The History Of Las Vegas And Its Attractions
In 1931 the state of Nevada legalized almost all forms of gambling as a way to increase revenue for the state. Since gambling was legal in Nevada, Las Vegas became an attractive location for crime lords and mobsters to invest in the city and that caused the town to grow rapidly during the 1950s, making it the epicenter of gambling in America. In the 1960s legitimate businessmen, entrepreneurs, and corporations started to buy the hotels and casinos in Vegas, which reduced the city's organized crime connections. From this point, Vegas would grow into the thriving tourist destination of the present times, a place of entertainment, partying, risk-taking, allure, fun, elegance, vulgar, brash and grand.
The Five Tallest Buildings in Las Vegas
Encore at Wynn Las Vegas
The Encore at Wynn Las Vegas is the fifth tallest building in Las Vegas, standing at 631 feet (192.3 meters) tall. In 2006, an announcement was made that a second hotel tower would be built next to the one- year old Wynn Las Vegas hotel. This hotel tower ended up as the full-scale resort that today is the Encore hotel which opened on December 22, 2008. The luxury resort, hotel, and casino has a life imitating art theme and is currently owned by the Wynn Resorts Limited Corporation. Besides being a giant 2,034 room hotel, the Encore hotel houses a casino, convention space, retail space, a spa and salon, a nightclub, a theater, 7 bars and 5 restaurants. The Encore's theaters and nightclubs have hosted many famous artists and DJs like Beyonce, Garth Brooks, Ne-Yo and Calvin Harris.
Trump International Hotel & Tower – Tower One
The Trump International Hotel & Tower is the fourth tallest building in Las Vegas, standing 640 feet (195 meters) tall. In 2002 American businessman Phil Ruffin partnered with Donald Trump to build Trump Tower in Las Vegas. After two years of deciding and changing the scale of the project, the deal between Ruffin and Trump was signed in 2004, with the groundbreaking ceremony taking place in July of 2005, shortly after all of the condominium units in the tower had been reserved. Construction on the tower started in November of that year, and the building was topped out in May of 2007. The Trump International Hotel & Tower is a luxury hotel, timeshare, and condominium that is currently owned by Ruffin, Trump, and Hilton Grand Vacations after they brought 300 condominiums back in 2012. The Trump International Hotel & Tower has the distinction of being Las Vegas's tallest residential building and currently houses two restaurants, the DJT and a poolside restaurant called the H2(eau).
Ranking third among the tallest buildings in Las Vegas is the Palazzo. It stands 642 feet (195.6 meters) tall. Construction on The Palazzo started in 2005 and by January 17, 2008, the official grand opening of the building took place. A casino resort and a luxury hotel with an Italian theme, the Palazzo is owned by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. It forms part of a larger complex that included the Sands Convention Center and Venetian Resort and Casino, which are also owned by the Sands Corporation. The Palazzo is a very impressive building as it is the largest hotel in the world, is the largest building in America in terms of floor space and the largest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver-certified building in all of America. The Palazzo has various restaurants, including the Dal Toro restaurant which houses the Las Vegas Car Museum and is home to the Grand Canal Shoppes that is shared with The Venetian that mostly features upscale shops and boutiques.
Fontainebleau Resort Las Vegas
The Fontainebleau Resort Las Vegas is 735 feet (224 meters) tall and is second tallest building in Las Vegas, but is yet to be officially opened. The Fontainebleau was announced in 2005 and was built over over the site where the old El Rancho Casino stood. Groundbreaking on the site started in 2007, and the shell of the building was topped off in 2008. In 2009 Fontainebleau Resorts CEO, who was responsible for acquiring loans for the building left the company, and shortly afterwards, the Bank of America refused to give out more funds for construction of the building, which caused Fontainebleau Las Vegas LLC to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June of 2009. Construction on the Fontainebleau stopped at this point, even though it was almost completed. In bankruptcy court that November Carl Ichan won the bidding to gain control of the fate Fontainebleau. In 2010, Ichan auctioned off the furnishings that were to be used for the Fontainebleau and since then the building has remained unused.
The Stratosphere Tower ranks number one among the tallest buildings in Las Vegas, standing 1,150 feet (350.5 meters) tall. In the late 1980s, Bob Stupak (1942-2009), a casino owner, perceived the idea for the Stratosphere Tower as an addition to his already thriving Vegas World casino. After designing the building and settling to lower the proposed height due to flight safety concerns, construction started but suffered many delays after a fire broke out in 1993. During the phase of construction, the Stratosphere Corporation was established as the public company that ran the building. However, shortly after the Stratosphere opened in the April of 1996, the Stratosphere Corporation had to file for bankruptcy. After bankruptcy, Carl Icahn gained control of the Stratosphere through his American Casino & Entertainment Properties (ACEP). In 2008 Ichan sold ACEP to the Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds group, who have since been the corporation that owns the Stratosphere Tower.
Besides being the tallest building in Vegas, the Stratosphere is also the tallest building in Nevada, the tallest one in the western United States, and the tallest freestanding observation tower in America. The Stratosphere Tower is a hotel, tower and casino that has two observation decks and is home to several restaurants, including the "Top of the World" revolving restaurant. The Stratosphere is also host to the three highest thrill rides in the world, as well as the SkyJump Las Vegas and hosts a mall called the Stratosphere Tower Shops that features Knopf Fine Art Photography Gallery and a comedy club.