Center for Gaming Research
UNLVGamingReseach on Facebook UNLVGaming on Twitter
Paradise Misplaced
Appraiser's Report, Part 1
Area and City Data

The Greater Las Vegas area is located in Clark County, Nevada. While the land area within Clark County is approximately 7,927 square miles, there are only approximately 18,000 acres of the entire area that are under cultivation.

The population of the area is concentrated in the Greater Las Vegas Valley, which is in the central portion of the County.  The valley contains approximately 480 square miles of near level to gently undulating terrain and is approximately 2,016 feet above sea level. The climate of the valley is semiarid with 3.9 inches of annual rainfall, an average temperature of 65.8°, with the average temperature of the hottest month, July, being 89.7° and the average temperature of the coldest month, January, being 43.1°.

Las Vegas was incorporated in 1911 with a small population. It was not until the Hoover Dam project was started and inexpensive power and land began attracting industry that Las Vegas started to grow. It was near this time that the resort industry also began.


The economic base of the Las Vegas area consists of tourist industry, service industry, ,military bases, Nevada Test Site, governmental and municipal agencies, and mining and manufacturing. The heaviest emphasis is on the  tourist industry. Within the tourist industry are approximately 290 motels and 33 major hotels with a total room inventory of approximately 33,351 first class rooms, as of March, 1975.   In addition, there are approximately 1,748 hotel/motel rooms currently under construction. Since the majority of these accommodations are of the overnight type, their number demonstrates the size of the local tourist industry. This is further demonstrated by the estimated tourist attendance to the Greater Las Vegas area. In 1974, the estimated visitor attendance was 8,664,751 as compared to 8,474,727 in 1973. During 1974, total tourist spending was $1,089,307.00, as compared to $658,397,805.00 in 1969 for an increase of 87%. Gaming revenue over the same period increased   approximately 102% from $338,339,052.00 to $684,06282.00. A significant portion of the major industrial base of Clark County is located at Henderson, Nevada, and consists of the Stauffer Chemical, American Potash and Chemical, Flintkote, Titanium Metals of America and Kerr-McGee Chemical Corporation. Federal Government supported and military establishments include the Energy Research and Development Administration, (ERDA), Nevada (Nuclear) Test Site, Indian Springs Air Force Base and Nellis Air Force Base.

The labor force of Clark County for 1974 was 154,300 people with an unemployment rate of 9.7% as compared to a labor force in 1970 of 130,100 with a 5.9% unemployment rate. This reflects a 19% increase in the labor force from 1970 through 1974.   Total payroll in 1974 was $1,091,631,551.00 as compared to a payroll in 1969 of $654,534,810.00 or an increase of 67%. The largest contributor to the labor force was the service industry (hotels and service) providing 47% of the employed labor force with jobs and 47% of the payroll. The trade industry supplied 20% of the labor force and 17% of the payroll. The balance of employment was divided between transportation, government, construction, manufacturing and mining, financing, real estate, miscellaneous and unemployment.

The estimated bank debits for the year 1974 was $12,581,321,000.00 as compared to 1970 bank debits of $6,734,913,000.00 for an increase of 87% more or less.

During 1974, total construction permits were $200,877,978.00, down from $33l,936,356.00 for 1973. The primary reasons for this decrease was lack of construction financing, labor strikes and unacceptable long-term interest rates. With Las Vegas’ rapidly expanding economic base, it is forecast that this reduction is temporary and will be overcome as inventories are depleted and more acceptable financing becomes available. 


Water is supplied by the Las Vegas Valley Water District, electricity by the Nevada Power Company, natural gas by the Southwest Gas Company and the California-Pacific Utilities Company, and sewer is a municipally owned facility with a daily capacity of 30,000,000 gallons. The service is adequate and dependable and the rates are comparable to or below those in the adjoining western states.


The 1970 census indicated Clark County population to be 273,288 persons, an increase of approximately 115% over the 1960 census. Of the above number, approximately 200,000 are estimated to live in the City of Las Vegas and Clark County along the “Strip” and the City of North Las Vegas.  Current population estimate is 334,192, an increase of 22% over 1970.


Las Vegas has excellent transportation connections with all parts of the nation. It is served by 4 major highways which connect the city with such metropolitan areas as Los Angeles, California (289 miles to the west); Phoenix, Arizona (291 miles to the southeast); and Reno, Nevada (448 miles to the northwest).

Bus service includes Greyhound, Continental Trailways, LTR Stage Lines, Sun Valley, Las Vegas Transit, and Transportation Unlimited. Greyhound and Sun Valley bus lines had 327,465 incoming passengers, 158,794 stop-over passengers and 232,717 outgoing passengers while Las Vegas-Tonopah- Reno Stage Lines, Inc. had 294,054 regular passengers, 187,148 charter passengers and 15,919 local passengers such as Henderson and Nellis in the year 1974. There are approximately 16 truck lines.

Plane service is furnished by Air West, Delta, Frontier, National, TWA, United and Western. Commuter lines include Apache, Mustang, CalState, Scenic and TransNevada. The total air passenger movement in 1974 was 5,944,433, an increase of 45% over 1970. Air service provides non-stop service to many of the major population centers with connections to almost every city in the nation.

Rail is furnished by the Union Pacific Railroad, which is freight service only.  

Internally, the City is served by 2 bus lines, over 500 taxis (including limousines and tour vehicles), plus 4 major car rental agencies.


There are 67 elementary schools, 15 junior high schools, 4 junior-senior high schools and 9 senior high schools, Southern Nevada Vocational Technical Institute, the Community College and the University of Nevada Las Vegas. The 1974 enrollment was estimated at 78,500 students, indicating an increase of 11% over 1970.

In addition, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is staffed by a faculty of 325 instructors and attended by over 7,000 students. Clark County schools are of an excellent quality with an education level above the national average.


In addition to the hotels and motels described above, there are 8 modern hospitals, 150 churches representing 35 denominations, 6 banks, with a total of 46 branch offices, 3 newspapers, 12 radio stations, 5 television stations, 10 championship golf courses, approximately 4,000 private, semi-private and public swimming pools, and other recreational facilities.

A special facility is the Las Vegas Convention Center, having a seating capacity of 8,500 persons, 40 multi-purpose meeting rooms and 515,000 square feet of exhibition space.  In 1972, there were approximately 311,908 people participating in conventions in Las Vegas. There were 339 separate conventions.


Vegas is located approximately 35 miles southeast of the Mt. Charleston ski and recreation area, 25 miles northeast of Red Rock summer recreation area and 45 miles northwest of the Lake Mead recreation area. In addition, there are, within driving distance, the Valley of Fire, Zion and Death Valley National Parks. All recreational areas are used on a year-round  basis and offer a variety of State-supervised facilities.


Nevada has no personal income, inheritance, State or gift, or taxes on intangibles. Property taxes are limited by the State Constitution to $5.00 per $100.00 of assessed valuation. The assessed valuation is limited to 35% of the market value. State sales tax is 3.5%. Nevada's Freeport Law, which exempts goods in transit and not to be delivered within the state from taxation, has caused a great influx of warehousing in the State of Nevada.


The County operates as an independent political entity and is administered by a County Manager who is supervised by a 7-man Board of Commissioners. The City administration consists of a Mayor, 5-man Board of Commissioners, a City Manager a    appropriate departments. Both the County and City administrations have proven to be effective.


The general Las Vegas area has grown at an extremely rapid rate and should continue to do so in  the foreseeable future. However, public services have been maintained at a level to adequately serve the population. Area forecasts indicate that Las Vegas’ population could reach 600,00 without experiencing any major problems of furnishing utility service. General land supply is adequate to allow Las Vegas to grow at a healthy rate for some time to come. Present plans show that the growth of tourism at its existing rate indicated to continue into the foreseeable future. Naturally, this growth would support the growth of professional and service industries at a similar rate.

In short, the Greater Las Vegas economy appears to be in a healthy state with an assured but controlled growth.

Back to Las Vegas 1975

main | history | outside | inside | Vegas 1975 | estimates | theme | Martin Stern | poem | about

Follow UNLVgaming on Follow unlvgaming on Twitter Twitter and UNLVGamingResearch on Facebook

© 2016 University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Do not copy or reuse without permission.

Last modified Wednesday, 02-Dec-2009 11:32:10 PST