Vegas by the numbers: Discover the facts and figures behind this fabulously unique city

You probably knew Las Vegas was founded 107 years ago. And you may have been aware more than 39 million people visited the city last year. But there are some interesting numbers about the Entertainment Capital of the World you are unlikely to be clued in on.

Did you know that in 2011, the “average” Strip-area casino generated gaming revenues of more than $610,079 daily? Or that it takes a Blue Man approximately one hour to get into costume for each show? (FYI: The cast of Blue Man Group at The Venetian apply a grease-like paint to their heads that never dries to give them that oh-so-gooey look onstage.)

Here’s a list of facts and figures about Las Vegas, divided into seven categories – for good luck, of course. Although you won’t be tested on them, you never know when one of these tidbits will make for a good conversation starter or pop up during a heated game of Trivial Pursuit.

The lobby of the La Concha Motel is becoming part of the visitors' center for The Neon Museum

The lobby of the La Concha Motel is being transformed into the visitors' center for The Neon Museum (Photo courtesy of The Neon Museum)


As mentioned above, the “town” of Las Vegas was established in 1905 with the opening of the Salt Lake, San Pedro & Los Angeles Railroad. Below are seven more dates marking significant growth points in the city’s development.

1909 — The first movie theater, the Isis, opened on Fremont Street. Today, you’ll find multiplex cinemas, as part of casinos and shopping centers, covering every corner of the valley.

1914 — The first movie filmed in Las Vegas was released. Called “The Hazards of Helen,” the adventure flick starred Helen Holmes and was directed by Jack McGowan. Footage was shot near the corner of Fremont and Second streets.

1923 — The first rodeo was held in Las Vegas. In 1985, Las Vegas Events lured the National Finals Rodeo to come from Oklahoma City to Sin City, and it has been held here every year since.

1931 — Gambling was legalized in Nevada (it had actually been outlawed in the state in 1910). That same year the first gaming license was issued to Las Vegas residents Mayme Stocker and J.H. Morgan, who opened the Northern Club in 1936. The license cost them $1,410.

1933 — The historic downtown U.S. Post Office and federal courthouse opened. Its eagerly awaited reopening is scheduled to take place next week (on Feb. 14th) – when it becomes The Mob Museum, The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement.

1962 — The La Concha Motel opened on the Strip, featuring a shell-shaped lobby designed by famed architect Paul Revere Williams. Although the motel is long gone, that iconic lobby was cut out and transported to the Neon Boneyard in downtown. It is currently being rebuilt as the entryway and gift shop for the visitors’ center of The Neon Museum, which is scheduled to open later this year.

1964 — On Aug. 20, The Beatles came to Las Vegas and performed two sold-out shows at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  Since opening in a custom-built theater at The Mirage in 2006, “LOVE, ” which combines original recordings by The Beatles with the acrobatic artistry of Cirque du Soleil, has become one of the city’s most acclaimed shows.

(For more about the history of Las Vegas, click here.)


According to The Weather Channel’s website,, February is the usually the wettest month in Las Vegas. So far, so good…as this February has been dry. Although the summers are sizzling, the city generally enjoys moderate year-round temperatures. Here are some more of Las Vegas’ intriguing weather trends.

July — On average, this is the city’s warmest month.

118° F — This was the highest temperature in Las Vegas recorded in 1931.

December — On average, this is the city’s coolest month.

8° F — This was the lowest temperature in Las Vegas recorded in 1963.

(For more about weather in Las Vegas, click here.)

At Mandalay Bay weddings can be held high above the Strip.

At Mandalay Bay weddings can be held high above the Strip. (Photo courtesy of MGM Resorts International)


In February, thoughts of love and romance often turn to marriage. And there’s no better (or easier!) place in the world to tie the knot than Las Vegas. From traditional weddings to celebrity impersonator weddings to weddings on a tight budget, the possibilities for getting married here are endless.

$60: The cost of a marriage license in Nevada.

0: The number of days, hours, minutes and seconds you are required to wait before getting hitched in Las Vegas is zero.

90,058: The number of marriage licenses issued in 2010. (Note: The figure for 2011 was not available at press time.)

(For more on getting married in Las Vegas, click here.)

Crab legs are popular at the Rio's Carnival World Buffet

Crab legs are a popular item at the Rio's Carnival World Buffet


In Sin City, you can embrace gluttony while enjoying cuisines from all over the world. Las Vegas’ burgeoning restaurant community has everything to offer from eateries led by culinary geniuses to off-the-wall cafés and buffets-a-plenty. Here are four ways to celebrate the city’s eclectic food culture.

$1.99 This is the cost of a shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate Casino. Since being introduced in 1959, the price has only risen by $1.

8,000 calories — Forget your diet! Here’s the tally for the total number of calories in the Heart Attack Grill’s Quadruple Bypass Burger. This behemoth of beef, bacon, American cheese and a special sauce is among the signature offerings at the greasy restaurant located in downtown Las Vegas.

24 scoops — This is the amount of ice cream used to make a King Kong Sundae, which costs $99, at the Sugar Factory in Paris Las Vegas. It can feed up to 12 people.

1,200 pounds — This is the weight of crab legs being served up each day at the Rio’s Carnival World Buffet. More than 300 dishes are also prepared fresh daily for the dearly loved smorgasbord.

(For more about dining out in Vegas, click here.)


A warm welcome awaits you in Las Vegas. The city’s hospitality scene boasts a distinctive bigger-is-better attitude. You’ll discover everything from budget accommodations to elegant suites in all themes conceivable. (Just imagine stunning re-creations of the cities of Venice and Paris!) You’ll never have to look hard for a meticulously maintained room here, which will be complemented by first-rate personal service and a wealth of amenities.

150,200 — Las Vegas’ estimated hotel/motel room count for 2011.

80.4 percent— The city-wide hotel/motel occupancy rate for 2010. (Note: The figure for 2011 was not available at press time.)

April 3, 1941 The date the El Rancho, the first casino-style resort, opened on what would become the Strip. The El Cortez opened later this year in downtown Las Vegas. The El Rancho was destroyed by a fire 19 years later.

Dec. 15, 2010 — The date The Cosmopolitan opened. It is expected to be the last new hotel built on the Strip for some time to come.

(To find a room for your Vegas vacation, click here.)

The Forest Duet, an acrobatic number in “KÀ” at MGM Grand

The Forest Duet, an acrobatic number in “KÀ” at MGM Grand (Photo by Jerry Metellus)


With seven different productions at seven different resorts on the Strip, Cirque du Soleil certainly has a firm grip on the city’s entertainment scene. And with so many shows to choose from, it may be hard to select one during your Las Vegas visit. So here are some fun facts about what each production offers.

“KÀ” at MGM Grand

80,000 and 75,000 pounds — The weights of the Sand Cliff and Tatami decks, two enormous performance spaces used in the show that are supported and controlled by high-tech cranes, motors and hydraulic brakes.

120 — The number of fireballs discharged during the pre-show segment. These fireballs measure 30 feet in height and reach temperatures of up to 1,200° F.

160 — The number of harnesses used by the performers. There are actually 21 different types of harnesses.

“Viva ELVIS” at Aria

112 — The number of costume changes that occur in the first three songs of the show.

135 — The number of wigs used in the show – including the silicone Elvis-pompadour hairpieces worn in the finale.

7,000 pounds — The weight of the gigantic Blue Suede Shoe that appears onstage. It is 29 feet long.

17,765 — The samples of Elvis’ singing and speaking voice extracted by the show’s music arrangers. They took them from 914 albums and 33 feature-length films, concert recordings, interviews and home movies.

“Criss Angel Believe” at Luxor

10 feet per second — The speed at which the automation of network cable in the show can move people or scenery.

82 years — The combined years of magic experience between Criss Angel and the other “illusionnaires” involved with the show.

The Octopus' Garden in "LOVE" at The Mirage (Photo by Richard Termine)

The Octopus' Garden in "LOVE" at The Mirage (Photo by Richard Termine)

“LOVE” at The Mirage

24 — The number of digital projectors used in the show. They are capable of making high-definition, 100-foot-wide panoramic images.

6,300 — The number of speakers in the custom-built theater. Each seat is fitted with three speakers in order to hear The Beatles’ music with as much clarity as is possible.

570 — The number of props used in the show, ranging from an electric VW Beetle to a daffodil and paper puppets.

“Zumanity” at New York-New York

2,500 — The number of pairs of nipple covers the girls in “Zumanity” have used since the show debuted in 2003.

1,269 — The number of light fixtures in the show, which are run by only eight light consoles.

2,500 quarts — The amount of milk the sexy couple in the Midnight Bath act have bathed in since the show opened in 2003.

“O” at Bellagio

Nearly a dozen — The number of “O” performers who have taken part in the Olympics.

60 feet — The distance the high divers dive into the pool, which is 17 feet deep.

60 loads — The amount of laundry the wardrobe department does per day.

“Mystère” at Treasure Island

800 — The number of light cues in the show from a total of 1,200 fixtures.

20 to 79 — The range of ages, from the youngest to the oldest performer in the show.

2 to 13.5 — The range of shoe sizes, from the smallest to largest foot in the show.

5,712 — The number of red balloons used each year (12 for the Baby Girl in each performance).

(For more on shows in Las Vegas, click here.)

Visitors playing craps at Bellagio (Photo courtesy of MGM Resorts International)

Visitors playing craps at Bellagio (Photo courtesy of MGM Resorts International)


You won’t find any other place in the world that offers the variety and quality of casino games that are available in Las Vegas. Each year, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority profiles visitors to keep tabs on their gaming interests. This is what their 2010 study revealed.

80 percent—The percentage of visitors who said they had gambled while in Las Vegas.

2.9 hours — The average amount of time these visitors spent gambling per day.

$466.20 — The average budget these visitors had for gambling.

70 percent — The number of visitors who gamble that prefer slot machines. Blackjack came in a distant second at 11 percent – with video poker at 7 percent, poker at 4 percent and craps at 3 percent.

(For more about gambling in Las Vegas, click here.)


I’m a Las Vegas native. By profession, I write at Mostly about the city’s hotels, but on other topics – gaming and transportation – too. I really love staying at hotels. And the ones here are among the biggest and best in the world. Some key things I’ve learned: Resort fees are inescapable (frustrating but true), a friendly attitude at the front desk may score you a great view and over-the-top room amenities – bath butlers, Japanese tea service, menus with “intimate” items – do exist. What else should you know about me? Well, I’m comfortable at a blackjack table. And I like eating late-night pancakes in hotel coffee shops. A lot. Follow Renee on Google+.