The 2018 Clute International Conferences Las Vegas is right around the corner. We are scheduling sessions and packing our bags to get ready for what will assuredly be another exciting trip and excellent academic conference experience. The Welcome Reception and Early Check In begins on Sunday October 7, 2018 at 5:30 pm in the Social B Ballroom, where you can socialize, snack on appetizers, and meet conference attendees, including the esteemed Clute Institute Director, Diane Pielat-Clute and other Clute Institute staff.
Canyon petroglyphs date the history of the Nevada back 10,000 years and members of the Paiute tribe have attested to being in the area as early as 700 A.D. In 1821 Rafael Rivera sought out the area as part of Antonio Armijo’s expedition to open a trade route. Rivera’s experience on the expedition lead him to name the Las Vegas valley, “the meadows,” after its spring-watered grasses. In 1905 the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake railroad arrived in Las Vegas, connecting the city with the Pacific and the country’s main rail networks. The future downtown was platted and auctioned by railroad company backers, and Las Vegas was incorporated in 1911.
In the 1940s Las Vegas had a military boom as World War II bases gave way to Cold War facilities, most famously known as the Nevada Test Site. This is was where over 100 nuclear bombs detonated above ground between 1951 and 1963. Mushroom clouds were often visible from the hotels on the Strip, and postcards proclaimed Las Vegas as the “Up and Atom City.” During the 1950s and 1960s, mobsters helped build the Strip and hotels such as the Sahara, the Sands, the New Frontier and the Riviera. Money from organized crime was combined with funds from investors such as Wall Street banks and union pension funds. By 1954, 8 million tourists had flocked to the resorts to see performers such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Elvis Presley, and to experience slot machines and gaming tables.
In 1966 Howard Hughes (The eccentric philanthropist, film director, pilot, engineer and business magnate) checked into the Desert Inn penthouse and never left. He bought $300 million worth of hotels ushering in an era in which mob interests were displaced by corporate conglomerates. In 1989 longtime casino developer Steve Wynn opened the Mirage, the city’s first mega-resort. Over the next two decades the strip was transformed yet again: old casinos were dynamited to make room for massive complexes taking their aesthetic cues from ancient Rome, Egypt, Paris, Venice, New York and other glamorous escapes. Casinos and entertainment remain Las Vegas’ major employer. The city continues to grow with the size of the resorts and numbers of annual visitors.