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Built in 1959 by the Western Neon company, the iconic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is a landmark on the famous Las Vegas Strip. The circles that contain the letters of the word Welcome represent silver dollars in honor of Nevada's designation as the Silver State.  
Credit: Digital Vision 
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The Las Vegas Strip at night. The Strip is home to 19 of the world's 25 largest hotels—a total of 67,000 rooms. Known for its extravagant signage and even more extravagant architecture, the strip has been designated an All-American Road. There have been casinos on the strip since 1941, but it was the 1989 opening of the Mirage that ushered in the era of the mega-sized theme hotels and resorts that dominate the Strip today.  
Credit: Grant Faint/Photographer's Choice/Getty 
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Although the theme resorts on the Strip have become symbolic of Las Vegas' gambling and tourism industries, the city's first casinos were built downtown on Fremont Street. The Golden Gate, which opened in 1906 as the Nevada Hotel, is the oldest, and at 106 rooms the smallest, casino hotel in the city.  
Credit: Corbis 
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The Flamingo Las Vegas hotel and casino, which opened in 1946, was the first luxury property on the Las Vegas Strip. The Pink Flamingo, as it was known then, was built by New York mobster Bugsy Seigel for $6 million (a staggering cost at the time) and was an early step in Seigel's efforts to dominate the Las Vegas gaming industry.  
Credit: Wikimedia 
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The Fremont Street Experience is a pedestrian mall in downtown Las Vegas that features a 'light canopy', a 90-foot-high barrel vault fitted with LED lights. Every night at dusk, the canopy lights up as part of a light and sound show.  
Credit: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority 
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The 'canal' at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino. The Venetian, which opened in 1997, is characteristic of the current era of Las Vegas megaresorts, housing more than 4,000 suites in a 120,000 square foot space and featuring extravagant design elements like the canal and motorized gondola pictured here.  
Credit: Photodisc 
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The desert outside Las Vegas. Surrounded by the bright lights of the Strip, it's easy to forget that Las Vegas was built in the middle of a vast, mountainous desert.  
Credit: Wikimedia 
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Valley of Fire State Park: Just 50 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada's oldest state park features spectacular red sandstone formations and ancient Anasazi petroglyphs.  
Credit: Paul Beard/Stockbyte/Getty 
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Chorus girls on the Las Vegas Strip. Known for huge stage productions and performances by megastars like Celine Dion and Jerry Seinfeld, Las Vegas' entertainment industry is almost as big a draw for visitors as gambling.  
Credit: Digital Vision/Getty 
 
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