The Las Vegas Strip is the only street in the world that has looked radically different each decade over the past 70 years. Jumping from trend to trend to lure ever more tourists to the desert, developers have built their resorts in architectural styles ranging from Wild West to sleek modernism and from Disney-fantasy to elite “star” architecture. At the same time, the casino complex transformed from a small bungalow resort of 50 rooms to 5000-room mega-structures, the most expensive private developments in the United States. And with Las Vegas gaming corporations now operating nationwide and internationally, invited by governments that turn to gambling to fight the Great Recession, the Strip has grown to be a model for cities around the globe, for better or worse.
The Las Vegas Strip is the flash point of cultural and economic change in cities. The Strip: Las Vegas and the Unfolding of the Casino Complex understands the development of the Strip not only as a reflection of architecture and urbanism trends, as well as an influence on developments elsewhere.