Vegas is not on a work schedule similar to most cities. Other cities have most workers on a 9 to 5, Monday-Friday schedule. Las Vegas is a true 24/7 city, which results in an even smaller potential market for a sports event when it is compared to a similar sized city.
  • Las Vegas is still a relatively small television market, because the larger outlying areas were all drawn into the markets of larger cities farther away decades ago. For example, St. George, Utah is now part of the Salt Lake City market, and Bullhead City, Arizona is part of the Phoenix market. Las Vegas' TV market has been ranked as the 51st largest in the US, behind places like Albuquerque, Greensboro, Harrisburg, and Hartford.

Las Vegas is the home of the following minor league teams:

Las Vegas hosts these motor sports at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway:

Las Vegas hosts these pro tour events:

  • PGA Michelin Championship at Las Vegas Oct 7-10, 2004
  • LPGA -- (to be named event)
  • PRCA Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (http://www.nfrexperience.com/)
  • PBR -- Built Ford Tough World Finals
  • PBA Las Vegas Open

Las Vegas hosts the Las Vegas Bowl, a college bowl game, around Christmas day.

Previous Las Vegas Minor League teams

Las Vegas has become an internationally known motor racing locale having hosted the elite Formula One racers at Caesars Palace and the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) for Indy racers in the early "80's. Las Vegas was also the home of the famed "Mint 400" Desert Race from 1968-1987 run in the unforgiving Nevada desert outside Las Vegas. Nearly 100,000 spectators lined the 100 mile (160 km) loop to view the 500+ off road racing vehicles. Sponsored by Del Webb's Mint Hotel and Casino, the event was the largest and richest event in the sport. The technical and safety inspection was held on famed Fremont Street and became one of the major must attend sporting events in Las Vegas history. The race ended when Del Webb organization sold the Mint Hotel to the adjacent Horseshoe owned by the legendary Binion gaming family.

Las Vegas is also host to many professional boxing matches and has hosted many heavyweight boxing championship bouts. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas Rebels (Runnin' Rebels is used only by the men's basketball program) host Mountain West Conference events on the UNLV campus and eight miles (13 km) east, at Sam Boyd Stadium. Indoor sporting events involving UNLV teams are held at the Thomas & Mack Center complex, both at the main arena and at Cox Pavilion, a smaller arena attached to the complex.

In April 2004, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig publicly revealed that MLB was considering Las Vegas as a potential future home for the Montreal Expos. However, MLB eventually chose Washington, D.C. as the Expos' new home.

Theater

Education

Primary & secondary

The Clark County School District runs all of the public primary and secondary schools in the county. There is a mix of private and religious schools operating in the area.

Colleges & universities

Hospitals


Nevada Flag of Nevada
Regions: Great Basin | Mojave Desert | Lake Tahoe | Las Vegas Valley
Largest cities: Carson City | Henderson | Las Vegas | North Las Vegas | Reno | Sparks
Counties: Churchill | Clark | Douglas | Elko | Esmeralda | Eureka | Humboldt | Lander | Lincoln | Lyon | Mineral | Nye | Pershing | Storey | Washoe | White Pine

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