Few cities bring to mind such images of sheer excess as Las Vegas. Located in the middle of the arid Mojave Desert, at the southern tip of the state of Nevada, Las Vegas is an oasis of life, energy and money - a city whose raison d’être is entertainment. Over 35 million people visit Las Vegas year round, staying in the city’s 150,000 hotel rooms. According to the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, Las Vegas is now the fastest growing city in North America with an estimated two acres of land being developed every 24 hours, and seeing approximately 50,000 people annually choosing to make the city and suburbs their home. Ironically, Las Vegas’ beginnings were, if anything, humble. In the 18th century, the spot where the city now stands earned the named Las Vegas (Spanish for ‘The Plains’), because of a natural spring that created greenery in the dry desert. The city itself was founded in 1905 (as a stopover on the Union Pacific railway between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City) but it remained a remote backwater until the 1930s.