In the latest development surrounding the international casino capital, of Las Vegas, the entrance point to the city’s downtown region just north of the Stratosphere will be receiving a dramatic new set of signage. The new sign will welcome visitors to the iconic area for the first time on Tuesday, August 14.
The new sign, which reads ‘Welcome to the City of Las Vegas’, has been created in power-saving LED globes, and gives a noticeable nod to the metropolis’s vintage past. Two massive showgirls on the sign bring back images of the flapper era, which is currently making a comeback now that a full century has passed in its wake.
The pair of flashy showgirls are portrayed as 26 feet tall, backlit characters who will welcome northbound visitors, marking the transition into Downtown. The sign’s predecessor was a duplicate of the classic and legendary ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign that is situated on the far southern end of the Strip. Unfortunately, the duplicate sign was destroyed when a car hit it back in 2016.
The new and improved version was modelled on the two showgirls who became famous for accompanying former Mayor, Oscar Goodman, to public events. Goodman’s wife and the current Mayor, Carolyn Goodman, has dubbed the new signage as light, airy and filled with fun – a perfect addition to a city that prides itself on entertainment.
The showgirls stand at either side of the words ‘City of Las Vegas’, which have been written in a slanting magenta font that was once the city’s official emblem, if only for a few months. Clearly, signage is vital to Vegas’ history, with the original sign having been an iconic part of the regional experience since the 1950s. There is even a local museum dedicated to discarded signage to keep its uniquely retro spirit alive.
Interestingly, along with heavy modernisation and gentrification of Downtown Vegas, retro signage is also making a comeback in the city. City officials have long been aware of the role that neon plays in the region’s heritage, to the point where last month, the city’s Centennial Commission approved a massive budget of $762,000 to restore some of the classic signs from long-forgotten motels along Fremont East.
As Downtown becomes more modernised, there is also a counter-movement pushing to reclaim its heritage and remember its past. And while the new sign is LED instead of the traditional neon, it still has a retro appeal that has officials convinced that the sign will become the next ‘iconic local location’.