Streets by VICE: Las Vegas (Charleston Blvd.)

Streets by VICE: Las Vegas (Charleston Blvd.)


Las Vegas is a city that sprang out the desert thanks to millions of people flocking to the siren song of Lady Luck ever since the early 30s the city’s unique selling point has been legal gambling and today the City of Vice still offers people like me a vacation experience unmatched anywhere in the world fast money fast women fast weddings free drinks but of course there is life beyond the casinos there’s an urban sprawl which is undergoing changes that are shaping the city’s future I’ve come here offseason it’s freezing to try to escape the hordes of tourists and focus on local life Charleston Boulevard also known as State Route 159 is a 31 mile highway running east to west through Southern Nevada and in this episode of streets by Vice it will serve as the conduit for a colorful history lesson in the city of cinn Charleston Boulevard you splay off of it kind of shows you how Las Vegas is in a way the beginning and end of Charleston Boulevard is all of our history the first people to settle this area were Native American if you’re going to talk about euro American settlers really the first ones were Mormons from Salt Lake City who came here in 1855 and built a mission the Mormon population here is well into the six figures Las Vegas ended up with a temple there in Frenchmen mountains if you drive all the way up Charleston Boulevard from west to east the landscape completely changes as you get to the end it becomes more residential it’s quieter and you start to notice these like white Peaks dotted around the landscape which are actually Mormon churches and then you get up here right to the top where there’s these amazing mountains and you’re confronted with this great big structure which is basically the mack daddy of Mormon churches it’s a temple everybody who knows Las Vegas history including the casino and hotel owners knows that the Mormon people were part of the community it’s responsible for the explosion of Las Vegas as a true city years ago Perry Thomas the banker came here with fellow Mormon bankers and played a crucial role in the development of the area lending money to casinos you could not get a bank loan if you were in the casino business and it was because elsewhere had been illegal and it was known in many cases to be connected to the mob the irony is the Mormon Church opposes gambling and Perry Thomas once was asked how can you lend money to gangsters and his answers essentially went like this if you treat a person right he’ll treat you right and their bank was amazingly successful if you had to imagine that the Mormons had never had a place in Vegas and had never been there in the beginning how do you think Vegas would be different today Las Vegas would be probably a truck stop there are Mormons who say there wouldn’t be a Las Vegas without them there are mobsters or people connected to the mob from the old days who say there wouldn’t be a Las Vegas without them and the answer is yes the unlikely alliance of the mobsters and the Mormons laid the foundations for Sin City as we know it you can’t talk about the history of Vegas without talking about the mob and when people talk about the mob here they’re usually referring to the infamous Chicago Outfit who were immortalized in Scorsese’s casino the Chicago Outfit is an italian-american crime syndicate based in Chicago Illinois that moved out to Las Vegas in the 30s to take control of the casinos it was their shady dealings and criminal activity which laid the groundwork for the city as we know it to grow there’s not too many of those guys left standing but of those who are is a gentleman named Tony Montana yeah that’s his real name Tony Montana spent the early 70s working for notorious Las Vegas gangster Anthony Spilotro who was played by Joe Pesci in casino Tony served as Palacios main driver as well as managing his money laundering sites throughout the city Tony picked me up on the strip for a drive down Charleston Boulevard tell me about Tony was he anything like Joe Pesci job Pesci touched on it but he didn’t get into it he killed almost 40 people that’s I went to jail before they got him they got me before he got him the FBI came to me do you know where Tony’s Palazzo as I said I sure don’t cuz we don’t know where he’s that we either think he got out of the country or he’s dead I said I hope you got out of the country that’s what I told that a couple days later was all over TV the reputed leader of Las Vegas operations for the Chicago mob was found in a cornfield with his brother well one day he told me just before he got killed Tony if you know if you’re with me and I get whacked you’re gonna get away so I hesitated for a few seconds and I looked at him I said Tony is this a good time there’s for a race the question is you’re making big money so what do you do when you make big money you try to save it yeah because you know there’s gonna come a days your hair turns gray type change overnight they drop me off at the long-standing Golden Gate casino so I could try my luck on the slot machines let’s not forget that Vegas is known as the gambling mecca of the world with over 250 casinos to choose from in 2015 the strip alone raked in over six billion dollars in gaming revenue which is not surprising when the odds of hitting the jackpot on a stand a machine is just one in two hundred and sixty two thousand gambling prostitution the things that Las Vegas is famous for they do have an effect on those of us who live here though the city prospers from legal gambling the lure of the casinos can prove difficult for locals dealing with gambling addiction antony mcdu describes himself as a recovering gambling addict his is an all-too-familiar story that affects about 6% of residents in a town that can make or break you as a way to try to understand his addiction Tony picked up a camera and began filming himself playing the slots and posted the videos online his story spread to many news outlets yet he still finds himself here in Vegas renting a room by the week in the shadow of the strip when did you realize that the gambling was actually a problem you know when you start using Bill money to gamble that’s when you know it’s a problem I lost my house I lost my cars and I decided that my story was important i play the slot machines it’s something in the psyche where you think okay you’re gonna win you’re gonna win you’re gonna get hit it bake one time you’re gonna hit it big it’s like a trap but I’ll say oh come here we got our we’re gonna give you some free slippers today the freebies and the billboards when you drive by and you say oh wow win $10,000 or 100,000 the way the casino system is set up when you walk in there’s no clocks there’s no way of looking at time time goes by I’ve been in there for five hours have you ever thought that maybe if gambling didn’t exist if it was illegal for example if it was illegal yeah I wouldn’t have anything to do with it and I think my life would have been way different it said that the Las Vegas tourist industry was founded on two key ingredients gambling obviously and prostitution Nevada state law permits counties with a population below 700,000 to offer brothel prostitution there are currently 19 legal brothels here if he stay on Charleston Boulevard long enough and you drive all the way out of town into the desert at some point across the county line then the law changes which means that you can we paid to have sex with somebody so that’s where all the brothels come in we took a detour to the far west end of Charleston Boulevard where you can find friendly establishments such as the alien cathouse this particular brothel is alien-themed and I’m gonna head inside and find out what goes on once you stop for gas and I mark out some time to get it in hey how’re you this is one of seven brothels owned by businessman Dennis HOF it’s alien-themed to reflect its proximity to area 51 but it’s unclear whether the girls here have actually ever knowingly serviced any extraterrestrials you look great thank you so I’ve dressed okay I’ll show you my room so yeah each one of us ladies we get our own rooms we can stay watch your stuff we could stay however long we like so like a day or a week well because this is a smaller house were only licensed for five girls so when you do come you have to commit to at least two weeks this is so this is my room and the cool tools and these are my emia edible body pains oh my god softer strength strap-ons more hardcore restraints something for everyone yes most of the gentlemen who come in are very nervous at first once you can make somebody smile a laugh you pretty much cracked ice so it’s kind of insane to me that in spite of everything that’s all you still have to drive 100 miles into the desert to pay for sex and now that I’m done I have to do the hundred mile walk of shame back to Vegas maybe the biggest misconception of Las Vegas is that there is a Las Vegas it isn’t just the strip it is adjust what the tourist sees Las Vegas has to live with an image is whether or not the image is still true like any other City Las Vegas is vulnerable to economic crisis when you talk about the recession hitting Las Vegas the strip suffered there’s no question about but if you want to see the effects of the crash I think you go through East Las Vegas during the nationwide housing crash of 2008 Nevada had the highest foreclosure rate in the country over 67,000 properties faced this fate this is Main Street which is right off Charleston Boulevard in downtown Las Vegas I’m headed now to El Sombrero a cafe just on the edge of the Hunt Ridge neighborhood that has managed to survive the recession it’s been standing for 64 years all right come on cheeky thought let me put you to work a little bit here yeah this is our wonderful brisket that we use for our amazing chriskate enchiladas I’m gonna get to try some you are grab some in what we do is you just shred everything very very finely these are all of the little details that make Mexican food so delicious and spectacular I know and then I always have to cheat we’re gonna give a little bit to the chef’s chef can you make some beef brisket enchiladas and can you stop torturing me can we eat yeah absolutely let’s give it interesting in the oldest Mexican restaurant in Vegas history actually Nevada history water melon sangria that is wicked so what do you think is gonna happen to save this stretch of the street if you look outside our windows you will see construction cones and what is already happening on the south of Charleston on Main Street is a lot of entrepreneurs are coming and putting very quaint very charming little bars little coffee shops restaurants boutiques the once barren downtown area is also showing signs of promising growth thanks to new businesses outside of traditional Vegas industries Tony Hsieh the founder of online mega retailer Zappos took a gamble investing three hundred and fifty million dollars into downtown Vegas moving his headquarters into the former City Hall building and revitalizing the neighborhood with affordable housing and offices for his 800 local employees drawing in a new cash flow and 200 million visitors I’ve managed to infiltrate the airstream compound of Tony Shea and his colleagues Tony Shea is concerned with building infrastructure the locals as opposed to the tourists one of the favorite things I love about Vegas is that there’s the sense that anything is possible we moved in an entire company from San Francisco to Vegas because we wanted to build the Zappos brand to be about their very best customer service and Vegas as a service focused town it’s 24/7 why did you decide to embark on this regeneration of downtown we wanted to build a permanent campus for Zappos and really help build a city that really cater to the entrepreneurs and artists and creative types it was more about helping amplify that energy I think that’s that whole energy can be really contagious Electric Daisy Carnival is an electronic dance music festival that moved from Los Angeles to Vegas in 2011 since then Vegas has been firmly on the map for its thriving EDM scene with DJs from around the world flocking here to try to land residency and some of the biggest clubs in the United States DJ JCO is no stranger to the Vegas EDM scene and currently holds a residency at the light Vegas at Mandalay Bay just south of Charleston Boulevard I would say that Vegas definitely you know was one of the first cities to really push the DJ as the rock star he could kind of do anything you want and I love that aspect because I like to DJ kind of like off the cuff and kind of freestyle my sets and read a room so it’s like playing electronic music is there rewarding in that way the Vegas crowd is here to turn up essentially you know they’re here to blow money we’re here to dress up they’re here to impress girls they’re here to party the fact that there’s so much money in Vegas the casinos are willing to throw huge money around to have these guys names and bring them in week in and week out so it’s made Las Vegas such a hub for for electronic music when you play Vegas you kind of gotta gotta engage these people and keep them in the club and keep them spending money and buying bottles because at the end that’s what these casinos and talent buyers want that’s why they’re paying us all this money to fly in and we can we gather because they know that we’re gonna keep a crowd in there Las Vegas is a city powered by an industry selling escapism to millions of tourists each year but among the crowds are the residents who are part of the city’s rich history Charleston Boulevard is the conduit that connects the ex the Las Vegas Strip with communities that have both struggled and thrived despite living in the shadow of Simpson if these pockets of eccentricity and innovation that are fueling new business and helping to shape Las Vegas future

100 thoughts on “Streets by VICE: Las Vegas (Charleston Blvd.)”

  1. AS A LOCAL, THIS IS SOO CRINGY TO WATCH. Vice, you need to RE-DO this with a reporter/social media influencer from Vegas.

  2. So why on earth are you showing “footage” of “Mormons” walking around a neighborhood when I actually know those men walking and they are Jehovah’s Witnesses, they are NOT Mormon. Not good to just show footage of people without there permission and then say there Mormon.

  3. if breathing was illegal, that would be one dead moron. by his standard anyway. laws dont make the person. that man is a failure as a human because of his own ignorance. not because he gambled and lost .because he believes his lack of self control wouldnt be a issue if it was mandated by government.

  4. EuroAmericans should definitely be used as an official term to describe white people. Time to make it happen. They can have their EuroAmerican parades…EuroAmerican month…EuroAmerican channel and it should get around the whitey stuff.
    Its only fair considering how yellow and brown and black and gay Americans are described as hyphenated Americans.

  5. 6:55 Anthony J.McDew will just keep spending this money till he's broke. 
    Thats what gambling does, it takes lt rarely gives and if it did he would just turn around and spend that money too.
    Its all part of the addiction.

  6. Blames the fact that it's Legal is the reason for his problem? Yeah look at yourself retrospectively first.

  7. I was raised in Northern Nevada, in Reno, and I spent the first 26 years of my life there however I was unfortunate enough to move to Las Vegas about 18 months ago. While this documentary does suck and is incredibly inaccurate I will say that spending my entire life surrounded by legal and completely socially acceptable gambling, (including slot machines at every bar counter in the state nearly) has made me hate gambling more than anything else on Earth. There is nothing more ridiculous than watching a grown adult stare at the bright lights and animation of a slot machine or video poker machine and feel as if they are going to "win" knowing that if Gamblers ever won places like Mandala Bay, The Bellagio, or The Atlantis in Reno would not exist, they would have gone out of business long ago, and with your odds of winning being infinitesimal the reality is you lose a couple hundred dollars for every ten or so you win, and these idiots will claim they only gamble for free drinks, however, they will only drink $15-$30 worth of booze while putting $60-$500 or even $1000-$2000+ worth of their hard earned income into a flashing machine where they essentially see how fast they can go from the amount of money they initially put in all the way down to $0, so that they can then tip their bartender $10-$20 – an amount that is in reality 40%-75% or even more of the dollar value of the booze they drank while flushing their salary away. I refuse to hang out with people who gamble anywhere within 100 feet of a slot machine, and at 28 years old I can proudly say I have gambled away less than $100 worth of my own money alltogether since turning 21, and all $90 or so dollars of that was within the first 3 months of turning 21. If you come to Nevada go to Northern Nevada, don't spend time in the city, enjoy the outdoors, the Sierra's, Tahoe, Pyramid, Galena Forest, Truckee River, Ruby Mountains, and 5,000 other amazing outdoor things and any and every outdoor activity you can I, never gamble, and never go to Vegas, it's the fucking armpit of Nevada, or the used toilet paper the rest of Nevada wishes to flush away. Vegas is a wasteland.

  8. Wtf? Since when does Charleston go to a brothel? This is so ridiculous. Anyone who lives there knows how ignorant this is. How about some of the old restaurants on the Blvd? Jeesh

  9. Lol. If u drive down Charleston u will end up in Alamo. And cut away to Pahrump. So ignorant. Fake news

  10. Lol. Do a piece about the meth heads in Bullhead City. Or the needles at the Strat. I bet Charleston takes u to Kingman. Wow. So absurd. Charleston is an interesting street and it could have been a good piece.

  11. They didn't talk about Red Rock Canyon. A National park you can visit by taking Charleston Blvd. West out of town.

  12. Coming from a person who is born and raised here, I'm shaking my head over this! So many inaccuracies.

  13. This bitch is so full of shit and she’s right around the corner from my house, she better hope I don’t see her . Go to your own neighborhood and be a fucking weirdo .

  14. The 'mac daddy' of mormon temples? No. The one in Salt Lake City is over 3x it's size. Do your research, you quasi-journalilsts.

  15. Born and raised vegas desert rat, Stuffs a bit off. Do eastern, It covers all kinds of area. Some parts you'll see oraganic fruits sold, some parts hobos fighting over some crack. Then again..i think that was eastern and Charleston and Fremont lol

  16. I've lived here since November 2018 first in summerlin then Pahrump spent a lot of time on Charleston Blvd and this report wasn't anything close to what it is!lol! The Alien brothel is 80 miles north on 95 in Amorggosa Junction there's no brothel on the west end of Charleston there's 2 here in Pahrump what a bunch of bs and she didn't mention anything about beautiful Summerlin or red rock canyon!

  17. A city in the desert,what a stupid idea.that city must be sucking resources from somewhere.only in America baby

  18. 4:48 "where he picked me up on the strip to take a ride on charleston blvd" shows the intersection on the map and then next clips are as far down the south strip as can be.. like 10 miles from charleston lol

  19. I live in Minnesota and my uncle who lived in Vegas always told me how one day he would bring me to the Bunny Ranch. He passed away and I hope one day I can see what its all about.

  20. Kansas City Italian mob also had a huge role in Las Vegas and handled business for the Chicago family also.

  21. Homeless people: exist in liberal cities
    Conservatives : lol socialisim doesn't work
    Homeless people: exist in the libertarian wet dream of law Vegas
    Conservatives: HOMELESS PEOPLE EXIST IN EVERY BIG CITY DUMBASS!

  22. I read once rich people have Mormons as accountants and bookeeprs, because they are trusted with money. They wont cheat or steal from you.

  23. I suspect the reporter was hired for her ultra-thin physique and symmetrical face more than anything else.

  24. Wow, this vid got beasted in the comments for being a pure bullshit documentary huh!

    In that case, I think this video should be removed along with every other bs video clogging the Yt database. They should all be gone👋🏻

  25. I do enjoy thin women with round parts! Only knew one British girl back in the 60s. Met her in Hong Kong. Pretty and petite.

  26. I’ve been in Vegas for almost 40 years. Epic City! Good video but Charleston Blvd is no more significant than the other main east/west streets. It came off as a little weird to me that they tried so hard to make that connection. We don’t do that here. Downtown, Las Vegas blvd, West Las Vegas, East Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson. If you really needed to make a connection to a road Fremont st./Boulder hwy would have made more sense. It goes through downtown, Las Vegas, Henderson and Boulder City. Thank you for not doing the piece on Las Vegas Blvd! I never been to that Mexican restaurant but I may try it. It looked really good! I really liked the fact that you included some of our culture and historic sites. Mount Charleston is beautiful and Red Rock is just phenomenal. Didn’t mean to sound harsh, I liked the video but just wanted to help the accuracy. I am a teacher here and have performed in town so I feel pretty connected to my community. Hope this helps…Cheers

  27. Here you go with your stupid BS the Mormons did not make Las Vegas stop trying to change our f**** history you assholes I'm from Las Vegas and it was never brought up by Mormons yes they were Mormons out there but they migrated from Salt Lake City

  28. Could someone tell the narrator that nobody will hold it against her if she just speaks up every once in a while?

  29. British people don’t know shit about Las Vegas I live in Vegas and some of the facts they sayin is BS. Sin City Baby

  30. So misleading. In your attempt to be off the beaten path, You covered nothing on Charleston blvd., and covered cliche Vegas.

  31. Man, this disrespectful. I want another documentary done on vegas, especially being from vegas. This is a slap in the face.

  32. How dare you mention Las Vegas springing up without mentioning Ben Siegel or the Italian American mafia and why is an English babe doing an intro to Vegas?

  33. I hate listening to people not Mormon tell others about Mormons lol that guy describes doing business with mobsters by implementing, “the golden rule” kinda ironic Mormons are responsible for one of the most sinful place in our country lmao guess money matters more than god. We just put him on the money.

  34. To preface this: if you want a better look at Vegas look up abandoned explained. He is great at explaining the history of each individual topic and took his time to actually do the research.

    Honestly if you wanted to talk about Vegas you missed major issues here. You miss completely the drained aquifer that’s under the strip and you can see the shattered windows from hotels sinking, you missed the water crisis completely, my first job like many locals was on the strip, you missed the drug crisis, you touched on edc which is REALLY far out of town. If you wanted to talk about music what about the bands that started here? Talk about the billboards from places like little darlings that congratulate the graduates and offer young impressionable girls jobs dancing. You mentioned how Vegas was trying to shake the image of the mob but didn’t mention in the economic crisis we moved to try to attract more conventions to attempt to create jobs. You flashed glimpses of run down homes but that’s not all Vegas is. You picked a brothel so far out of town when the chicken ranch is 45 miles in Pahrump just past Charleston view. You showed a brothel but didn’t talk about what it’s like more than “making a man laugh breaks the ice”. You didn’t talk about the constitution crashing and all those lost jobs. I feel like you ran over so much history.

  35. I don't care to hear a woman talking about the streets and fast women. This is a video made to appeal to men. Have a man do it. A woman can't tell me about life on the streets other than being on drugs and giving it up to men to keep the habit going and a roof over her head

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