The founding of Las Vegas, Nevada in 1905 was a result of the railroad linking Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. The area attracted farmers, primarily from Utah, and the introduction of fresh water via piping facilitated settlement. In 1911, the town was incorporated into Clark County. The urbanization of Las Vegas began in 1931 with the commencement of the Boulder Dam, now known as the Hoover Dam. This project brought a substantial influx of young male workers, for whom theaters and casinos were constructed, largely by the Mafia. The dam also facilitated the development of numerous hotels along the Strip. The arrival of Howard Hughes in 1966 helped to diminish the influence of organized crime and transform Las Vegas into a family tourist center, now categorized as a Mega resort.
In 1829, Rafael Rivera, a member of Antonio Armijo’s trading party, bestowed the name Las Vegas upon the city. While en route to Los Angeles, the group stopped at the oasis on the Old Spanish Trail from New Mexico, where they discovered artesian wells and verdant meadows. The moniker Las Vegas translates to “the meadows” in Spanish, a fitting tribute to the lush surroundings. The artesian wells provided a vital water source for the Las Vegas Wash, which ultimately flows into the Colorado River.