Vegas, old friend

Since Hanley Wood Expositions purchased NRCA's trade show portion of its convention in 2004, the International Roofing Expo® (IRE) has been held in Las Vegas five times—the 2014 IRE will make it No. 6. For most IRE attendees, Las Vegas is all lights, casinos, fine restaurants and first-class entertainment. But there is much about the city the average visitor does not know.


  • The four hotels at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue (MGM Grand, Tropicana, New York-New York and Excalibur) have more hotel rooms than all of San Francisco.
  • The MGM Grand is the U.S.' largest hotel with more than 5,000 rooms.
  • Of the 10 largest hotels in the world, nine are in Las Vegas.
  • The Strip is not in Las Vegas but rather on unincorporated land governed by Clark County.
  • In China, the number four is considered bad luck. With this in mind, Wynn Las Vegas and Rio have no tower floors that start with four. The elevators count 38, 39, 50, 51, etc.
  • In 1966, Howard Hughes began his infamous stay at the Desert Inn. By 1968, Hughes purchased the Desert Inn after being asked to leave by hotel management.
  • The record for the longest-running show in Las Vegas is the Folies Bergere at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino. It opened in 1959 and closed in March 2009.
  • Nevada is the largest gold-producing state in the U.S. It is second in the world behind South Africa.
  • Hard hats were invented specifically for workers on the Hoover Dam in 1933.

If you travel once again to Las Vegas this month to attend the 2014 IRE, you will be one of an estimated 9,000 people attending this year's event—the second largest show (NRCA's centennial celebration in San Francisco in 1987 holds the record for largest show with more than 9,500 attendees). After all this time, Las Vegas still knows how to draw a crowd of roofing professionals.