Las Vegas in the 1960s - a desert boom town, a destination not just for roulette and card games, it was an era of class where everyone dressed to impress on the casino floor, by the pool, or in the glittering showrooms. This video offers a ride down the fabled Las Vegas Strip, home of the world's tackiest casinos.
Flashy neon signs and spectacular architecture was part of the allure. And everything in the city that Blackjack built was affordable, buffets were practically free during the golden years, so were drinks... and there were plenty of cocktail waitresses on hand so you never lacked for a strong alcoholic beverage. That pretty much disappeared in the eighties when you could still get free cocktails but you had to wait as there were only a very few waitresses (yes, they were all women).
Las Vegas was first coined by Raphael Rivera, a scout for a New Mexican trading party. It wasn't just gambling that attracted the crowds, with the greatest entertainers in the showrooms tourists flocked to see Sinatra, Dean Martin, Elvis and the others superstars that frequented The Strip. Of course, if those audiences dropped some coin into the slot machines or a few bills at the card tables that was great too. In fact, that was the whole idea behind having first rate entertainment... it brought in people in that wouldn't otherwise be in a gambling town. In 1964 the city saw a boost in attendance when the hit movie 'Viva Las Vegas' rocketed a 45rpm single by Elvis Presley to the top of the pop charts. The song was on everybody's lips in the sixties and is still the unofficial theme song of Sin City.
Of course, the sixties was also the heyday of the Rat Pack - Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and a few others on the side who came and went like Peter Lawford and Judy Garland.
Compare with Las Vegas in 1988: