Strange Las Vegas Facts & Figures!
-The Las Vegas strip's gaming revenue for 2013 was $6.5B. Annual state gaming revenue exceeds $9B.
-There's estimated to be at least 1,000 people living beneath Vegas in underground tunnels.
-When Sammy Davis Jr. took a swim in the pool at the New Frontier hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in 1952, they drained the pool when he was done because it was a whites-only swimming pool.
-Michael Jackson had plans to build a 50 foot tall moon walking robot replica of himself to roam the Las Vegas desert. It was intended to be an advertisement for a planned 2005 comeback.
-Archie Karas is famous for turning for having the largest and longest Vega winning streak. He turned $50 into $40M but managed to lose it all in less than 3 years.
-In 1980, a Las Vegas hospital had to suspend workers who were betting on when patients would die. One nurse was even accused of murdering a patient so she would win.
-There is a service in Las Vegas that will come to you and cure a hangover with IV fluids and IV vitamins.
-It would take 288 years for one person to spend one night in every hotel room in Las Vegas.
-Contrary to popular belief, prostitution in Las Vegas is not legal. It is however legal in some areas of Nevada.
-The reflective surface of the Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas concentrates the sun's rays into a "death ray" that creates dangerously hot areas around the pool.
-Las Vegas currently boasts 1701 licensed gambling venues.
-A 1910 law made it illegal to gamble in Las Vegas.
-FedEx CEO Fred Smith saved his company in the 1970s by gambling their last $5000 in Vegas. He turned it into $32k playing Blackjack; enough to cover the company's $24k fuel bill. This allowed FedEx to stay in business a few days longer, at which point he was able to raise $11M to keep FedEx going.
-According to suppliers, Vegas Bingo players' favourite colour ink daubers are purple.
-There is a place in Vegas you can pay $40 to shoot a grenade launcher, twice.
-The average number of pillowcases washed daily at MGM Grand is around 15,000.
-The Golden Gate Hotel and Casino opened in 1906, making it the first hotel and casino to open in Las Vegas, Nevada.
-Water structures in Las Vegas, like fountains and man-made lakes, use grey-water, which is recycled water from sinks, bathtubs and showers.
-The Las Vegas Strip is the brightest place on Earth when looked at from outer space.
-The Dunes, demolished in 1993, was the first resort to feature topless showgirls in a show called Minsky's Follies.
-The 1/2 scale replica of the Eiffel Tower outside the Paris hotel in Las Vegas was originally planned as full size, but had to be shrunk due to the nearby airport. The original Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 and is made of wrought iron pieces which are fastened together with 2,500,000 rivets. The one in Vegas is made from welded steel and is stronger structurally and has "fake rivets" to duplicate the look of the original.
-Las Vegas is informally known as Hawaii's 9th island, due to the city's large community of Hawaiians.
-There is over 15,000 miles of lighted neon tubing used along the Strip and Downtown.
-In 1899 Charles Fey invented a slot machine named the Liberty Bell. The device became the model for all slots to follow.
-The Bronze lion outside of the MGM Grand Hotel weighs 50 tons, making it the largest bronze sculpture in the country.
-There have been 14 major building 'implosions' in Las Vegas since 1993.
-Approximately 34% of thefts and cheating in Las Vegas casinos are committed by staff.
-Wealthy businessman and aviator Howard Hughes requested a 200 gallons shipment of Baskin-Robbins' Banana Nut ice cream while staying at Las Vegas' Desert Inn. A few days later, Hughes decided that he was tired of the ice cream and announced that he would only eat Chocolate Marshmallow ice cream. The inn ended up distributing free Banana Nut ice cream for a year.
-After staying longer than his initial reservation (in which he had booked the inn's entire top two floors), Howard Hughes was also asked to leave the Desert Inn by the owner. Instead, he purchased the resort for $13 million.
-In 1996, Wayne Newton celebrated his 25,000th performance while Siegfried and Roy celebrated their 15,000th performance.
-The Las Vegas Harmon Hotel, a key part of an $8.2B Las Vegas Hotel project will be demolished before a single guest ever gets to check into a room due to major construction defects.
-A study conducted in 2013 showed that 15% of people come to Las Vegas primarily to gamble, but 71% gamble during their visit.
-The Mirage Hotel's iconic golden windows actually get their coloring from real gold dust.
-Nevada's prison-population growth since 1990 is 100.4%.
-The Stratosphere is the tallest, free-standing, observation tower in the US and the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River.
-15 of the world's top 25 hotels are located in Las Vegas.
-Caesars Augustus tower and Treasure Island all have an architectural feature designed to trick the eye into seeing the buildings as smaller (thus closer) than they really are. Each window covers four rooms on two floors. Wynn Las Vegas uses the same trick, in that there are two floors between each white stripe.
-In 2004, a British gambler, Ashley Revell, sold all of his possessions, including all of his clothes, and bet $135,300 on red for a single spin of a roulette wheel in Las Vegas and won $270,600.
-The Silver Slipper was the first casino to hire female card dealers on The Strip.
-There's a heavy equipment playground in Las Vegas where you can drive bulldozers and other big machinery for fun.
-Before Las Vegas was famous for gambling, it marketed itself as a place to watch atomic bomb tests in the desert. Over 10,000 people have successfully claimed half a billion dollars back from the US Government in compensation for fallout-related illnesses.
-The Tangiers Casino depicted in Martin Scorcese's film "Casino" never actually existed. The movie is based on the history of Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal of the Stardust. In the movie the Riviera was used for the interior shots and the Landmark's porte-cochere was used for the exterior shots. The house used in the movie is located in the Las Vegas Country Club (behind the Hilton). Franks actual house is in the same neighbourhood. Frank Rosenthal died on 10/14/08 and until then maintained a website where he answered questions.
-Las Vegas has a "black book" a list of people who are banned from setting foot in any casino in the city.
-At 1,149 feet, the Stratosphere Las Vegas is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the nation.
-Bertha was a performing elephant that entertained for 37 years at John Ascuaga's Nugget casino located in Sparks. She was 48 years old when she died.
-Mobster Bugsy Siegel named his casino, The Flamingo, after his showgirl girlfriend, whose long legs garnered her the same name.
-The largest sum won on the Las Vegas slots was at the Excalibur. After putting in $100, a 25 year-old software engineer won $39 million, beating the odds at the time for 1 in 16.7 million.
-Music legend Elvis Presley performed 837 consecutive sold out shows at the Las Vegas Hilton (now known as LVH-Las Vegas Hotel and Casino).
-In 1931 the Pair-O-Dice Club was the first casino to open on Highway 91, the future Las Vegas Strip.
-Not all Vegas celebrity weddings are a sham. Michael Caine married his wife at the Little Chapel on the Green in Las Vegas in January 1973. This year they celebrated their 40th anniversary.
-The Luxor Las Vegas' Sphinx, a re-creation of the Great Sphinx of Giza, is 101 feet high and larger than the original.
-The Imperial Palace on the Las Vegas strip was the nation's first off-airport airline baggage check-in service.
-The Palms Casino Resort Palms offers a Kingpin Suite that has two fully functional bowling lanes inside.
-The shrimp consumption in Las Vegas is over 60,000 pounds per day, higher than the rest of the nation combined.
-The US Air Force operates a small airline out Las Vegas airport that has daily shuttles for workers to and from Area 51.
-Las Vegas casinos never use dice with rounded corners.
-When erected, the neon cowboy outside The Pioneer Club in Las Vegas was the largest mechanical sign in the world.
-Just outside of Las Vegas is Boulder City, one of the only two cities in Nevada that prohibits gambling.
-Even though Las Vegas seems like a larger than life city, it's located in the Mojave Desert, the smallest desert in America.
-The cost of a marriage license in Nevada is $35 whereas the cost of filing for divorce is $450.
-The Reno Ice Pavilion is a 16,000-square-foot rink once dismantled and moved to Reno from Atlantic City, New Jersey.
-In 1960 there were 16,067 slots in Nevada. By 1999 that had blown out to 205,726 slot machines; about one operating slot machine for every eight Las Vegas residents.
-Las Vegas Boulevard, where The Strip is located, has had several names. It's been called 5th Street, Arrowhead Highway, Los Angeles Highway, Salt Lake Highway, US 91, US 93, US 466 and State Route 6.
-Customers weighing over 350 pounds eat for free at the Heart Attack Grill restaurant in Las Vegas.
-39,668,221 people visited Vegas last year. 5,107,416 were convention delegates.
-There are about 15,000 miles of neon tubing in The Strip and downtown Las Vegas.
-The white circles around the letters of the word 'welcome' on the Las Vegas sign are supposed to portray silver dollars. They were incorporated into the sign because Nevada is known as The Silver State.
-In 1964, a wealthy businessman, fearing nuclear war, built a massive 16,500 square foot mansion underneath Las Vegas complete with pool, a putting green and luxury finishes.
-The average length of a Vegas stay is 3.7 nights.
-Surprisingly, the design of the iconic Las Vegas sign was never copyrighted.
-When it first opened, the Wynn Las Vegas was the most expensive hotel and casino in the world.
-22,027 conventions were held in Vegas in 2013.
-Las Vegas has a higher number of unlisted phone numbers than any other US city.
-Today, an acre of prime land on The Strip sells for about $3-6 million.
-Most casinos in Las Vegas will cash in chips from a different casino.
-Nevada's population growth since 1990 is 83.3%.
-In the 1970s, Liberace played at the Hilton for a salary of $300,000 a week.
-By number of rooms, the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino is the largest hotel in the country and the second largest in the world.
-In some Asian cultures, the number 4 is thought be bad luck. For that reason, some hotels in Vegas have no floors that start with the number 4.
-With 3,933 rooms, the Bellagio hotel has more rooms than the number of residents in Bellagio, Italy.
-Las Vegas is translated to "the meadows" in Spanish.
-84.4% of Nevada's land is owned by the federal government - more than any other state.
-The longest running show in Las Vegas was the Folies Bergere at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino. It opened in 1959 and closed in 2009 just shy of a 50 year run.
-There are over 300 weddings per day in Las Vegas, making it the top wedding destination in the US and second only to Istanbul for most number of weddings in a single city.
-In 1954 the most common questions from people who visited Las Vegas' Golden Nugget hotel were "How much does it weigh?" and "Where is it?" Many were surprised to learn that there was no actual nugget.
-Most of the strip is technically outside of Las Vegas city limits.
-The electric bill for the Luxor pyramid's shining light is $51 per hour.