Las Vegas, Nevada

Petroglyphs were left in the Las Vegas region by Paleo-Indian nomads 10,000 years ago. At least 2,000 years ago, ancient Puebloan and Paiute cultures came after. The first non-Native American to come across the valley is thought to have been a young Mexican scout by the name of Rafael Rivera in 1829. In 1829, trader Antonio Armijo led a group of 60 men through California via the Spanish Trail to Los Angeles. John C. Frémont came in the region in 1844, and his writings encouraged settlers to settle there. After him, Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas was named.

Eleven years later, Latter-day Saints from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints decided to establish a fort at Las Vegas to serve as their midpoint between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles while traveling there for supplies. Several years later, the fort was abandoned. At the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Washington Avenue, the remaining portions of this Old Mormon Fort are still visible.
When 110 acres of land around the Union Pacific Railroad tracks in what would become the downtown area were auctioned off, Las Vegas officially became a city. The city of Las Vegas was incorporated in 1911.

A crucial year for Las Vegas was 1931. Nevada allowed casinos at that time and lowered its six-week residency requirement for divorce. Additionally, this year saw the start of building of the neighboring Hoover Dam. During the Great Depression, the flood of construction workers and their families helped Las Vegas avoid financial ruin. The building project was finished in 1935. The Las Vegas Army Airfield was built in the latter part of 1941. The United States Air Force Thunderbirds aerobatic team is currently based at Nellis Air Force Base perfect location because of Las Vegas Geography and the air force base was renamed in 1950.

Betty Willis designed the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign in 1959, however it has never been placed inside of a municipality. Businesses and business tycoons like Howard Hughes built and acquired hotel-casino properties in the 1960s. The term “gaming” was used to refer to gambling, making it a recognized industry. The postmodern architecture style was sparked by the book Learning from Las Vegas, which was released in this time period and urged architects to draw inspiration from the elaborately decorated buildings in the city.

In the heart of Las Vegas, the Fremont Street Experience debuted in 1995. From dark till midnight, shows held at the top of each hour are illuminated by 12.5 million LED lights and accompanied by 550,000 watts of audio in this covered five-block space. 2012 was dubbed “The Year of Downtown” due to the success of numerous rehabilitation initiatives. The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, the DISCOVERY Children’s Museum, the Mob Museum, the Neon Museum, a new City Hall complex, and renovations for a new corporate headquarters in the former City Hall building all made their debuts at this time. These projects totaled hundreds of millions of dollars.

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