Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Las Vegas Neon Museum – The Neon Boneyard

Las Vegas has been called the city of lights, or the neon city because of all the lights and neon signs used to advertise the casinos and hotels to passers-by. But since many of the old casinos and hotels are no longer standing or have been remodeled or renamed, the old sings have been taken down and sent to the landfill. However, some of the signs have been saved over the years and have been collected into what is known as the Neon Graveyard – a museum of sorts for old neon and other lighted signs from Las Vegas’ past. For a long time, this was just a final resting place for these signs and was closed to the public. But recently the Neon Boneyard Museum (also known as the Neon Graveyard) has been opened up to the public so that anybody who is interested can go see the signs. Some of the signs have been dismantled and are in pieces while others are only a portion of their former selves. Still others are the entire sign in pristine shape, having been reconditioned to look as good as new. If you visit Vegas, or even if you live in town or somewhere nearby, it is highly recommended that you come take a look at the Neon Boneyard neon sign museum.

Among the neon artifacts that have found a home at the Neon Boneyard Museum are more than 150 signs and parts of signs from many very famous and not so famous Las Vegas landmarks from the past. One of the most popular and notable items is the old Aladdin’s Lamp from the original Aladdin Hotel and Casino, which looks like a giant genie’s lamp that you could run and be granted 3 wishes. The original Aladdin Hotel and Casino was first known as the English Tallyho Motel when built in 1962, and in 1966, after a remodeling, the building was renamed the Aladdin. The next year the Aladdin was made famous as when it became the place where Elvis and Priscilla Presley were married. Later on in 1998 the original Aladdin was imploded and another Hotel and Casino was built in its place. It has since been renamed the Planet Hollywood Hotel. Also in the Neon Graveyard museum is the giant high heel from the old Silver Slipper, which was bought by Howard Hughes in 1968 reportedly because the light was so bright that he could see it from his room, but they would not turn it off so he bought it on a whim so he could turn the lights off and dismantle the rotating mechanism so he could get a good night’s sleep. It is also reported that he thought a camera could be mounted inside the slipper and it could allow people to spy into his room. In 1988 the Silver Slipper was demolished and turned into a parking lot. Another famous sign in the Neon Boneyard Museum is the one from Sassy Sally’s.

To take a day tour of the Neon Boneyard Museum it costs $18 for adults and $12 for students and Nevada residents. Night tours are slightly more expensive, at $25 for adults and $22 for students and local residents. Day tours occur at 9:00, 9:30, and 10:00 am and night tours are held at 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:30, and 9:00 pm. You can call (702) 387-6366 (NEON) for more information.

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