Las Vegas is a city that lives very much in the now. It has a transitory population, and a reputation for imploding buildings once they are no longer wanted. Underneath all the demand for immediate satisfaction, there is a rich and unique history to the Las Vegas valley.
The Neon Museum has a collection of over 150 neon signs that are a rich part of Las Vegas’ history. Dating back as far as the 1930s, many of these unrestored signs are located in the Boneyard. The collection includes signs from the Stardust, Golden Nugget, and Silver Slipper. While the museum itself isn’t open yet, tours are available for the Boneyard. Visit neonmuseum.org for more information.
Las Vegas Mob Experience
It’s not a myth that the mob built up Las Vegas. In 1946 Benjamin Siegel, widely known as Bugsy Siegel, was sent to Las Vegas to oversee the construction of the Flamingo Hotel and Casino. After he went seriously over budget, pushed the opening before the hotel was finished, and kept losing money on the project before he could turn it around, the mob had him killed. The Las Vegas Mob Experience, located at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino, is a museum focuses around the mob’s previous influence in Las Vegas that helped turn it into the resort town it is today. More information about the museum can be found at lvme.com.
Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort
Before Las Vegas was Sin City, it was a Mormon settlement. In 1855, Bringham Young sent a group of missionaries to establish a mission in the Las Vegas valley. Their intention was to convert the local Paiute Indians and teach them farming and irrigation techniques. The settlement also served as a halfway point between the communities in Salt Lake and the mission in San Bernardino. Parts of the original fort still stand, and visitors can visit the site year round. For more information visit parks.nv.gov/olvmf.htm.