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Welcome to Not-Vegas

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boulder city

The town of Boulder City in Nevada has carved a niche for itself by being everything that Vegas isn't.

Located just 25 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, Boulder City is the only major city in Nevada that doesn't allow gambling of any sorts.

No slot machines, no blackjack tables, not even bingo or keno; even running a raffle takes a special city permit.

The town of 15,000 residents is about as un-Vegas as it gets with numerous parks and event space set aside where no building is allowed due to the presence of the endangered desert tortoise.

Its anti-gambling stance dates back all the way to the 1930s when the town was incorporated as a federal reservation for workers constructing the Hoover Dam.

While the rest of the state was busy embracing sin -- legalizing gambling and passing its quick-divorce law -- Boulder City was a closed community that banned gambling and alcohol.

It was efficiency and not morality behind the move as officials feared that workers wouldn't perform as well building Hoover Dam if distracted.

Anyone returning from Vegas was searched for alcohol before being allowed back in the cozy confines of Boulder City.

Once the project was complete the city decided to keep the gambling ban in place, although laws were changed to allow for hard alcohol in 1969.

City officials and the chamber of commerce have tried to pitch the town as an alternative from the bright lights of the casinos in Las Vegas with options such as golfing, hiking and visits to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead just a short drive away.

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