Las Vegas is the seat of Clark County between the California and Arizona state lines in southern Nevada in the Southern Nevada of the state. It lies between Indian Springs and Boulder City along Interstate 95, near the Colorado River and Lake Mead.
In the 1800s, Las Vegas was an oasis for travelers headed to southern California. From 1855 to 1857, Mormons kept a fort here and in 1864, the U.S. Army erected Fort Baker. The coming of the railroad in 1905 ushered in an era of slow growth.
Today hot Las Vegas, population 478,434, is the nation's fastest-growing city, with an accompanying housing boom. Casinos and a vast variety of other diversions are its economic mainstay. Lately, Las Vegas has emphasised family entertainment with theme parks and amusement centers. The city also is the commercial center of the surrounding mining and ranching area. Hoover Dam is nearby and Nellis Air Force Base lies to the north.
Las Vegas is part of the Las Vegas, Nevada-Arizona metro area.