Monday, Oct. 19, 2009 | 11:10 a.m.
Las Vegas Blvd.
A stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard that goes through downtown has been designated a National Scenic Byway, the city of Las Vegas announced today.
The primary qualifying factor was the large amount of neon signage along the boulevard from Washington to Sahara avenues, the city said. It was also recognized for its cultural, historic and nighttime scenic amenities.
The designation means the city can apply for more federal grants to add neon signs along the corridor. It also means the stretch of road will be included in the Federal Highway Administration’s marketing campaigns for its scenic byway program, the city said.
The city started pursuing the designation in 2000 and the stretch was designated a state scenic byway in 2001. To be considered a National Scenic Byway, a road must be designated a state scenic byway and must have adopted a Corridor Management Plan.
One of the city’s goals under its plan has been to restore and place up to 20 historic neon signs in the median and to protect the existing neon signs.
Recently, signs from the Horseshoe and Silver Slipper casinos and Bow & Arrow motel were installed in the median. The installation of more signs is in the works, the city said.
The city, with help from a $809,000 National Scenic Byway grant, is working with the nonprofit Neon Museum to finish a visitor center at the restored La Concha, 700 Las Vegas Blvd. N.
Congress designates at least $40 million annually for projects on the nation’s scenic byways.