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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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1. The first hotel-casino to open in Vegas was the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino.

Via commons.wikimedia.org

It opened in 1906. However, in 1910 gambling was outlawed in Nevada. Which sort of defeated the purpose.

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.

6. Over 60,000 pounds of shrimp are consumed daily in Vegas.

Via Flickr: dinnerseries

That's almost as much as the entire US combined. Do you realize how insane that is? 30 tons of chilled shrimp. Consumed by one city. In one day.

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.

9. Certain hotel/casinos skip the number four in all of their floors, because the number four is an unlucky number in Chinese culture.

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.

11. There are about 315 Vegas weddings every day.

FOX / Via iamunsmoteable.tumblr.com

A marriage license will cost you $55 in Vegas, plus whatever fees are associated with the Elvis/Star Wars/Under the Sea themed ceremony you select.

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.

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