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Las Venturas is a fictional city located in the fictional state of San Andreas, and it is featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It is based on Las Vegas, Nevada; consequently, like its real-life counterpart, Las Venturas is a casino-laden city located in a desert region. The gambling] activity that occurs within the city is referenced in the city's name, as Las Venturas is Spanish for "The Lucks".
Distinguishing features and landmarks
Las Venturas is the second largest city in San Andreas compared to Los Santos and San Fierro and is located in the northeastern part of the state. To the city's left is a large desert region called Bone County. Directly to the city's south is Red County, the forest region. Las Venturas is also notable for its freeway system; the Julius Thru-Way is a freeway that circles the entire city (modeled after the real-life I-215). Freeways from both Los Santos and San Fierro intersect with it. Another freeway is the Harry Gold Parkway (modeled after the real-life Interstate 15), which runs through the middle of the city and intersects twice with the Julius Thru-Way North and Julius Thru-Way South. These two roadways have the distinction of being two of the only streets in the game to actually have names. Harry Gold Parkway, the Julius Thruway, and Greenglass College are all references to participants in the 1950s trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg: Julius Rosenberg, Harry Gold, and David Greenglass. Las Venturas' airport is located just off the Strip, much like McCarran International Airport is in Las Vegas.
A replica of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign stands at the northwestern edge of Las Venturas, near the Pilson Intersection (although in real life, the sign is featured on the Las Vegas Strip). Other featured landmarks include Las Venturas' renditions on Vegas Vic and Vegas Vicki.
The main casinos include (Real-life counterparts in Las Vegas):
- Four Dragons (Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino)
- The Pink Swan (Flamingo Las Vegas)
- The High Roller (Bally's Las Vegas)
- Pirates In Men's Pants (Treasure Island Hotel and Casino)
- The Visage (The Mirage)
- The Emerald Isle (Fitzgeralds Las Vegas)
- The Starfish Casino (Barbary Coast Hotel and Casino)
- The Clown's Pocket (Circus Circus Las Vegas)
- Caligula's Palace (Caesars Palace])
- Royal Casino (Casino Royale Las Vegas)
- The Camel's Toe (Luxor Hotel)
- Come-A-Lot (Excalibur Hotel and Casino)
- The V-Rock Hotel (Hard Rock Hotel and Casino])
Old Las Venturas is north of the Strip. The casinos in Old Las Venturas have no names, but are modeled after the largest casinos in downtown Las Vegas:
- (Binion's Horseshoe)
- (Fremont Hotel and Casino)
- (Four Queens|The Four Queens Hotel and Casino)
Curiously, some noteworthy Las Vegas casinos which existed in 1992 (when the game takes place) do not appear in Las Venturas. The Dunes Hotel stood until 1993 and the Sands Hotel was demolished in 1996. Conversely, the Luxor Hotel and Treasure Island Hotel and Casino did not open until 1993.
Behind the Clown's Pocket Casino, a large pink dome is under construction. The pink Adventuredome behind the Circus Circus Casino in Las Vegas was also under construction in 1992.
- Several wedding chapel like Cupid's Wedding Chapel, Candlelight Wedding Chapel and Wee Kirk O'the Heather
- A Chinatown-like shopping center, located east of The Strip, based on Chinatown Plaza in Las Vegas
- Las Venturas Court House (Clark County Bridger Building)
- Greenglass College (Clark County Government Center)
- Blackfield Chapel (Guardian Angel Cathedral), located south of the city.
- Sherman Dam, located west of the city in Bone County is based on Hoover Dam.
- La Conca Motel (La Concha Motel)
- Bonanza Gift Shop
In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the game's events and plot points are mostly separated by San Andreas' three metropolitan cities. The events that occur in Las Venturas follow those of San Fierro, San Andreas. Any attempt to access Las Venturas or the surrounding area before they are unlocked by way of swimming, by air, or by boat, results in an automatic 4-star police wanted rating. (One exception is the boat landing on the north side of San Andreas Sound, which may be accessed safely if one does not approach the steps leading up into the city.)
After completing dangerous missions in the deserts of San Andreas for Mike Toreno in exchange for his brother Sweet's freedom, Carl "CJ" Johnson discovers that Toreno has vanished, not fulfilling his end of the bargain. However, after helping out aging hippie The Truth steal secret items from the government, Carl gets a phone call from the blind Triad leader Wu Zi Mu, whom Carl worked with in San Fierro. "Woozie" has opened a casino called "The Four Dragons Casino" in Las Venturas, and he offers Carl part ownership in exchange for defending it, since Las Venturas is a Mafia-controlled town.
After stopping the sabotage efforts of the Forelli and Sindacco families, who have part ownership of Caligula's Palace Casino with the Leone family, Carl and Woozie plan to strike back by pulling off an Ocean's Eleven-esque heist on Caligula's. Carl eventually meets Kent Paul (from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City), and Maccer, a member of the Gurning Chimps (the band that Paul manages). Luckily for Carl, Paul knows Ken Rosenberg (also of Vice City fame), who is currently the manager of Caligula's.
After helping Rosenberg out with his problems, Salvatore Leone himself arrives from Liberty City to take total control of Caligula's. Carl capitalizes on his relationship with Rosenberg to earn Salvatore's trust, and after performing numerous hits for him, is ready to begin the heist. When the heist team successfully robs Caligula's, Salvatore swears revenge against Carl.
Soon after this, CJ saves the life of disgraced rapper Madd Dogg and becomes his new manager. However, Madd Dogg wants to return to Los Santos to reclaim his mansion from a powerful drug dealer. The story then leaves Las Venturas and returns to Los Santos, San Andreas.