Monday, March 14, 2016

The Bright Shiny Lights of Las Vegas' The Neon Museum

Hello Bright Shiny Lights!!!  A couple of weeks ago Edible Skinny was Lady Luck-y enough to visit The Neon Museum in Las Vegas.

Founded in 1996, the Neon Museum is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to collecting, preserving (pigeons poop is a real problem for these signs…), studying, and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for education, historic, arts, and cultural enrichment.  

The Neon Museum’s 2 acre campus includes the outdoor exhibition space known as the Neon Boneyard which houses more than 200 historic signs, a visitors’ center housed inside the former La Concha Motel lobby, and the Neon Boneyard North Gallery which houses 60 additional rescued pieces including signs from the Palms Casino Resort, New-New York, Lady Luck, and O’Shea’s, and which is also available for weddings, special events, photo shoots, and educational programs.  
Most of The Neon Museum’s signs are exhibited in the Boneyard where they serve as inspiration to fascinated artists, students, historians, designers, and roaming food and travel bloggers.  Each sign at the Neon Museum’s collection offers a unique story about the personalities who created it, what inspired it, where and when it was made, and the role it played in Vegas’ distinctive colored past.  On the tour changes and trends in design and technology are illustrated in the pieces that range from the 1930s to the present day.

The Boneyard is home to some of the most treasured world-famous signs of Las Vegas: Caesars Palace, Binion’s Horseshoe, the Moulin Rouge Hotel, the Golden Nugget, and the Stardust.  My absolute favorite is a happy-go-lucky dry cleaning shirt sign from the 1960s that just looks so happy it could make even the roughest of Vegas nights seem a little brighter!!!  Not just neon signage, the museum also houses fiberglass sculptures including a giant skull from Treasure Island. 
Due to the nature of their collection, the Neon Museum Boneyard is only available to the public through an hour long guided tour (older neon signs are made out some rather nasty materials that can be harmful to the unsupervised…).  Ticket prices for day tours are $18 for general admission; seniors 65+, students, active military, veterans and Nevada residents are $12.  Most of The Neon Museum tours are before sunset, but the non-profit does also offer dusk tours of their seven beautifully restored neon signs that light up the Vegas sky in their full glory; pricing for evening tours is $25.  

The Neon Museum also maintains twelve restored signs throughout Las Vegas.  Some reside on street medians such as the Silver Slipper to honor Vegas’s glittery past.

So if you’re in the city of Sin and looking for a gander into the world of the bright shiny neon lights of Las Vegas perhaps a trip to The Neon Museum is in order. 

Here’s to life being delicious and to every day having a happy-go-lucky dry cleaning shirt sign!

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