3rds of the Wheel
The most populous city in Nevada, and the seat of Clark County, Sin City bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World. Famous for its casino resorts, fine dining and associated entertainment, it is the 28th-most populous city in the United States. The 2010 population estimate of the Las Vegas metropolitan area was nearly two million.
The number of tourists, however, is estimated at nearly 40 million visitors a year. Arriving for gambling, conventions, weddings or vacations, everyone knows “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”.
The fantasy of the city is carefully engineered, displaying glamour and glitz with just a tiny bit of sleaze. The machinery that powers the mirage is full of wage-slaves, fenced-off alleys, crowded kitchens, and steamy laundries. There’s a side hidden from notice—the Masquerade is just another con outsiders shouldn’t see.
Surrounded by desert, life is artificially supported by nearby Lake Mead. Some say it could be dry by 2021. As long as the water flows, so does the money. If either stream dries up, Vegas dies.