The Neon Boneyard of Las Vegas

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On our last visit to Las Vegas, we'd missed out on a stop in at the Neon Boneyard. I figured since we'd be in California again, and heading west, it was probably worth the detour to Vegas again so I could see the Boneyard... And it definitely was! 

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 The Neon Boneyard is a not for profit museum that has over 150 neon signs from Las Vegas. Most of them from the 50's, 60's and 70's, and the only chance you would ever have to see these amazing works so close up and in person. Most of the signs have been donated by the neon sign companies, the most famous and generous donor being the Young Electric Sign Company (YESCo) who had made the majority of the signs for the hotels original looks. The neon signs were never owned by the hotels, they were leased from YESCo, so when the signs were updated they went back to the company - and then were donated to the Neon Boneyard after it's founding in 1996.

 

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After obsessively watching Viva Las Vegas, and my long time interest in Googie architecture and mid-century design, this was a culmination of so many great things in one spot that my brain could hardly handle it. Signs from the most famous and beautiful hotels and casinos of Vegas, such as the Sahara, Aladdin, the Moulin Rouge, the Golden Nugget, Sassy Sally, and the boneyard's crowning glory, the Stardust (the worlds widest sign at the time of it's creation). 

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I normally loathe guided tours, but this is the only option at the Neon Museum. Im glad we were forced into the tour, as our guide was so knowledgable and had so many great stories about vintage Vegas and the politics of many of the early hotels; from mobsters with stakes in the business, and celebrities favourite places to visit after their shows, and the unlikely friendship between Elvis and Liberace. Who knew?!