Las Vegas is a completely unique place. Lets face it, we live in an area that nobody should probably live in. After all, the desert in not hospitable to life as we know it, and the reason that places like Death Valley look the way they do is because there is simply not enough rainfall to sustain life in the way that we understand it in other places. This does not mean that there is no life here, it simply means that the natural way of things creates adaptions in plants and animals that make it look different than we currently know it. Many years ago, Las Vegas was simply a stopover for people traveling to California from other areas. They had to cross the desert to get there, and Las Vegas was positioned about half-way across the inhospitable area that needed to be crossed. As this position ultimately made the area relatively prosperous for it’s few citizens who ultimately sold goods and services to these travelers, more people came to the area looking for opportunities. The question was always “how much hardship are you willing to endure in exchange for prosperity?” For the citizens who lived in the desert, it became home even though it was hot and dry.
The invention of air conditioning and cold food storage changed the area, allowing people for the first time to not only be prosperous, but to also have a comfortable life like they would in other areas. Yes it was hot outside, but in your space it could be kept climate controlled and pleasant. Suddenly it made sense to live here, as the life was good and there was money to be made from the industries that had gravitated to the desert. People took cues from the casinos who were all about remaking their environment to look like artificial oasis’s, defying the heat and lack of rainfall outside. The construction of Lake Mead then brought ample water supply to the area, and people suddenly had the ability to install and grow plants that they otherwise could not. Las Vegas became the place where you go to make the life that you want, no matter how against the grain it was. If it did not exist, we would create it.
Landscaping took on an interesting twist as people decided to remake the area the ways that they desired to. Grass could be grown here as long as water was available, and as a result people started installing lush green lawns that have no ability to survive without the artificial water supplies. It turns out that this was not a good idea, and when water shortages happen people are forced to watch this landscaping investment dry up. Simply put, Las Vegas has learned the lesson that sometimes just because you can do something does not mean you should. A far better bet was to install artificial turf, which looks just like grass without needing the water. That way, you can have the lawn but don’t need to waste the resources we have created for ourselves to have it.