A view of Las Vegas Boulevard at dusk from the Paris Hotel and Casino’s replica of the Eiffel Tower
Las Vegas Boulevard, State Route 604, is the current name for a road that has a historic past. Over the years it has been called:
- Arrowhead Highway
- Los Angeles Highway (named for its role in connecting Los Angeles, California)
- Salt Lake Highway (named for its role in connecting Salt Lake City, Utah)
- U.S. Highway 91 (entire segment)
- U.S. Highway 93 (from Fremont Street north)
- U.S. Highway 466 (from Jean to Fremont Street, including the Las Vegas Strip)
- Nevada State Route 6 (entire segment, not signed)
With the construction of I-15, Las Vegas Boulevard went from being the main through road to one that only served as a bypass for travelers. The name change reflects its local importance rather than past names when it served as a main intra city road.
Las Vegas Boulevard, while running the length of the city of Las Vegas, Nevada is located mostly in Clark County, Nevada. “The Boulevard”, as it is sometimes called by longtime Las Vegas residents, starts at Apex, Nevada and continues south to about 2 miles south of Jean, Nevada.
At its northern end in Apex, the Boulevard starts in an industrial complex of manufacturing plants and power plants running along the Union Pacific Railroad line. As you travel south, the road meets Nellis Air Force Base on the east side and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on the west side.
As the road enters North Las Vegas, it passes through some of the older commercial areas of the area. As the road approaches Las Vegas itself, you see some of what Vegas was as some of the older casinos appear along with some of the older and more famous strip clubs.
On entering the city of Las Vegas, the Boulevard showcases the city’s past with a number of museums. the Old Las Vegas Mormon State Historic Park and the Neon Museum at the Fremont Street Experience. On crossing Washington Street, the Bolvard is designated as the Downtown Las Vegas Boulevard Scenic Byway by the state. This designation continues down to Sahara Avenue.
Further south is a stretch of road that has many of the older motels, bars and wedding chapels that were among the high points of the old Vegas before the era of the megaresorts.
It is at this point the Boulevard leaves the city of Las Vegas and assumes its unofficial name for the next 4 miles: the Las Vegas Strip. This portion of Las Vegas Boulevard begins at the Stratosphere and runs to Mandalay Bay. This is the section of the road most people are familiar with: the home of the megaresorts and casinos with their lights and attractions seen around the world. It is designated as an All-American Road.
Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, picture taken looking north up the strip
At the end of The Strip, Las Vegas Boulevard passes the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and approaches the backside of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign as it runs along the western edge of the McCarran International Airport property. South of Russell Road, the Nevada Department of Transportation assumes responsibility for the maintenance of the Boulvard.
South of this point, development thins out with newer shopping malls, hotels and condominiums as the Boulevard runs just east of Interstate 15. It passes though Sloan and Jean before ending in the Mojave Desert.