In the old days, the casinos along Las Vegas’s legendary Strip were cut-throat rivals. Each stood a long way back from the road, and was a dark, low-ceilinged labyrinth, in which it was all but impossible to find an exit. During the 1980s, however, visitors started to explore the Strip on foot. Mogul Steve Wynn cashed in by placing a flame-spouting volcano outside his new Mirage. As the casinos competed to lure in pedestrians, they filled in those daunting distances from the sidewalk and between each casino and the next.

With Las Vegas booming in the 1990s, gaming corporations bought up first individual casinos, and then each other. The Strip today is dominated by just two colossal conglomerates, MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment, each of which owns a string of neighbouring casinos. Once you own the casino next door, there’s no reason to make each a virtual prison. The Strip has therefore opened out, so that much of its central portion now consists of pedestrian-friendly open-air terraces and pavilions housing bars and restaurants.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

King of the road: on the Civil Rights Trail through America’s south

King of the road: on the Civil Rights Trail through America’s south

Next year marks 50 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr and also the launch of a new Civil Rights Trail through the USA's south. On a road …

16 Nov 2017 • Ella Buchan local_activity Special feature
Video: a brief history of the American road trip

Video: a brief history of the American road trip

We dug into the visual archives of yore to bring you a brief history of the American road trip. From the first coast-to-coast car voyage in the USA to today…

10 Nov 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
7 seriously spooky places in America

7 seriously spooky places in America

From urban legends passed down for centuries to real-life harrowing tales, America’s closet is filled with skeletons. These cities will put a chill down your …

24 Oct 2017 • Jess Chun insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook