Even more than tourists, however, the vegans themselves of Las have seen the border image as the first characteristic of the city.
Travelers were already identifying Las Vegas with “All Night Playing”, much as they labeled Reno with “Divorce”.
But local residents have preferred to describe Las Vegas as an old west town above all else and then list the features that evoked the last frontier — convenient marriage and divorce, low taxes, friendly residents, licensed prostitution, permissive laws, self- abundant promotion, abundant alcohol, cowboy clothing, western rodeos, 24-hour entertainment and legal gaming.
At Las Vegans, the promotional motif of the old west took precedence over a secondary feature like playing.
They were reluctant to be known as the denizens of a community with an economy based on betting, preferring instead the function of a tourist arrest.
In this quest Las Vegas has enjoyed some success. In 1938, roughly three quarters all of those visiting the dam crossed through Las Vegas to get there; in 1939, when 630,900 travelers visited Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, 539,000 people also stopped in Las Vegas.
The outbreak of war in Europe that the year promised to divert even more Americans to the city as a race abroad came to be proscribed.
However, although the facades looked brighter in 1939, Las Vegans remembered even more times during the construction of the Hoover Dam.
Although the city had increased its tourist appeal with promotion from the completion of the construction of the dam, it had not resumed the rapid development of the early 30s, and the rapid growth, after all, was the quintessential purpose of all the border community .
Las Vegas remained a western sideshow at the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, missing the vision that would later enable it to overshadow the dam.
The promotional motif of the last frontier has probably imposed a limit on development. Not only did it overshadow the gambling business’s potential, but it also reduced the range of repeater imaginations.
The old west could be considered quaint, but the theme also repeated the relatively unsophisticated and uncomfortable duration of the border.
Las Vegans lacked the required facilities, like a resort hotel, to keep tourists in southern Nevada. Mobile Americans launched from the prospect of “roughing it” in a village setting.
Finding little of the lasting interests in addition to the “completely open” game, most of the guests did not stay very long or did not spend much.
Much doubt no agreed with the interior secretary Harold Ickes when he described the community as an ugly, rotten little city.
It seemed doubtful that the resort could ever develop to meet the expectations of its repeaters so it wants as citizens viewed the game as less of the main attraction.
The attitude found expression in 1937 in which a local editor predicted that Helldorado would ultimately surpass other far western festivals, such as the Pendleton collection, because Las Vegas offered additional attractions, such as brothels and casinos , which have intensified “the last days of the west”.