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Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is the county seat of Clark County, Nevada. As of the 2000 census,
the city had a total population of 478,434 making it the largest city in the
state of Nevada. The city's official population estimate as of July 1, 2002,
First settled in 1854 by Mormon farmers, Las Vegas already had been named by
Spaniards in the Antonio Armijo party who watered there while heading north
and west along the Old Spanish Trail from Texas. At that time, various low
areas of the Las Vegas Valley contained artesian springs which created
extensive green areas in contrast to the surrounding desert, hence the name
Las Vegas, Spanish for "The Fertile Valleys." The Mormons abandoned the site
in 1857, and the U.S. Army built Fort Baker there in 1864. Owing to the
springs, Las Vegas was a water stop first for wagon trains and later
railroads, on the trail between Los Angeles, California, and points east
such as Albuquerque, New Mexico. Las Vegas was founded on May 15, 1905 when
110 acres (in what later would become downtown) were auctioned off.
Incorporated in 1911, and with gambling legalized in 1931, Las Vegas started
its rise to world fame in 1941, when developers began building large hotels
incorporating gambling casinos in the middle of the parched desert. Several
such early enterprises are widely reputed to have been backed by money from
large crime syndicates based in the eastern U.S. Gangster Bugsy Siegel is
widely credited as the organizer and prime mover behind early Las Vegas development.
Las Vegas is sometimes called "Sin City" due to the popularity of legalized
gambling locally, availability of alcoholic beverages any time of the day
and night, various forms and degrees of adult entertainment, and legalized
prostitution in nearby counties (Nevada law prohibits prostitution in
counties which have large populations). The nickname favored by local
government and promoters of tourism is "The Entertainment Capital of the
World." In the last fifteen years or so, many huge, extravagant casinos have
been built, and the emphasis has turned from gambling and other "adult"
pursuits to entertainment for both adults and children. In addition,
concerted effort has been put forth by city fathers to diversify their local
economy by attracting light manufacturing, textiles, banking, and other
commercial interests. The lack of any state individual or corporate income
tax, and very simple incorporation requirements, have fostered the success
of this effort. Having been late to develop an urban core of any substantial
size, Las Vegas has retained very affordable real estate prices in
comparison to nearby urban centers. Consequently, the city has recently
enjoyed an enormous boom both in population and in tourism. As of 2001, the
greater Las Vegas metropolitan area is the fastest growing population center
in the United States. Las Vegas's incorporated population of 478,434 is an
understatement of the city's recent population boom, as much of the greater
Las Vegas metropolitan area is unincorporated. The Las Vegas metropolitan
area (not including nearby Boulder City) contains 1,337,357 residents.
The City of Las Vegas is governed under a City Council-City Manager plan.
The Mayor sits as a member at large and presides over the City Council
meetings. In the event that the Mayor cannot attend a City Council meeting
the Mayor Pro-Tem is the presiding body of the meeting until such time as
the Mayor returns. The City Manager is responsible for the adminstration and
operation of all of the municipal services within the City of Las Vegas
including monitoring the day to day activities of city departments. The City
Manager also maintains intergovernmental relationships with federal, state,
county and other local governments.
Elected and Government Officials of the City of Las Vegas are:
* Honorable Douglas Selby - City Manager
* Honorable Barbara Jo (Roni) Ronemus - City Clerk
* Honorable Oscar B. Goodman - Mayor and Councilmember at Large (Term
Expires in 2007)
* Honorable Gary Reese - Mayor Pro-Tem and 3rd Ward Councilmember (Term
Expires in 2007)
* Honorable Janet Moncrief - 1st Ward Councilmember (Term Expires in
* Honorable Lynette Boggs-McDonald - 2nd Ward Councilmember (Term Expires
* Honorable Larry Brown - 4th Ward Councilmember (Term Expires in 2005)
* Honorable Lawrence Weekly - 5th Ward Councilmember (Term Expires in
* Honorable Michael Mack - 6th Ward Councilmember (Term Expires in 2005)
City of Las Vegas Government Offices are located at 400 Stewart Avenue, Las
Vegas, Nevada 89101.
Las Vegas is located at 36¡11'39" North, 115¡13'19" West (36.194168,
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of
293.6 km² (113.4 mi²). 293.5 km² (113.3 mi²) of it is
land and 0.1 km² (0.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.04%
As of the census of 2000, there are 478,434 people, 176,750 households, and
117,538 families residing in the city. The population density is
1,630.3/km² (4,222.5/mi²). There are 190,724 housing units at an
average density of 649.9/km² (1,683.3/mi²). The racial makeup of
the city is 69.86% White, 10.36% African American, 0.75% Native American,
4.78% Asian, 0.45% Pacific Islander, 9.75% from other races, and 4.05% from
two or more races. 23.61% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any
There are 176,750 households out of which 31.9% have children under the age
of 18 living with them, 48.3% are married couples living together, 12.2%
have a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% are
non-families. 25.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.5%
have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average
household size is 2.66 and the average family size is 3.19.
In the city the population is spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18,
8.8% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who
are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100
females there are 103.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there
are 102.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $44,069, and the median
income for a family is $50,465. Males have a median income of $35,511 versus
$27,554 for females. The per capita income for the city is $22,060. 11.9% of
the population and 8.6% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the
total people living in poverty, 15.4% are under the age of 18 and 8.3% are
65 or older.
There are also approximately a half-million people who call Las Vegas home
but do not live in the city limits of any city. As a matter of fact, the
famous Las Vegas Strip is not in the city limits - it is governed
municipally by the Clark County commission. Approximately 1.6 million people
call the Las Vegas Valley home.
Las Vegas enjoys a desert climate with very little rainfall year round, and
extreme heat in the summer. Winters are cool and windy, with the balance of
Las Vegas' rainfall coming from January to March.
Las Vegas is the largest city in the United States to have no major-league
level professional sports teams. This is largely due to the stigma of legal
sports betting being seen as a conflict of interest with any potential pro
sports team being located in Las Vegas by the NBA, NFL, NHL, and Major
League Baseball. However, Las Vegas does have the following minor league
sports and pro tour events:
* Las Vegas 51s (AAA) (Pacific Coast League)
* Las Vegas Wranglers (East Coast Hockey League)
* Las Vegas Posse (Former Canadian Football League team that played at
Sam Boyd Stadium)
* NASCAR Winston Cup Series: UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400
* NASCAR Busch Series: Sam's Town 300
* NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Las Vegas 350
* NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals
* PGA Las Vegas Invitational
* LPGA -- (to be named event)
* PRCA National Finals Rodeo
* PBA Las Vegas Open
Las Vegas is also host to many professional boxing matches and has hosted
many heavyweight boxing championship bouts. The University of Nevada, Las
Vegas Runnin' Rebels host Mountain West Conference events on the UNLV campus
and eight miles east, at Sam Boyd Stadium.