Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Visiting the Las Vegas welcome sign: What you should know

I’ve been to Las Vegas about 20 times, but not until this year did I visit the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign.
The iconic sign is located at the entrance to the Las Vegas Strip. It stands in the median at 5100 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Paradise, Nev. It’s a short walk from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, on the west side of McCarran Airport.
Erected in 1959, the sign is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The design is featured on many Las Vegas souvenirs and is in the public domain, according to Wikipedia.
To get to the sign you have to cross a busy three-lane road without the benefit of a stop signal or crosswalk.
A small parking lot in the median provides 10 standard parking spaces, two handicapped spaces, and two large spaces for buses or limousines.

Clark County is building an additional parking lot to the south that will add 20 more parking spaces to accommodate growing visitor traffic.
For a rather small sign (25-feet tall), it sure does attract a lot of tourists.

On the Saturday afternoon I visited, there were quite a few people lined up to take photos in front of the sign, including some newlyweds. There was even an Elvis impersonator who would take photos with you for tips.

What you don’t see in photos of the famous sign are the throngs of people waiting to take photos, the traffic backed up at the small parking lot and the three large solar trees that power the sign. There are also a lot of unsightly power lines that will clutter your photos.

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