The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign on the south end of the Strip has been greeting motorists entering Las Vegas for a half century. Now the Strip icon has elevated status, just being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This designation comes in a year that marks the sign’s 50th anniversary.
“The sign is one of he most recognizable images associated with Nevada and its tourism industry,” said Ron James, Nevada Historic Preservation officer.
Designed by Betty Willis in 1959, the sign stands in a traffic median on Las Vegas Boulevard, just south of Russell Road. The Young Electric Sign Company owns the sign and leases it to Clark County.
Much in that area has changed since the sign was first installed. Mandalay Bay towers above where the Hacienda Hotel once stood. The Signature Executive Terminal has replaced the old McCarran airfield. And the boulevard is no longer the main route from Southern California.
In December, the county opened a 12-space parking lot and walkway on the median, making it safer for people to snap pictures of the sign.