Did you know that the Las Vegas Strip is not in Las Vegas?
LA VEGAS (KLAS) – You hit the Forum Shops at Caesars. You’ve looked at the Bellagio fountains. You rode the High Roller at the LINQ and the roller coaster in New York, New York.
It was a whirlwind trip. But there’s one thing you haven’t done.
You didn’t go to Las Vegas.
Millions of tourists visit the Strip and lose money in casinos day and night. But unless they crossed Sahara Boulevard and headed north towards the downtown casinos, they were never within the city limits.
Most people don’t realize it, but the Strip is actually in unincorporated Clark County, not Las Vegas. Most of it is in Paradise Township – fitting, right? – and the northern end of the Strip is in Winchester Township.
The distinction is a point of pride for county leaders. And far beyond that, it’s Nevada’s biggest economic engine, bringing tax dollars to the county that city leaders can only dream of.
The Strip was born when Bugsy Siegel grew tired of Las Vegas city officials as he attempted to expand his recently purchased El Cortez hotel on Fremont Street in the mid-1940s. bother him.
So he bought the Flamingo, which was under construction four miles south of downtown — and outside the city limits. The 105-room hotel opened in 1947 at a cost of $6 million and has been dubbed “The West’s Greatest Resort Hotel.” It’s changed hands, but it’s the oldest resort on the Strip still in operation.
At the south end, you’ll know you’re on the Strip when you pass the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. Surely that’s why many visitors think they’re in town.
The dividing line between Las Vegas and Clark County is Sahara Avenue. It’s a notable transition, but the city recently added its own walkway – an arch that spans Las Vegas Boulevard with towering showgirls welcoming visitors to the city. Several lots in the area just north of the Sahara have been flagged as likely sites for new resorts.