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Las Vegas: from casino center to music mecca

“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”  is a statement we are all familiar with, of course. It is synonymous with the freedom you have to do whatever you want in the city. But of course the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Las Vegas are the casinos and wild nightlife; Of all foreign casinos, those in Vegas are of course the best known.

Still, there is a good chance that you will soon adjust that image. A lot has changed in the city over the years. As a result, the range of entertainment has become a lot more diverse.

Also read: Itinerary West America 3 to 5 weeks | Hints and Highlights

The changing image of Las Vegas

Gone are the days when Las Vegas was only known for casinos, strippers, drugs and nightlife. In recent years, the city has focused strongly on developing the music scene. 

And that has paid off. At the moment, the city is the fastest growing music hotspot in the world, making it more and more of a cultural hub. That is an impressive achievement when you consider that 10 – 15 years ago there was virtually no music scene.

Las Vegas
Las Vegas

In addition, more and more quality restaurants settled in the city. And more business conferences and large-scale dance parties are being held. This has made Las Vegas a lot more vibrant and dynamic, changing the city's image forever. 

As a result, the city has become attractive to a completely different target group. A younger audience of music lovers, entrepreneurs and bon vivants who have more money to spend. Previously, the city was mainly attractive to a somewhat older target group.

Mega arenas and artists in residence

The changing image of Las Vegas also affects the type of performer that is attracted. For a long time, the city was seen as the place where rockers who had passed their sell-by date went. 

These artists mainly entertained an older audience who knew them from before. The performances then took place in the bars on the strip or in the casinos themselves.

Today it is different. Las Vegas has made major investments in building mega arenas. For example, the $375 million T-mobile arena opened a few years ago. This stadium now hosts the biggest artists in the world including Drake, The Weekend, Bruno Mars and Pitbull. 

More and more major artists are also being offered residency in Las Vegas, including top DJs such as Martin Garrix, Zedd, The Chainsmokers, Marshmello, Steve Aoki, and Tiësto. That's why having a residency in Las Vegas is no longer seen as the end of one's career. It is now something to be proud of. 

Competition online casinos leads to a search for alternative income

But why did Las Vegas actually make this drastic change? It has a lot to do with declining profits. 

Previously, the city mainly attracted an older audience. This group of people were often in transit and therefore only stayed in the city for a few days. As a result, the average expenditure per person remained low. 

In addition, the city has also faced fierce competition. There is of course a wide range of foreign casinos, but the biggest problem is the online casinos. Nowadays you don't have to leave your house to gamble.

Las Vegas
Las Vegas

You can do this from the comfort of your own home, which is of course very attractive to a lot of people. In addition, many of these online casinos also operate without a license and Cruks.

All this has caused the casino's profits to decline more and more. For example, from 2007 to 2009, gambling revenues on the Las Vegas strip declined for two years in a row. From $6.8 billion to 6.3 billion.  

If you are confronted with these figures, you can of course only do one thing: diversify. That is why there was a big bet on the music scene. And that has paid off: Where twenty years ago the MGM Resorts in Las Vegas still got 70% of their income from gambling, today this is only 30%. 

It is not the case that live music was never offered by the city. For example, in 2003 Celine Dion (who had then reached the height of her fame) had a residency at Caesars Palace. 

Yet at that time music was mainly seen as an afterthought; it was a way to get people to the foreign casinos of Las Vegas to lure. Nowadays the music is one of the main attractions. You can also see this in how some artists have developed in Las Vegas.  

Local musicians grow with us

Sound acts like Panic! Does At the Disco, Five Finger Death Punch and Imagine Dragons sound familiar? These three artists have something in common: They all started out in Las Vegas as a local act.

But thanks to all the investments the city has made in the music industry, they got a lot more exposure than what would normally have been the case. This allowed them to quickly build up their brand awareness and they eventually became known nationally and internationally. 

This is of course a great prospect for other local musicians who want to make it big: Anything is possible in Las Vegas, as long as you keep chasing your dreams.

Conclusion – Is Las Vegas Worth It?

Gone are the days when you only went to Las Vegas to gamble. Due to all the investments made in the music industry, the city has transformed from a casino mecca to a music hotspot. As a result, the city has shed its once dusty image, making it much more appealing to a young audience. That is why Las Vegas is worth visiting for everyone nowadays.

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