Neon Museum in Downtown Las Vegas to Officially Open this October

After more than 15 years of planning, the Neon Museum,
a Las Vegas historical institution dedicated to the preservation and
celebration of some of the city’s most distinctive architectural
landmarks, will officially open its doors to the public on Saturday,
Oct. 27. 

 
The Neon Museum, home to a collection of
more than 150 neon signs dating from the 1930s, is the largest
collection of neon signage in the world and a unique record of Las
Vegas’ colorful history. Inside a two-acre outdoor museum space known as
the Neon Boneyard, iconic signs from the city’s most
celebrated properties — including the Moulin Rouge, the Desert Inn, the
Flamingo and the Stardust — are displayed alongside those from various
other bygone restaurants, hotels and businesses.
 
The museum’s new visitors’ center will
be located on-site in the recently rehabilitated La Concha Motel lobby,
the seashell-shaped, Mid-Century Modern architectural masterpiece
designed and built by architect Paul Revere Williams. Originally
constructed in 1961 on Las Vegas Boulevard South, next to the Riviera
Hotel’s current location, the La Concha lobby was saved from demolition
in 2005 and moved to its current location in downtown Las Vegas in 2006.
 
According to Bill Marion, chair, Neon
Museum’s Board of Trustees, the museum’s official opening will bring
both a significant cultural and economic impact to the community. “There
is renewed interest in ‘old’ Las Vegas and in the rediscovery of the
historical downtown area. The Neon Museum will play a major role in this
renaissance by bringing new visitors to downtown Las Vegas, by creating
additional opportunities for tourism growth and by adding to the
ongoing economic revitalization of the area,” says Marion.
 
Tours of the Neon Boneyard, which last
approximately 45 minutes, will be available to the public every half
hour starting at 10 a.m., with the last tour departing at 4 p.m., every
Monday through Saturday. Tickets are $18 for adults; $12 for students
with valid ID, senior citizens, veterans and Nevada residents.  Children
ages 6 and under are free. Tour capacity is limited. To ensure
admission on the date and time desired, visitors are advised to purchase
their tickets in advance through the Neon Museum’s Web site, www.NeonMuseum.org. The La Concha Visitors Center
will be open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Both facilities are located at 770 Las Vegas Blvd. North, Las Vegas, NV,
89101.
 
“Visitors from around the world have
been eagerly anticipating the Neon Museum’s opening for many years, so
it gives us tremendous pleasure to be able to unveil this remarkable and
historic collection to the public,” says Danielle Kelly, executive
director, Neon Museum. “Our goal is to give guests an enhanced
appreciation for Las Vegas’ rich visual culture while celebrating the
beauty and craftsmanship of a distinctly modern art form.”

In addition to the Neon Boneyard and visitors’ center, the Neon Museum has partnered with the City of Las Vegas to create the Las Vegas Signs Project,
in which restored signs from the museum’s collection have been
installed on Las Vegas Boulevard between Sahara and Washington Avenues —
a stretch of roadway that has been designated a National Scenic Byway
by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Currently, seven restored
signs from the 1950s are on display, including the Silver Slipper, the
Bow & Arrow Motel, Binion’s Horseshoe, Society Cleaners, the Lucky
Cuss Hotel, the Normandy Hotel and the Hacienda Horse and Rider.
 
The museum’s collection also includes nine restored signs installed as public art throughout the downtown area. The Downtown Gallery
begins on Fremont Street at Las Vegas Blvd. and extends west toward
Third Street. Signs in this gallery include Aladdin’s Lamp, The Flame
Restaurant, the Chief Court Motel, Andy Anderson, The Red Barn, Wedding
Information, the Nevada Motel and Dots Flowers. Further south, the 5th
Street Liquor sign, located on Casino Center St. near Garces Ave.,
features a classic example of the type of animation that was frequently
used in neon signage, and the Landmark Hotel sign, located on Paradise
Road near Convention Center Dr., has been placed near the site where the
iconic property stood until its demolition in 2009.

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