When it comes to Las Vegas, I think the first thought most people has is party town and casinos, well you wouldn’t be too wrong but spend a little more time there are you’ll discover that there is so much more to do that shop and gamble. Actually I’m probably being a little too harsh but that’s pretty much how Vegas is advertised. This was my second trip to Las Vegas for the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly festival but this time we stayed an extra few days either side to get in some more exploring. One of the coolest places to visit is the The Neon Boneyard Museum and this was our second trip there and not just because of my obsession for neon signs. Our first was for an after dark tour on our first trip, where they light up a few of the restored signs but this time we opted for the day tour and I can highly recommend both as you get to see the signs in very different elements.
The tour includes a guide round the yard and quite a detailed history of the signs, hotels and how Vegas has changed since it was established in 1905 and is relatively young for a city but still has a rich and vibrant history. The museum was founded in 1996 in partnership with the Allied Arts Council in Souther Nevada and Las Vegas city and restores signs that have been sitting in storage for many years mainly in the Youngs Electric Sign Company Boneyard. Vegas has a reputation for a quick turnover of put up, take them down when it comes to hotels, so much that with only two years between our trip we noticed this quite a bit and there seemed to be more vacant lots waiting to be built on than last time we were there as well.
The museum entrance is the old shell of the La Concha Motel which was split into three pieces and transported to the museum and restored. This building was designed by prominent African-American architect Paul Williams in the 1960s and is considered to be one of the best preserved examples of Googie architecture.
Binion’s was one of the original hotel and casinos which opened up in what is now known as Old Vegas located on and near Fremont Street.
Restored H sign from Binion’s Horseshoe Hotel and Casino.
The Stardsust is probably Las Vegas’ most famous sign until it was revamped in 1991 and then the hotel was demolished in 2007.
A close up of the Sassy Sally sign.
Some of the signs are also placed along the highway outside the museum as part of the National Scenic Byways program in the US, amongst those signs is the Silver Slipper which is all I managed to get a picture of before our taxi arrived to take us back to our hotel.
Please note that all these pictures are my own and at request of the museum cannot be used for commercial purposes so I would be grateful if you did not use without permission.