What is the Las Vegas Strip?
You have probably heard the term “The Strip” kicked around by excited friends returning from their trip to the casino Mecca that is Las Vegas, Nevada, and it should not be surprising; the Las Vegas Strip is the centerpiece of Las Vegas, a four mile stretch of road that plays host to the majority of the hotels and casinos in the desert city. The Strip is synonymous with Las Vegas adventure and fun, and it is the American epicenter of the risqué and luxurious.
Surprisingly enough, the Las Vegas Strip is not actually in Las Vegas. The Strip, as it is known colloquially, is formally called Las Vegas Boulevard and is almost entirely contained in Paradise and Winchester, Nevada. The very northern tip of Las Vegas Boulevard does stretch into Las Vegas itself, but by most standards, Las Vegas Boulevard South is considered the official Strip because of its proximity to the hotels and casinos that make it famous. While not all the hotels and casinos in Las Vegas are on the strip, the majority of the most modern and popular ones sit on either side of Las Vegas Boulevard and are often collectively included in the term Las Vegas Strip.
The famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign is located at the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard and is considered, for all intents and purposes, the southern terminus of the Las Vegas Strip. But, just like the Strip itself, the sign is not located in Las Vegas proper. So why is Las Vegas so world-renowned if all the casinos and hotels are located in Paradise and Winchester?
Back when Las Vegas was founded, most of the casinos were erected on Fremont Street, which is north and east of the Las Vegas Strip. For decades, Fremont Street was the face of Vegas in movies and television shows; many of the iconic images of Vegas originated here. But more recently, as Fremont Street aged, the Las Vegas Strip took over as hoteliers began to develop the area south and west of Fremont Street with newer and glitzier hotels. Many of the largest hotels in the world are now located on the Las Vegas Strip, creating an unparalleled spectacle of lights and entertainment.
Because there is no open container law in Las Vegas, it is not uncommon to see tourists walking up and down the Strip with alcoholic beverages in their hands. It is also a common sight to see merchants handing out advertisements for strip clubs and other sex-industry services on the sidewalks of the Strip. The vast majority of hotels and casinos that line the Strip are themed; for example, New York, New York hotel and casino features replicas of famous New York landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. Treasure Island Hotel and Casino features a life-sized pirate ship and mote in the front of the hotel as well as pirate-themed games inside the casino. These themed hotels and casinos are what have made the Las Vegas Strip more than just an entertaining destination. The Strip has become an iconic and exhilarating desert getaway.
Do you know that Las Vegas was once called the Mississippi of the West because of all of the segregation laws they had? During the 1960s, the NAACP planned a march down the Las Vegas Strip, but the demonstration never happened because city officials decided to make changes rather than risk the effects of the negative publicity.
I have a friend who works as a police officer in Las Vegas. He says when he is working the night shift, the question he gets asked most is where are the prostitutes. You'd be surprised how many people think prostitution is legal on the streets of Vegas.
If you plan to go to the city then you might want to brush up on the laws. There are even some exceptions to the open container law that can get you in trouble if you are not careful.
There are a lot of misconceptions about the Las Vegas strip and Las Vegas in general. When I was in college my friends and I went there expecting to arrive in Sin City and find that everything went. We thought it was going to be one big party where people were allowed to do most anything as long as they didn't harm anyone.
Instead what we found was a lot of drunk people walking around with open containers and almost as many police officers following them around. I can't say I enjoyed spending time on the strip, but we did find a couple good parties outside of the city.
I've heard the expression the Vegas strip for most of my life, but I never really knew what the term referred to exactly. It's interesting that those other two towns, Paradise and Winchester, are right there and I have never head of either one of them in my entire life.
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