We’ve each been to Vegas a few times. Mostly for work, but sometimes just to “get away”. This past weekend was a little of both.
Rarely do either of us leave the confines of Las Vegas Blvd. With so much to see and do there, why would we?
Well, we found a good reason…..The Neon Museum.
Just a little north of downtown Las Vegas and Fremont St., about a $20 cab ride (including the “Vegas Standard” $3 fee for using a credit card), is where dismantled neon signage goes to live a second life.
The lobby of the Neon Museum is the beautifully restored 1961 lobby of the La Concha Motel.
I think y’all will agree that this building was well worth preserving. It was actually cut into 6 sections just to move it to this location. It’s a brilliant start to the 2 acres of donated casino/restaurant/bar signage. Our tour guide, Jezelle, was an absolute encyclopedia of knowledge about each and every sign and letter in the collection; the marque designers, the record breakers, the excentric casino owners, the hidden meaning behind each font, and the impact each sign had on the history of Las Vegas.
When it was erected in 1968, the Stardust Casino sign was the tallest in the world; reaching 188 feet. With its “atomic age” font, this beauty’s still a standout of the collection….and one of our favorites too.
This 15 foot pool player was once wearing a Hawaiian shirt, but was later upgraded to a red plaid flannel….a few decades in the Vegas sun later, he looks like he’s wearing a little of both.
Our pictures don’t even come close to showing the scale of some of these rusty giants. This Jackpot Motel sign was one of the smaller ones. (and would fit nicely in our backyard)
It’s in this Museum that these now-defunct casinos – the Sahara, Aladdin, Flamingo, Stardust, Golden Nugget, Horseshoe, Sassy Sally’s, Riviera, Moulin Rouge and the Tropicana – and the art of their neon/electric signage that made each a unique addition to the Vegas skyline, will never be forgotten.
Do yourself a favor the next time you’re in Vegas, step away from the tourists for a few hours and go see these gems.