Glow crazy in Vegas

Glow crazy in Vegas

Las Vegas has not been kind to history. True, there is now a nascent conservation policy in Downtown; but on the garish Strip – which brings in the money – buildings usually pass non-stop from ‘new’ to ‘old and in the way’.

A few years ago, however, part of a 1961 motel was carefully cut into pieces and moved to safety in the farthest reaches of Downtown. Reassembled and restored, the lobby of the now-demolished La Concha motel will this summer become a visitor centre for the city’s Neon Museum, where a collection of more than 150 hotel and casino signs is stacked outdoors in its ‘neon boneyard’.

These relics of mid-century Las Vegas survive thanks to the way they were sold (on leases, then reverting to the manufacturer), the dry desert climate and the estimable Neon Museum, whose boneyard is open to visitors on pre-arranged tours ($15; book at

By Stephen Wood. Published in Conde Nast Traveller July 2012

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