Las Vegas Sun

March 22, 2019

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With showgirl imagery, Las Vegas seeks iconic welcome to downtown


Mick Akers

The likenesses of showgirls are seen the evening before their debut at Las Vegas Boulevard and Main Street as part of the city’s new gateway, Monday, Aug. 6, 2018.

Former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman was usually flanked by two showgirls at public appearances. It seems only fitting that a pair of showgirl likenesses now help welcome travelers to downtown.

They are part of the city’s new gateway, which will debut tonight at Las Vegas Boulevard and Main Street. Each is 20 feet tall and elevated another 6 feet off the ground. They are located behind a 12-foot-tall, 22-foot-wide Las Vegas retro script color-changing LED sign.

The showgirls were modeled after Oscar Goodman’s infamous duo, Porsha and Jen, who Mayor Carolyn Goodman — his wife — said were great ambassadors for the city.

“They were wonderful. They went to England with us way back with the (Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority) to promote convention and tourism in Las Vegas,” Carolyn Goodman said. “I don’t know how many showgirls we have around, but they’re part of our history and our culture.”

The area surrounding the signage also has a very Las Vegas feel to it, including dice, casino chips, a roulette wheel. Yesco fabricated the signs and Las Vegas Paving did the site furnishings and flatwork.

Money for the $400,000 project came from the city’s general fund.

Steel bollards surround the site to protect the area because the last landmark sign in downtown — a scaled-down version of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign with downtown added to it — was plowed over by an errant driver in 2016.

The Stratosphere is working with the city to offer parking for sign visitors. Parking will be available to the west of the sign just south of the Stratosphere and is expected to be open in about a month.

Another landmark sign, a double-arching sign to be located closer to Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard, is also in the works and expected to be complete by the end of the year, the mayor said.

“We know they’re going to be great photo ops,” she said. “Hopefully people will just love it.”