Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012 | 2:10 p.m.
A fenced-in lot near Las Vegas Boulevard in downtown Las Vegas has for years been the final resting place for some of the city’s historic neon signs, drawing only the occasional tourist, local or history buff inside for a tour. But come October, the sign graveyard will spring back to life with the grand opening of the Neon Museum.
Tours of the Neon Boneyard, the heart of the Neon Museum, have long been offered on a by-appointment basis, but the leaders behind the nonprofit sought to make it more accessible to the public and embarked on a $1.5 million renovation last year.
As part of the renovation, the historic La Concha motel lobby was moved and transformed into a visitors center, office space was added and the collection of more than 150 signs in the boneyard was reorganized to better illustrate how they fit into the development of Las Vegas.
The museum will have its grand opening on Oct. 27 and offer daily tours, according to a statement released Thursday.
“Visitors from around the world have been eagerly anticipating the Neon Museum’s opening for many years, so it gives us tremendous pleasure to be able to unveil this remarkable and historic collection to the public,” Executive Director Danielle Kelly said in a statement. “Our goal is to give guests an enhanced appreciation for Las Vegas’ rich visual culture while celebrating the beauty and craftsmanship of a distinctly modern art form.”
Tours will be offered every half hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Admission will be $18 for adults, $12 for students and free for children ages 6 and under.
Visitors to the two-acre museum, located at 770 Las Vegas Blvd. North, will see signs dating to the 1930s, including pieces from iconic casinos like the Stardust, the Moulin Rouge and the Desert Inn.
Many of the signs in the Neon Museum’s collection already are on display downtown. Seven signs — from places including the Bow & Arrow Motel, the Silver Slipper and Binion’s Horseshoe — are displayed along Las Vegas Boulevard between Sahara Avenue and Washington Avenue as part of the Las Vegas Signs Project.
A downtown gallery that stretches from Fremont Street to Third Street along Las Vegas Boulevard includes signs from Aladdin, the Flame Restaurant and the Chief Court Motel.