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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Visit Las Vegas' Neon Museum

Over the years and countless trips to Vegas, I've said every time that I will visit the Neon Museum. Who doesn't want to wander among the long forgotten signs from Sin City's golden age? The idea that there is a "boneyard" where these signs go to die makes at once happy and sad, because people should get to see them, but so many less get to do so where they are now. On my last trip, I finally went online, bought tickets for a tour and we all dragged ourselves out of bed in the early morning to get to the first tour of the day, hoping to avoid the ridiculous heat. Unfortunately, it didn't work, because even at 9am it was already 100 degrees. Lucky for us, the tour is only an hour and at least a quarter of it is in the shade. I thought I would share some photos from our trip. 

Have you heard of the Moulin Rouge? The woman who designed this sign 
also designed the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign!

Aladdin's old lamp, along with letters from the old Sahara sign.

Did you know Binion's was the first hotel to offer seating at slot machines 
and comp drinks?

Behind the Tropicana sign is the old Tam O'Shanter marquee, and the tartan 
tam (hat) in front of it used to sit on top and spin.

Who doesn't love the futuristic styling of the Stardust, what was once the tallest 
sign on The Strip?

The Tropicana has been through several reincarnations, but their old sign remains. 
You may not remember the Silver Slipper, but the actual Silver Slipper has been 
restored and put back on Las Vegas Blvd out front of the Neon Museum.

You can view the old signs that have been retired, too, for $18 per person, or $25 if you take the evening tour, where the signs are lit up and the four working signs on the property are plugged in and shine bright. If the nights are cooler when you travel, it might be worth the extra cost to beat the heat. Surprisingly, we found out that all the signs they have here have been donated, but in order to get them restored, the Neon Museum puts up the money and then the original company that made the sign (if still available) take care of the actual careful restoration. There are several signs that are part of the collection, but are actually on The Strip, so more tourists can appreciate them.

Our friend took photos on his phone and when he was looking back through them on the ride back to the main strip, he declared that you couldn't take a bad picture there if you tried. It's true. Even with the sun in our eyes, between the three of us, all our pictures were wonderful.

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