At the bottom of the special Nevada license plates issued to honor the Vegas Golden Knights, there’s a simple message: Vegas Born.
The motto recognizes the unlikely birth of major-league hockey in a city where, before Bill Foley’s vision was realized, most of the ice in town was served in drinks. But the Knights changed all that and skated into history by earning their way to the Stanley Cup Finals in the season when they were Vegas born and winning the cup this year, six years after the team was founded. The fact that the Knights are homegrown makes the team all the more meaningful to this city, as any fan in the Fortress can attest on any game night.
We’ve all heard the classic Las Vegas exchange: “How long have you lived here?” If the answer is at least a couple of decades, the response almost always is, “Well, you’re practically a native.” But the fact is, there are plenty of people here who are actual natives. According to Census figures, about 25 percent of Clark County residents were born in Las Vegas. Although we’re seeing plenty of migration to Nevada, it’s no longer the case that most of us are from somewhere else.
Las Vegas has birthed some incredible people, too. The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers was born here and often incorporates his Las Vegas upbringing into his music. Tennis champion Andre Agassi—who founded a West Las Vegas charter school via his eponymous foundation— was born here, as was professional motocross racer Carey Hart. Philadelphia Phillies right-fielder Bryce Harper was born in Las Vegas. NASCAR drivers Kyle and Kurt Busch are Las Vegas natives, too.
It’s not just sports teams, athletes and rock stars who are Vegas born but business owners.
Applied Analysis was founded here in 1997 and according to Clark County statistics, applications to open new businesses in Las Vegas have soared in recent years. During the past decade, more than 383,000 business applications were filed. During 2022 alone, nearly 50,000 new business applications were filed in Southern Nevada.
Some new businesses may grow into giants like other home-grown companies. Station Casinos, for example, started with a single location and is now the valley’s largest operator of neighborhood resorts, offering restaurants, entertainment, convention facilities and gaming close to home throughout the valley. Boyd Gaming Corporation is an internationally known casino-hotel operator that gives back to the local community in vast ways, and it got its start right here in Las Vegas. Switch, a data services company with a massive footprint in the valley, is another example of Vegas born entrepreneurship.
Las Vegas itself is an improbable city, scratched from the desert by ingenuity and the vision of its founders. The railroads opened the area to more settlers, the construction of the Boulder Dam (later renamed the Hoover Dam) allowed more and more people to come, and the legalization of gambling started a trend that continues today.
But our community is about much more than dice, cards and spinning slot machine reels. We’ve expanded businesses to transform the city from a dusty outpost to a major metropolis. This includes a thriving arts scene, amazing fine dining, world-class convention and business meetings, leading construction and real estate development, and major league sports highlighted by our reigning championship teams, the Las Vegas Aces and the Vegas Golden Knights.
Being Vegas born means constantly innovating and always striving to build on what we did yesterday to make tomorrow better than today. That’s the greatest thing. Whether you’re Vegas born or this is the community you chose, all of us make this a remarkable place to call home.
Members of the editorial and news staff of the Las Vegas Review-Journal were not involved in the creation of this content.