The Strip. Still the street of dreams.
By bus. By helicopter. By day or by night. Touring the Las Vegas Strip is still an intoxicating, visually overwhelming experience.
A Las Vegas Strip tour is on many a bucket list. And why not? This iconic, neon-lit street of dreams has fueled fantasies, TV melodramas and movie romances since the postwar generation got its first driver's license. more...Simply known as Las Vegas Boulevard until the mid-forties, legend has it the Strip was named by Los Angeles Police officer Guy McAfee after the City of Angel's fabled Sunset Strip.The Las Vegas Strip, though, is a four-mile (6.8 km) stretch, designated a scenic route and an all-American road. Many of the largest resorts in the world are located on the Strip. In fact, it's home to 15 of the world's 25 largest hotels.The Strip's dramatic architecture has been chronicled by academics and pop-culture aficionados alike. Architecture students still read "Learning from Las Vegas," a classic textbook of the genre. And noted author and cultural critic Tom Wolfe rhapsodized fondly of Strip hotel's dramatic lines, soaring swoops and neon-flecked parabolas.The first casino built on the old highway was the El Rancho Las Vegas, opening on April 3, 1941, with 63 rooms. It stood for almost 20 years before being destroyed by a fire in 1960. Its success inspired Las Vegas' first boom; construction of a second hotel, the Hotel Last Frontier, began in 1942. Organized crime figures, such as New York's Bugsy Siegel, took interest in the former cowboy town, leading to construction of the fabled Flamingo in 1946, followed by the Desert Inn in 1950.Back then, a newly mobile middle class ogled the Strip through the windows of Buicks and Edsels. The Edsels are gone, in favor of helicopters, buses and Segways. The ogling, though, has remained the same.
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