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.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Eating Baltimore: a foodie's guide to the city

Eating Baltimore: a foodie's guide to the city

A few hours’ drive from New York City (and just one hour from Washington DC), you’ll find Baltimore. Once viewed as a gritty seaport with a reputation for …

15 Aug 2017 • Phoebe Lowndes insert_drive_file Article
The truth about tourism in Yellowstone National Park

The truth about tourism in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone has experienced record-breaking visitor numbers over the past few years, but at what cost? Georgia Stephens journeyed deep into Wyoming to face the…

01 Aug 2017 • Georgia Stephens local_activity Special feature
Summer of Love: a journey through San Francisco 50 years on

Summer of Love: a journey through San Francisco 50 years on

San Francisco was the epicentre of the Summer of Love, a movement intent on changing the foundations of American society forever. Half a century later, Tamara…

04 Jul 2017 • Tamara Hinson local_activity Special feature
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month