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12 Things You Didn't Know About Las Vegas

Gambling, bachelor/bachelorette parties, impromptu weddings - Vegas is more than that. Now Virgin America can get you there directly from LA.

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3. The Flamingo, one of the oldest Vegas institutions (opened 1946) was named after the long legs of the owner's showgirl girlfriend.

4. In 1970, 6.7 million people visited Vegas. In 2011, 38.9 million people visited Vegas.

Via Flickr: b10lm

I'm not a mathematician or anything, but based on this data I feel like it's safe to say that Vegas is a more popular vacation destination than it used to be.

7. Las Vegas means "the meadows" in Spanish. It was named for the fresh drinking water, like an oasis in the desert.

Via Flickr: skinnylawyer

It was named this way because it was like an oasis in the desert. Now it's an oasis because you can eat your weight in shrimp. I'm sorry. I can't get past this shrimp thing.

10. The fountains and man-made lakes and waterfalls on the strip use something called "grey water."

Via lifeisonce4ever.tumblr.com

Grey water is reclaimed water from casinos' sinks, bathtubs, and showers (no, not toilets). It's filtered, cleaned, chlorinated, then used for the impressive water spectacles. That's conservation, y'all.

12. The famous millionaire Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio played him in The Aviator) stayed so long at the Desert Inn that he was asked to leave.

Miramax Films / Via josespaillat.tumblr.com

So - no joke - he bought the hotel. And probably one million shrimp cocktails.