Published December 03, 2012
The Las Vegas strip wasn't always filled with larger-than-life LCD screens in front of hotels. In the 1950s and 1960s, most hotels on the famous boulevard were lit up by an illuminating piece of architecture known as the neon sign.
For those too young to experience it, you're in luck. The Neon Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas offers visitors a chance to tour what looks like an organized junkyard of some of the city's historic neon signs of yesteryear.
"There was nobody that did it better than in Las Vegas," said Bill Marion, chairman of the board for the city's "Neon Museum."We had the best Neon designers in the world here. "
The site has been open by appointment only for photo shoots and filming for more than 15 years. Recently, the decision was made to open up the boneyard for public tours that take visitors on a trip down memory lane.
"The signs are curated in such a way that they tell a story," said Marion.
" As you walk through with a tour guide, you'll wake through the old Downtown, with the old Golden Nugget, Horseshoe, and the Moulin Rouge. Those signs will lead you down and circle around to see some of the signs of the old Las Vegas strip."
Marion pointed out the mammoth Stardust Hotel sign as a destination some folks would probably remember the most.
"One of the most beautiful signs in the boneyard is the Stardust sign," said Marion. "The Stardust doesn't exist anymore, but if people have seen the movie "Casino," it's based on the activities that took place at the Stardust Hotel."
The tour itself costs $18, but Nevada residents only have to pay $12. And while the neon signs at the boneyard are no longer in service, the signs are still providing a historical service for city of Las Vegas.