Situated in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Neon Museum is a museum that features old signs from casinos and other local businesses.
Situated in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Neon Museum is a museum that features old signs from casinos and other local businesses. The business displays these signs outdoors on 2.62 acres of land for all to see! One sign worth mentioning includes the restored lobby shell from the defunct La Concha Motel, which has now been turned into an official visitors’ center at this glorious attraction, which opened in October 2012.
For years, the Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO) stored a number of these old signs in their “boneyard,” but they were very slowly being destroyed by exposure to the elements. However, now that people feel like each sign represents more than just an advertisement for casinos and restaurants – instead of holding deep significance as part of Las Vegas’ history – many locals are trying to save them from destruction.
The Neon Museum was founded in 1996 by the Allied Arts Council of Southern Nevada and The City of Las Vegas. It is located on North Las Vegas Blvd, and visitors can tour two parts: a museum displaying retired signs, lights, letters; plus, they have their own boneyard for storing abandoned neon pieces that are at risk during demolition or renovation projects.
The famous Hacienda Horse & Rider sign was installed at the Neon Museum in 1996 after a decade of collecting and storing iconic signs from Las Vegas. The idea behind saving these old neon signs came about when they replaced one of their most loved pieces, “The Sands” logo, on top of the casino. It took 10 years for them to get permission from both Allied Arts Council and city officials to create an institution dedicated solely to caring for these precious artifacts which were being kept safe but not displayed anywhere else before this museum opened its’ doors officially that November day in ’96 with Hacienda’s installation as a grand opening event.
In 2005, owners of the La Concha Motel donated their historic lobby to the museum. The Doumanis had planned on opening a visitors center and moving it 3.5 miles north along Las Vegas Boulevard after cutting into eight pieces at an estimated cost of $6 million but gained public & private donations totaling close to $7 million, so they could restore 15 major signs in addition to constructing new facilities for headquarters, headquartering exhibits etcetera as well as building a park near this project all with just one donation from the hoteliers.
When the Neon Museum opened to the public, they started on a path of success. The first year had 60,461 visitors, with attendance exceeding their early estimate by 5%. This was an indicator that the museum would have continued growth in the coming years and be very successful as time went on.