Las Vegas, Nevada - What's it like when your home is one of the world's top tourist spots?
Every year, nearly forty million people from all over the world visit Las Vegas, though only two million call the city home. Everyday Las Vegas takes a close look at what life is like for locals in Sin City, a place that the rest of the world sees as an exotic, even decadent destination. Rex J. Rowley, who grew up in Las Vegas and now lives in Normal, Illinois, examines how people actually live in the town that sells itself as the #1 escape from reality.
He looks at why people move to Las Vegas, how they deal with the overwhelming tourist economy, and how they are affected by the city's constant growth and rapid change. Rowley shows how the stability of schools, churches, and other community institutions is impacted by a very fluid population. He considers how residents weigh the benefits and perils of living in a nonstop, twenty-four-hour city: one that is rich in myriad entertainment options while also offering easy access to compulsive gambling and other addictions.
"The genesis for this book began when I was nine, and my mom and dad told me that we'd be moving from our Southern Utah home to Las Vegas," says Rowley, now associate professor of geography at Illinois State University. "I pictured my future elementary school as a mini-Strip, full of third graders betting and smoking cigarettes on the playground. Much later, people I met thought I was the coolest person in the world just for being from Las Vegas. I realized there was a story in these experiences and that I wasn't the only one who felt this way."
Praise for Everyday Las Vegas
"Rowley succeeds at getting locals to see themselves anew." - Desert Companion, August 2013
"Rex Rowley considers Las Vegas from an angle that gets far too little attention: what it's like for the people who live and work there, and what the place means to them. Whether you're a Las Vegan by birth or choice, you will learn something from this insightful book." - Michael S. Green, co-author of Las Vegas: A Centennial History