Las Vegas Strip Is Not in Las Vegas

It’s true. The world-famous Las Vegas Strip is not located in Las Vegas. In fact, the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is 4.5 miles south of the city limits. Mandalay Bay, which is the southernmost resort on the Strip, is 0.4 miles north of that sign. SLS Las Vegas, 4.1 miles from there, is considered to be the Strip’s northernmost property although many maps and guides do include the Stratosphere, which is 0.2 miles to the north of SLS but in the city of Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Monorail, which follows the Strip from SLS down to MGM Grand, never enters Las Vegas.

Instead, the entire Strip is located in the unincorporated towns and census-designated places of Winchester and Paradise with the majority of it in Paradise. The combined population of the two is 270,000.

What caused this to occur? When the casinos started to populate the Strip, they made sure to do so outside of Las Vegas in order to avoid city taxes and fees. When Las Vegas later attempted to annex the area, legislation was passed to create unincorporated towns such as the ones that the Strip is now in. Paradise was formed in 1950 while Winchester, split off from Paradise, was founded a year later. A law that would have caused these areas to become a part of Las Vegas was judged unconstitutional by the Nevada Supreme Court in 1976.

However, the United States Post Office views Paradise and Winchester as Las Vegas, so all of those resorts as well as all of the residences here have Las Vegas addresses despite not technically being in that city. Also, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has been responsible for policing these unincorporated communities in addition to the city of Las Vegas itself since 1973.