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What does Las Vegas mean? Las Vegas is a Spanish word. Las means “the,” and Vegas means “Meadows.” Hence Las Vegas means The Meadows. Spanish were the first to call the place Las Vegas due to its greenery. This city is in Nevada. Nevada is a state in the United States of America. The city was established in 1911. It is also known as a resort city. The area of the city is about 352 square kilometers.

It is one of the most populated cities in the United States. Its rank is 26 regarding population. The city is famous for its luxurious life, gambling, entertainment, and nightlife. The Casinos and hotels of the city are favorite all over the world. It is a safe city with a low crime rate and effective control of the police. It is also known as the Entertainment Capital of the world.

What does Las Vegas mean?


Las Vegas was a small valley. It was on the trail from Los Angeles to New Mexico. Water is considered as life. In the desert land, the valley was prominent because there were water sources. There was no other water source for 100 miles around the valley. Rafael Rivera was a Spanish. He was a team member of Antonio Armijo. Antonio Armijo was an explorer and a merchant. Rafael Rivera named the place Las Vegas in 1829. At that time, he was the only one who knew “What does Las Vegas mean?”

He was traveling to Los Angeles from New Mexico. The route is known as the Old Spanish Trail. He stopped here at that time for water.  The valley was full of greenery. There were artesian wells that made that area green. The water used to flow from wells to the city Wash. It was a 12-mile long water channel connected with the Colorado River.

The valley was surrounded by desert land. The city was founded in 1905. The valley was a stopover on the railroad between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. The rancher and railroad workers are also the founders of the city. The stopover attracted the farmers to settle down there. In 1911 there was a proper city in Clark County.


Mormons have a great contribution to the evolution of Las Vegas. A small group of clergymen was sent to the Southern part of Nevada from Salt Lake City in 1855. The Mormons returned to Salt Lake City after a couple of years. In 1905, after the railroad construction, Mormons came to Las Vegas to influence the people through their teachings.

They first established themselves in Las Vegas. The Mormons played a very important role in the development of Las Vegas. They constructed schools. It has dairy and grocery stores. They made a church in 1915.

Natives of Las Vegas.

The Native Americans have been living in Las Vegas since 700 AD. The Native Americans are also called Paiute. They used to move from place to place, searching for food and hunting. The archaeologists have declared that people lived there about 10,000 years ago.

They found baskets, pictographs, and other things of their daily use as evidence of their existence. Archaeologists believe that they spent their summers in nearby mountains and winters in the valley. They have also discovered Gypsum Cave and Tule Springs.

Development in Las Vegas

The meadows in Las Vegas are the answer to “What does Las Vegas mean?” The water founds this city. The existence of water attracted the people to the valley. The water attracted the people and forced them to stop there. The people used to pass through that place. Water was the basic need for life. The travelers were bound to fulfill their need for water. These grown water meadows and the water is the real founder of Las Vegas.

First, it was an easy trial. Due to water availability, it became a stopover for the railroad. William A. Clark was the first to contribute to Las Vegas’s development. He was the owner of three railroads in 1905. He established a town in the city. Boulder Dam was built in 1931 in the city. Now the dam is known as Hoover Dam. As the dam work started, many young people were brought there for labor work.

Mafia built casinos and theaters. Primarily they got a good business opportunity to earn from the workers. Later on, this business became a part of the economy. Military also influenced the development of the city. Howard Hughes has a great contribution to the development of the city. He helped the city to get rid of mob influence. He made the place safe for families and tourists. Howard Hughes is the one who made the area a mega-resort.

Golden Gate

Golden Gate is the oldest Hotel in the city. It was the first Hotel in the city. The Hotel was opened in 1906 as Hotel Nevada. Then it became the Casino and is known as the oldest Casino in the city’s history.

Bugsy Siegel

Bugsy Siegel was a gangster. He was an American mobster. He looted money through gambling, bootlegging, and assassinations.  Bugsy Siegel opened Flamingo Hotel in 1946. The Hotel was a casino. He is the founder of gambling in the middle of the Las Vegas desert. He played a major role in the development of the city.

Bugsy Siegel

What does Las Vegas mean? The question unveils the great reality of life. It was the place from where life sprouted. But this growth was polluted when the mafia took over the economy. They boosted the growth of casinos, gambling, prostitution, and other businesses. They achieved their goals, but they adversely affected society. The city was so much influenced by the ill practices of the mafia that the sin city became the nickname of the city.

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