The Las Vegas Strip is an approximately 4.2-mile (6.8 km) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard South in Clark County, Nevada. Unknown to many travelers outside of Nevada, The Strip is not located within the City of Las Vegas but it passes through the unincorporated towns of Paradise and Winchester, which are south of the Las Vegas city limits. Most of the Strip has been designated an All-American Road, and has a unique distinction of being a scenic route during nighttime.
Many of the largest hotel, casino, and resort properties in the World are located on the Las Vegas Strip. Fifteen of the world's 25 largest hotels by room count are on the Strip, with a total of over 62,000 rooms. One of the most visible aspects of Las Vegas' cityscape is its use of dramatic architecture. The modernization of hotels, casinos, restaurants, and residential high-rises on the Strip has established the city as one of the most popular destinations for tourists.
The first casino to be built on Highway 91 was the Pair-o-Dice Club in 1931, but the first on what is currently the Strip was the El Rancho Vegas, opening on April 3, 1941, with 63 rooms. That casino stood for almost 20 years before being destroyed by a fire in 1960. Its success spawned a second hotel on what would become the Strip, the Hotel Last Frontier, in 1942. Organized crime figures such as New York's Bugsy Siegel took interest in the growing gaming center leading to other resorts such as the Flamingo, which opened in 1946, and the Desert Inn, which opened in 1950. The funding for many projects was provided through the American National Insurance Company, which was based in the then notorious gambling empire of Galveston, Texas.
Most of the attractions and shows on the Strip are located on the hotel casino properties. Some of the more popular free attractions visible from the Strip include the water fountains at Bellagio, the Sirens of TI show at Treasure Island, the volcano at The Mirage, and the Fall of Atlantis and Festival Fountain at Caesars Palace. There are several Cirque du Soleil shows, such as Kà at the MGM Grand, O at Bellagio, Mystère at Treasure Island, Zumanity (for ages 18 and older) at New York-New York, and Criss Angel Believe at the Luxor. The only movie theatre directly on the Strip is the 10-screen Regal Showcase Theatre in the Showcase Mall next to the MGM Grand (opened in 1997 and operated by Regal Entertainment Group).