I’m in Las Vegas for Blog World Expo where I spoke yesterday on the subject of “Travel Porn”. This is a fascinating city which I’ve visited many times. Here are some things you might not have known about Sin City:
- There are 124,270 hotel rooms in Las Vegas. Actually, there are probably more than that at this point. It would take 340 years to spend an evening in each room. 19 of the 25 largest hotels in the world are in Las Vegas. The four hotels at the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Tropicana Ave. have more rooms than all of San Francisco.
- Las Vegas is home to one of the largest Mormon populations in the world. While Mormons are not allowed to gamble, many can be found working in the Casino industry. Many of the early mobsters who ran the casinos in Vegas went out of their way to hire Mormons precisely because they don’t gamble and have a reputation for being honest.
- Baccarat is one of the biggest games in Las Vegas. There are over 3,000 blackjack tables in Las Vegas and under 250 baccarat tables in Vegas. In 2008, the average amount made per blackjack table was $427,000, but the average per baccarat table was $3,900,000. Most bacarrat players are high rollers from Asia who come to Vegas. When the Asian financial crisis hit in the 90’s, Vegas casinos saw a large drop in profits just from the reduction in money coming in from the baccarat tables.
- The Strip is actually not in the city of Las Vegas. It is technically just outside the city, the border of which is Sarah Avenue. The Stratosphere is in technically in Las Vegas, but almost everything to the south is in unincorporated Clark County, Nevada. Nonetheless, it is all pretty much called “Las Vegas”.
- Prostitution is NOT legal in Las Vegas. Despite the impression you get from all the escort ads you get walking down the strip, prostitution is not legal in Las Vegas or Clark County. It is legal in other counties in Nevada and there as been debate about legalizing it in Las Vegas, but it is still technically illegal.
- They eat a lot of shrimp in Vegas. More than 60,000 pounds of shrimp are consumed each day in Las Vegas which is more than the rest of the United States combined! Las Vegas also has the largest consumption of Big Gulps.
- The lottery is illegal in Nevada. Believe it or not, despite being the home of legalized gambling in the United States, the State of Nevada is prevented by law from running a lottery. I guess the casinos don’t like competition.
- Nuclear bomb were detonated 50 miles from Vegas. The Nevada testing grounds is close enough to Las Vegas that several mushroom clouds were visible from Vegas in the 50’s. People in Vegas actually treated the explosions as a giant fireworks display. There is an atomic testing museum in Las Vegas at 755 East Flamingo Rd.