The Neon Museum reilluminated the historic Plaza Hotel & Casino sign during a special lighting ceremony and reception after which the sign debuted to the public as a permanent addition to the Museum’s collection in its Neon Boneyard.
“The Plaza is where Las Vegas was born,” said Aaron Berger, executive director of The Neon Museum. “Its historical value is invaluable and adding its illuminated logo sign to our permanent collection will offer us the opportunity to enhance our tours with stories about the founding of Las Vegas as a railroad town, the flamboyant Rat Pack era, and how the Plaza has evolved over its 50-year history.”
“Last year, the Plaza celebrated its 50th anniversary, and now, as we look forward to the future with a great new dining and gaming options through a reimagination of our property’s facade on Main Street, I am glad that The Neon Museum will pay homage to our past,” stated Jonathan Jossel, CEO of the Plaza. “The Neon Museum is a world-class institution that ensures the history of Las Vegas continues to be told. That’s why we donated our sign, and it is exciting to see it relit in the Neon Boneyard.”
Hartlauer Signs refurbished the 1,500-pound sign that measures 9 ft. high by 18 ft. wide. The project, which took a total of more than 100 hours, included repairing damaged sheet metal to return the sign to its original shape and repainting the nearly 40-year-old sign.
Hartlauer also replaced 576 light bulbs and installed 14 new border neon units around the Plaza letters.
When the Plaza built its South Tower in 1983, Ad-Art and Charles Barnard, the mastermind behind the design of classic Las Vegas signs like Vegas Vickie, Sassy Sally’s, and the Mirage, was contracted to create the signs for the property at 1 Main Street. The Plaza still has the Barnard-designed signs on its building. The one donated to The Neon Museum was located on the Main Street façade of the Plaza in between its two towers until 2011 when the Plaza underwent a property-wide renovation.
Berger noted that the Plaza sign is the 22nd sign to be refurbished and reilluminated in the Museum’s Neon Boneyard. The last sign that was reilluminated was the Moulin Rouge in September 2020.
ABOUT THE NEON MUSEUM
Founded in 1996, The Neon Museum is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying, and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, historic, arts and cultural enrichment.
Fully accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), The Neon Museum has been ranked No. 1 in Las Vegas Weekly’s list of “Twenty Greatest Attractions in Las Vegas History,” Nevada’s “Best Museum” by MSN, No. 1 Pop Culture museum and one of the 10 Best Museums in Las Vegas by USA Today’s 10best.com, “One of the Top 10 Coolest Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do” by Forbes.com, one of the “Top 10 Historic Spots in Las Vegas” by Vegas.com; one of “15 Most Fascinating Museums in the U.S.” by VacationIdea.com; and earns a consistent 4.5 out of 5 rating on TripAdvisor.
On its 2.27-acre campus, The Neon Museum has an outdoor exhibition space known as the Neon Boneyard; the North Gallery, home to the immersive audiovisual experience “Brilliant! Jackpot” which uses technology to re-illuminate more than 40 non-operational signs; and its visitors’ center inside the former La Concha Motel lobby.
The museum collection also includes nine restored signs installed as public art in downtown Las Vegas. Public education, outreach, research, and arts conservation represent a selection of the museum’s ongoing projects.