Visit the iconic symbol of Las Vegas
South of Mandalay Bay on the Las Vegas Strip
Parking can be accessed from the southbound lanes
You’ve most likely seen many photos of the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign, but have you seen it in person? If the answer is no, you are not alone. Surprisingly, many people have not taken the quick trip from the Strip to see the popular 25 foot tall symbol of Las Vegas.
Two reasons why tourists didn’t visit the historic site may be because of location and location. First, the sign is south of Mandalay Bay, which means there isn’t a lot of tourist foot traffic down that end of the Strip. Second, the sign is located in the middle of the Strip, on a median, in-between both directions of busy lanes of traffic. This caused difficulties with parking and crossing the street. Times have changed.
Today, the sign is more accessible to visitors and much busier attraction. In 2008, a 12-car, free parking lot was added for convenience and safety. There are 10 standard spaces, two handicapped spaces and room for two buses. Now you can easily get up close and personal to the sign for photos. There may be an expansion in the future. There is talk of tripling the parking lot size and adding a pedestrian walkway or bridge. Construction starting dates have yet to be announced.
• The neon sign was designed by Betty Willis
• As a gift to Las Vegas, Willis never copyrighted the sign with the intention of it being in the public domain
• The sign was sold in 1959 to Clark County for $4,000
• Each of the seven circled letters of “WELCOME” represents silver dollars, paying homage to Nevada’s nickname “The Silver State”
• The sign went dark for a month in 1999 due to a $60 past due payment from the electrical company
• In 2009 the sign became listed on The National Register of Historic Places
• Downtown Las Vegas has erected an almost identical sign saying “Welcome to Fabulous Downtown Las Vegas Nevada
• The back side/north side of the sign says “Drive Carefully Come Back Soon”