At the beginning of the twentieth century, Las Vegas was a dusty, isolated desert town. By century’s end, it was the country’s fastest-growing city, a world-class travel destination with a lucrative tourist industry hosting millions of visitors a year. This transformation came about in large part because of a symbiotic relationship between airlines, the city, and the airport, facilitated by the economic democratization and deregulation of the airline industry, the development of faster and more comfortable aircraft, and the ambitious vision of Las Vegas city leaders and casino owners. Landing in Las Vegas is a compelling study of the role of fast, affordable transportation in overcoming the vast distances of the American West and binding western urban centers to the national and international tourism, business, and entertainment industries.
“This book presents a case study exemplifying a dominant theme of the twentieth-century American West—the triumph of technology over nature, space, and time. No other book so clearly demonstrates the close historic ties between the commercial passenger aviation industry and the economic growth and vitality of Las Vegas in the broader context of aviation history and the history of the American West.” -- Daniel Rust, author of Flying Across America: The Airline Passenger Experience
“Landing in Las Vegas is of considerable significance and well-handled. It explores the important issue of commercial aeronautical policy in both a regional and national setting, as well as the incursion of international travel to Las Vegas in the 1970s. This is an important subject that has not received the attention it deserves.” -- Roger Launius, senior curator of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum