Las Vegas Sun

September 1, 2014

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County to break ground for Las Vegas ‘Welcome’ sign parking lot

A dozen spaces to be available to park near the sign to get photos

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.

Click to enlarge photo

Cars zoom by the sign welcoming motorists to Las Vegas on Nov. 13, 1997. The sign's distinct shape and relatively small stature, 25 feet tall, set it apart from the other signs crammed along the Las Vegas Strip. Seven silver dollars back the seven letters of the word "Welcome" in affirmation of Nevada's nickname the "Silver State."

If you've ever stopped during busy traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard to take a photo at the famous Las Vegas "Welcome" sign you know how hard — and dangerous — it is to park.

But there's good news for shutterbugs who brave the heavy traffic to stop at the icon along Las Vegas Boulevard — a new parking lot is on the way.

A groundbreaking ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday for the parking lot, which will have 12 spaces to park, including two handicap spaces and spaces for two busses to stop on the median near the sign.

The new lot will be on the existing median just south of the sign, which is on Las Vegas Boulevard just south of Russell Road. Construction on the $416,000 project is expected to be finished by late November, according to Dan Kulin, county public information officer.

Clark County Commissioner Rory Reid, whose district includes the sign area, said the lot should make stopping to get a photo much safer.

"Untold thousands have had their photos taken in front of the sign," Reid said. "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."

Access to the sign has been limited since it first went up in 1959 in unincorporated Clark County.

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