Friday visits... Vegas

Everybody knows Vegas.
Some of the best films around have been set there. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Oceans 11, Leaving Las Vegas, The cooler, I might even tentatively add The Hangover to that list.Vegas lends itself to Hollywood. To the bright lights and seedy underbelly. I don't think anyone needs me to talk about that Vegas.

But if you keep walking north past the the bright lights of Circus Circus and the towering Stratosphere you will eventually come across something called the Boneyard. At first glance it looks like a scrap yard, if you look a little closer you'll realise it is a scrapyard, of practically every neon sign to ever adorn the facades of Vegas's casinos. When new money comes in and names change hands the lights change too. And the old signs go here. If they can get the casinos to pay for transport that is. The boneyard was set up in 1996 but if it wasn't for YESCO the young electric sign company there would have been hardly anything to put in it. YESCO, the creators of a lot of the neon signs, had kept the old signs from being scrapped.

 When I was there they were still looking for the funding to finish the new visitors centre. The building is the old La Concha Motel lobby, it was saved from demolition and reconstructed here. The lobby was designed by Paul Revere Williams.

New York New York

Sassy Sallys

Jerrys Nugget and The Silver Slipper

When I was there the Neon Museum were undertaking plans to reinvent this section north of the strip. They were planning to repair the old signs and place them along the roadside, so after a hard night in the casinos you can cruise along the boulevard and see a little bit of Vegas old style. The Silver Slipper was to be one of the first to be restored.
Here is the slipper in its glory days.

and today outside the museum

  A few signs had already been restored and you can see them in the Freemont street area. It was here, in the 1930's, that the first neon signs started appearing. So it was only fitting that it should be here they began to reappear again. The first to do so was the Haceinda Horse and Rider.

 So Next time Vegas calls dont forget to leave the Casino and see what else it has to offer. It might surprise you.

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