Saturday, December 17, 2016

Neon Boneyard

Today's Las Vegas is all about spectacle and imitations of attractions from other parts of the world. In the old days, however, neon signs were king, attracting visitors to hotels and casinos that were otherwise rather nondescript. Fortunately, as more and more of the old buildings are destroyed, the Neon Museum is on hand to collect, preserve, and showcase the once-glorious signs (over 200 items) in a small neon boneyard, open to the public day and night. We opted to tour it at night, in hopes of seeing lots of showy neon.

Sadly, few signs were actually lit. Still the tour was fabulous, using the signs—which are arranged chronologically—as a visual metaphor of the history of Las Vegas. We, of course, loved the old casino signs the best, but there were also less well known—and just as interesting—ones: the Green Shack's simple "cocktails, chicken and steak" sign, for instance, and the Yucca motel's amazing neon yucca. Highly recommended for either day or night tours.

Fabulous plexiglass sign for the La Concha motel, part of which
now houses the Neon Museum gift shop

A section of the entrance facade of the old Horseshoe casino 

Yucca motel

When it opened, the Green Shack served cocktails, chicken and steak,
just like it says on the sign

Another meat-centric restaurant: House of Steak

Las Vegas Club: the only sign in the collection that mentions Vegas

Recently restored sign: Jerry's Nugget 

Stardust casino's highly recognizable atomic font

Sahara casino 

 Riviera casino

Another recently restored neon: La Concha

Hacienda horse and rider, now part of the Neon
Museum's public neon tour on Las Vegas Blvd.

No comments: