Where do the big Vegas neon signs go when they are replaced or when the casino/hotel closes down?
In case you're wondering about this, you should visit the Neon Museum.
The Neon Museum is a non-profit organization founded in 1996 to collect, protect and restore Las Vegas iconic signs. It consists of a visitors center (which used to be La Concha Motel) and a big outdoor exhibition space known as the Boneyard. It is located north of Downtown, a 5-10 minute walk from Fremont Street (or 2-minute taxi ride).
If you want to visit the collection, you must book your guided visit online on their website. In the warmer months, it can be challenging to visit in the warmest hours so plan your visit to be either early in the morning or for the new evening tours. Please note that you are not allowed to bring bulky bags or camera equipment other than your personal camera with one lens (no tripods, extra lenses, etc.). At the visitors center they have water and sun lotion for sale in case you forget yours, and also some sourvenirs and books with history about the city and the signs.
The visit starts with the Golden Nugget sign that shows the year of foundation of Las Vegas, 1905, and sign by sign, the guides tell you the story of the city from there to recent times, including some interesting facts and fun stories (like the one about the red shoe and Howard Hughes - you have to visit the museum to hear it, I won't spoil it).
It was impressive to see through the signs, how the city turned from being just a refueling stop on the way to L.A. into the big gambling and entertainment paradise it is now.
So many interesting stories, from the Moulin Rouge sign, the first one ever designed by a woman, to the famous Starlight, the recently closed Sahara and the huge skull from Treasure Island. For design lovers, those interested in the history of the city and also for those who would like to do something different in Vegas, besides gambling, shopping or partying, the Neon museum is waiting.
The Neon Museum
770 Las Vegas Boulevard North
Las Vegas, NV 89101