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Cigar Culture: Las Vegas

Few places on Earth epitomize the cigar smoker’s lifestyle quite like Las Vegas. With slot machines, cigar lounges, and all night clubs, this is one place where smoking, drinking, and the lure of money work together to reel in pursuers of pleasure and lovers of luxury.

Ever teetering between a city based on vices and a city serving as a family vacation spot, Las Vegas always remains one thing: a Mecca for entertainment. From white tigers to a hotel light visible from outer space, Vegas, quite simply, has it all. It’s a destination where everyone wants to stay awake; no wonder the city never sleeps.

Like many great things, Las Vegas rose from humble beginnings. Translated as “The Meadows” or “The Grasslands,” its name was assigned by Spaniards who entered the area while venturing up through Texas along the Old Spanish Trail. It is a city that went from one extreme, Mexico ownership, to another, a missionary-laden area where Native Americans were converted to Mormonism. In 1905, Las Vegas was officially established, first as a railroad town and then, in 1911, as an incorporated city. Patio Covers North Las Vegas

When the construction of the Hoover Dam was finished in 1936, Las Vegas began to see a great amount of growth, both residential and commercial. The Dam also brought an influx of tourists. This, as well as the legalization of gambling that occurred five years earlier, helped pave the way for the casinos and hotels that occupy Vegas today. A city that began as a stop for pioneers had now evolved into a stop for the rich, the famous, and the average citizen with hopes of becoming rich and famous; it has evolved from a Western trail of the olden days into the epitome of a town that knows exactly how to party.

Freemont Street in downtown Vegas, and the Las Vegas Strip are the two most well known streets in Nevada, and possibly America. It is on these streets that people roll the dice, pull the slots, smoke a stogie, and ask for a Jack and Coke, a double if they’re losing. It is on these streets that some people become rich, some people become poor, and some people become married. It is on these streets that everyone begins to wish gambling was tax deductible.

Freemont Street, a road dating back to the days when Vegas was founded, was the “place to be” years ago. The Rat Pack lingered on it, Elvis performed in its hotels, and its lights were featured in hundreds of Hollywood productions. The major street in downtown, Freemont Street has been home to some of the most famous hotels in history. These include The Golden Gate Hotel and Casino, The Pioneer Club, The Golden Nugget, and The Mint. When it came down to it, Freemont Street was more than downtown Las Vegas, it was Las Vegas.

But, in Vegas of all places, things don’t last forever. In the 1990’s, Freemont Street met a rapid decline when the Las Vegas Strip came into being. With mega resorts on every block, hotels filled with water slides, amusement parks, and shopping malls, the Las Vegas Strip is now harbors the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas. Freemont Street is still a popular attraction for those who want cheap food and better gambling odds. While the Strip seems to attract the younger crowd, Freemont Street is the home base of the more seasoned gamblers.

Whether staying on Freemont Street or The Strip, Las Vegas is sure to be a good time. Only in Las Vegas can you strike it rich at the airport. Only in Las Vegas can you watch someone retrieving money out of an ATM machine while a hooker stands by. Only in Las Vegas can you lose so much money that your checkbook refuses to speak to you. Only in Las Vegas can you win so much money that your estranged spouse suddenly wants to reconcile. Only in Las Vegas can you experience, well, Las Vegas.

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