The primary drivers of the Las Vegas economy are tourism, gaming, and conventions, which in turn feed the retail and restaurant industries.
The major attractions in Las Vegas are the casinos and the hotels. Most of the hotel casinos are in the city's downtown area, which has been the focal point of the city's gaming industry since its early days.
Most major casinos are downtown on the Fremont Street Experience, The Stratosphere being the major exception. Fremont East, adjacent to the Fremont Street Experience, was granted variances to allow bars to be closer together, similar to the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego, the goal being to attract a different demographic than the strip attracts.
Las Vegas got its start with casinos in 1931 with the opening of the Northern Club (now the La Bayou). The most notable of the early casinos may have been Binion's Horseshoe (now Binion's Gambling Hall and Hotel) while it was run by Benny Binion. Boyd Gaming has a major presence downtown operating the California Hotel and Casino, Fremont Hotel and Casino and the Main Street Casino. The Golden Gate Hotel and Casino is the oldest hotel in the Fremont Street Experience. The Golden Nugget is the largest hotel and casino in the city. The Plaza Hotel & Casino on Main Street was the railway station until Amtrak discontinued service. Other casinos include the El Cortez, The D, Four Queens, Gold Spike Hotel and Casino and the Las Vegas Club.
The gambling and entertainment industry in Las Vegas is mostly focused in the Las Vegas Strip. The Strip is not actually located in city limits, but instead in the surrounding unincorporated communities of Paradise and Winchester. The largest and most notable casinos and buildings are located there.