Whether you prefer to play poker or try your luck at casino games such as slot machines, blackjack or roulette there is one place in the world you simply have to travel to at some point in your life and that is the Las Vegas Strip.
The Las Vegas Strip is a 4.2 mile stretch on Las vegas Boulevard in Clark County, Nevada. It is thought of as the world’s gambling Mecca and is also home to 19 of the world’s 25 largest hotels, by room count, with over 67,000 rooms available.
The first casino to be built on what is now known as The Strip was the El Rancho Vegas which opened its doors on April 3, 1941 and boasted just 63 rooms. It traded for almost 20 years before a fire completely destroyed it in 1960. Many casinos and hotels have been built on the Las Vegas Strip but it was the opening of The Mirage in 1981 that took Las Vegas to a whole new level.
Gone was the idea of a standard sized casino and hotel and in came the new Mega-resorts. The Mirage was the most expensive complex built at the time, at $630m, but fears it could take several years to pay off the loans were quickly dashed as The Mirage was a massive success and all debts were repaid within 18 months. With 3,044 rooms and 100,000 square feet of gaming space, The Mirage was and still is a fine spectacle.
In 2004 there was an announcement by MGM Mirage that highlighted what they would call Project CityCentre and the future of Las Vegas. The construction began in 2006 and some parts of it were opened in late 2009, though some sections still need completing. At a staggering 16,797,000 square feet the complex is quite frankly enormous and at a cost of $11bn it will be the most expensive privately funded development in American history.
The CityCentre project includes Aria Resort & Casino, a 4,004 room hotel and a luxurious casino with a high-stakes poker room called The Ivey Room after poker superstar Phil Ivey. Also being built is Vdara a 57-storey residential block with room for 1,495 apartments, The Harmon Hotel, a 400 boutique hotel, The Crystals, which is a 500,000 square feet entertainment and retail centre and Veer Towers an impressive twin-tower structure for residential properties and hotel room that actually veer 4.6% from the centre!
This massive project is seen as being the future and something that will aid Las Vegas’ flagging fortunes of late. In 2006 lost the title of the World’s highest-grossing gambling centre to Macau but renevues are reportidly back on the rise and it should not be long before it regains top spot.