Las Vegas officially the City of Las Vegas and often known as simply Vegas, is a city in the United States, the most populous city in the state of Nevada, the county seat of Clark County, and the city proper of the Las Vegas Valley.Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city known primarily for gambling, shopping, fine dining and nightlife and is the leading financial and cultural center for Southern Nevada.Las Vegas is generally used to describe not just the city itself, but areas beyond the city limits—especially the resort areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip—and the Las Vegas Valley.The major attractions in Las Vegas are the casinos and the hotels, although in recent years other new attractions have begun to emerge.Most casinos in the downtown area are located on the Fremont Street Experience, The Stratosphere being one of the exceptions. Fremont East, adjacent to the Fremont Street Experience, was granted variances to allow bars to be closer together, similar to the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego, the goal being to attract a different demographic than the Strip attracts.
The Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, located downtown along the Fremont Street Experience, is the oldest continuously operating hotel and casino in Las Vegas; it opened in 1906 as the Hotel Nevada.Boyd Gaming has a major presence downtown operating the California Hotel & Casino, Fremont Hotel & Casino and the Main Street Casino.The year 1931 marked the opening of the Northern Club (now the La Bayou).The most notable of the early casinos may have been Binion's Horseshoe (now Binion's Gambling Hall and Hotel) while it was run by Benny Binion.The center of the gambling and entertainment industry, however, is located on the Las Vegas Strip, outside the city limits in the surrounding unincorporated communities of Paradise and Winchester in Clark County. The largest and most notable casinos and buildings are located there.The city is home to several museums, including the Neon Museum (the location for many of the historical signs from Las Vegas' mid-20th century heyday), The Mob Museum, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, the DISCOVERY Children's Museum, the Nevada State Museum and the Old Las Vegas Mormon State Historic Park.The city is home to an extensive Downtown Arts District, which hosts numerous galleries and events. "First Friday" is a monthly celebration that includes arts, music, special presentations and food in a section of the city's downtown region called 18b, The Las Vegas Arts District.