Saturday, May 10, 2014

Photo Op at the Vegas Sign

If there is one obligatory picture every tourist in Vegas needs, it's one standing in front of what is surely the most famous single sign in the world, the one that greets northbound drivers on Las Vegas Boulevard as they hit the outskirts of the Strip (technically, and ironically, not actually part of the city of Las Vegas). The design is by Betty Willis, whose work is immortalized in the Neon Boneyard, and who left the design in the public domain as a gift to the city and the world...and to every manufacturer of Vegas souvenirs everywhere. If you're considering manufacturing anything that would look better with the Las Vegas sign on it, knock yourself out.

Until 2008, thrillseekers took their life in their hands dashing across Strip traffic to get near the sign, but now there's a parking lot in the median so you can pull over to grab the money shot. The only entrance is on the southbound lanes of Las Vegas, a little ways south of Russell Road. You can try to find a slack time to strike your pose, but otherwise you'll wait in a long line to get on the grassy knoll beneath the sign, because in addition to the carloads of shutterbugs, tour buses stop here regularly with a load of passengers. Others are content to stand off to one side and grab their pictures and/or selfies from a respectful distance.

If you want to be at a really respectful distance, there's always the replica sign on Boulder Highway, although unless you snap a shot as you drive by, you really would be taking your life in your hands trying to run up to it.

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