Las Vegas is the majority populous metropolitan in Nevada, United States, the chair of Clark County, and an internationally renowned most important alternative city for gambling, shopping and fine dining. Las Vegas, which bills itself as the amusement Capital of the World, is well-known for the number of nightclub resorts and associated entertainment. A growing retirement and family city, it is the 28th most populous city in the United States with an estimated population by the U.S. Census Bureau of 567,641 as of 2009. The 2009 population estimate of the Las Vegas metropolitan area was 1,902,834.
Recognized in 1905, Las Vegas officially became a city in 1911. With the expansion that followed, at the shut of the century Las Vegas was the most populous American city founded in the 20th . The city's tolerance for various forms of adult entertainment earned it the title of Sin City, and this image has made Las Vegas a popular setting for films and television programs. There are numerous outdoor lighting displays on Fremont Street, as well as elsewhere in the city.
The given name Las Vegas is often applied to unincorporated areas that enclose the city, especially the alternative areas on and close to the Las Vegas Strip. The 4.2 mi (6.8 km) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard known as the Strip is mainly in the unincorporated communities of Paradise and Winchester, while a small portion overlaps into Las Vegas and the unincorporated community of Enterprise.
The primary reported appointment to the gorge by someone of European descent was Raphael Rivera in 1829. Las Vegas was named by Spaniards in the Antonio Armijo party, who used the water in the area while heading north and west along the Old Spanish Trail from Texas. In the 19th century, areas of the Las Vegas Valley contained artesian wells that supported extensive green areas or meadows (vegas in Spanish), hence the name Las Vegas.
John C. Frémont traveled keen on the Las Vegas Valley on 1844, while it was still piece of Mexico. He was a head of a group of scientists, scouts and observers for the United States Army group of Engineers. On May 10, 1855, following annexation by the US, Brigham Young assigned 30 missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints led by William Bringhurst to the area to convert the Paiute Indian population to Mormonism. A fort was built near the current downtown area, serving as a stopover for travelers along the "Mormon Corridor" between Salt Lake and the briefly thriving colony of saints at San Bernardino, California. However, during the Utah War, Mormons abandoned Las Vegas in 1857. Las Vegas was established as a railroad town on May 15, 1905, when 110 acres (44.5 ha) owned by the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, was auctioned off in what is now downtown Las Vegas. Among the railroad's most notable owners and directors were Montana Senator William A. Clark, Utah U.S. Senator Thomas Kearns and R.C. Kerens of St. Louis.Las Vegas was part of Lincoln County until 1908 when it became part of the newly established Clark County. The St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church near 4th and Bridger in downtown was founded in 1910. Las Vegas became an incorporated city on March 16, 1911 and Peter Buol was the first mayor.