39 Interesting Facts About Las Vegas that May Surprise You

Woman Pointing to Welcome to Las Vegas Sign

Do you know what “Las Vegas” means? How many conventions are held in a year? How many weddings in a day? Las Vegas is more than just a fun destination, it has a fascinating background as well. From general facts about Las Vegas to visitor statistics, learn some interesting Vegas facts that will make you an expert on the city and may blow your mind.


General Facts About Las Vegas

  • “Las Vegas” means “the meadows” due to water found in underground artesian wells
  • The famous Las Vegas Strip is not located within the city limits of Las Vegas, it actually falls under the jurisdiction of Clark County
  • With its millions of lights, Las Vegas is considered the brightest spot on Earth
  • Annual rainfall in Las Vegas totals slightly more than four inches
  • At 1,149 feet, the Stratosphere is the tallest observation tower in the United States and the second tallest free-standing structure west of the Mississippi River
  • Consumption of shellfish in Vegas is over 60,000 pounds per day – that’s higher than the rest of the United States combined
  • The Las Vegas Metropolitan area is the most densely populated in the state with a population of more than 1.6 million
  • Nearly 300 weddings happen every day
  • There are over 15,000 miles of neon tubing within the city
  • More than 1,200 fountains are involved in the famous Bellagio Fountain show
  • Standing tall at 550 feet and measuring 520 feet in diameter, the High Roller holds the record for being the tallest observation wheel on the planet


Historic Hotel Nevada Part of Las Vegas History


History Facts About Las Vegas

  • The first structure built by non-native settlers was built in 1855 by Mormon missionaries
  • Golden Gate Hotel & Casino is the oldest hotel and casino in Las Vegas, originally opening in 1906 as Hotel Nevada
  • The first telephone in Las Vegas was installed in 1907 at the Hotel Nevada and a plaque still commemorates it in today’s Golden Gate Hotel and Casino
  • Legalization of gambling in 1931 encouraged other parts of the country to request the recall of Nevada’s statehood
  • The Old West Town of St. Thomas is buried in Lake Mead after a forced evacuation in 1938
  • Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel’s car is permanently buried under The Flamingo after his murder in 1947


Tourism Facts About Las Vegas

  • More than 42 million people visit Las Vegas each year
  • Las Vegas is home to more than half of the 20 largest hotels in the world
  • McCarran International Airport is the seventh busiest airport in the United States and North America
  • 51.5 million people fly through McCarran International Airport annually
  • 44,700 people enter through the NV/CA border by car daily
  • In 2019, visitors from the United States came mostly from California, Texas, and Washington
  • Visitors spent $36.9 billion in 2019
  • There are around 150,259 hotel rooms in all of Las Vegas
  • The average occupancy rate for hotels is 88.9%
  • When asked visitors for reason of travel, 48% visited Las Vegas for Vacation, 5% visited Las Vegas to gamble, and 11% came to attend conventions


Las Vegas Skyline During the Day


Business Facts About Las Vegas

  • Over 22,000 conventions are held in Las Vegas every year
  • 6.6 million people come to Las Vegas for conventions annually
  • The top industry for employment is leisure and hospitality, followed by trade, transport, and utilities
  • The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, located downtown in Symphony Park, ranked 10th among theater venues throughout the world for ticket sales
  • 50 wedding chapels exist in Las Vegas


Gambling Facts About Las Vegas

  • Gaming/gambling generally accounts for slightly over 43 percent of Las Vegas casinos’ revenue
  • A study conducted in 2013 showed that although 15% of people visit primarily for gambling, about 71% do so during their visit anyway
  • Sports wagering accounts to more than 2% of the state’s total income
  • In the 1980s, William Lee Bergstrom walked into Binion’s Horseshoe Casino with a suitcase containing $777,000 (the rough equivalent of $2.31 million dollars today) – the biggest bet placed in a casino
  • The biggest roulette bet in Las Vegas history was made at Golden Gate in 2010 at $250,000
  • The largest sum anyone ever won on Vegas slots was $39 million at the Excalibur


Next time you visit Vegas and are adding to the visitor statistics, memorize some of these facts to impress your group. While you’re at it, use some of that new history knowledge and book a bit of history at Golden Gate Hotel & Casino. Not only will you be in the center of where it all started, you’ll also be in the best place to experience Vegas in your own way.