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Famous Las Vegas sign now safer for tourists

Updated Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008 | 1:03 p.m.

Famous sign gets new parking lot

Commission Chairmen Rory Reid poses in front of the famous sign just after the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new parking lot Monday. Launch slideshow »

Las Vegas Sign

Legendary Las Vegas neon sign designer Betty Willis, known for her world-famous "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign, talks about how she created her illustrious masterpiece and the significance of each of the sign's various symbols.

It's now even easier to get your picture in front of the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign.

Clark County Commission Chairman Rory Reid celebrated today's opening of the new parking lot outside the famous sign with showgirls and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The $400,000 new lot, on Las Vegas Boulevard south of Russell Road, has 12 parking spaces, including two handicapped spots and two places for buses on the median adjacent to the lot.

“This project has been a long time in coming,” Reid said. “Untold thousands have had their photos taken in front of the sign. Now they can do so without having to dodge speeding cars. I’m especially happy that we can provide access for the first time to our disabled guests. Las Vegas has been rated as one of this nation’s most accessible cities for the disabled and this project improves upon that record.”

Reid said that the new lot makes it so that visitors do not have to jaywalk or park in one of the Las Vegas Strip travel lanes.

The sign was created in 1959 and has been nearly impossible to access especially for the disabled, so the new handicapped spots make it the first time in the signs 49-year history that they will be able to safely access the Vegas icon.

The sign reads “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada” on the front and “Come Back Soon” on the back.

The county does not have plans to add parking to the other "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign that was placed in the median on Boulder Highway near Harmon Avenue in 2007.

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