Neon: A Love Story. I didn’t always live in Las Vegas, but as a child, my family did visit the city often. I have many childhood memories about visiting the city and walking The Strip as a tourist. I can recall the noise of coins falling from the slot machines and the unique carpets in all the different casinos. But most of all, I remember lights. So many lights, it used to be overwhelming. I have memories of being asleep in a car and pulling up to a casino and just being dazzled by the display of neon in front of me. The timed blinking and flashing made it seem like the lights were dancing just for me. I fell in love with those neon lights.
Those days are slowly fading away. Hotels and casinos have started to find new ways to impress their guests. They now have grand water displays, shows in the front of their hotels and now a new trend of the giant LCD marquees. All of which are amazing in their own right. I’m sure they awe another young child out there, but that isn’t for me. My heart isn’t so easily swayed by what is hot and new. I still love the flashing neon lights. They make me happy and remind me of a different time in Las Vegas.
Sometimes, with a constantly changing and evolving city, it’s nice to remember the good old days.
So without further ado, please enjoy the pictures of some of my favorite lights the city still has to offer. Some are on Las Vegas Blvd. while most are in the Downtown portion of the city. (Sometimes referred to as “Old Vegas” or Fremont Street if you will.)
Las Vegas Blvd.
This is the location that has had the most movement towards modern signage. The big hotels such as Aria, Cosmopolitan, MGM and Wynn all adorn the front of their building with giant TV like screens to catch the attention of the valuable tourist. There are only a few classic lights that I distinctly remember from my childhood.
The front entrance is so beautiful with the neon pink and gold. What little girl wouldn’t love this?
Circus Circus. My favorite hotel as a child. Very family oriented, the massive clown can still be prominently seen on the North end of Las Vegas Blvd.
I always enjoyed the color scheme of the Riviera as a child. The different colors and shapes made it very engaging. Now that I’m older, I have a fondness for Mardi Gras and these colors remind me of just that. Also, one of my favorite Las Vegas movies, “Casino” was filmed inside of this hotel. 🙂
The Halfway Points
There is a massive gift shop on the corner of Sahara & Las Vegas Blvd. To me, it marks the end of Las Vegas Blvd. and the beginning of the Downtown area. The front of this store just screams an older time in Las Vegas. When advertising was straight to the point.
Fremont Street is located within the “Downtown” area, but I like to categorize it as it’s own entity. Mainly because it’s a little more weird than hip, and a tad more sleazy than sketchy. But it definitely doesn’t skimp on the gimmicky. If you want a taste of Old Vegas, look no further than to these neon lights. Eye catching and fun.
DowntowN Las Vegas
This is where you will find most of the bars and plenty of younger locals. The neon lights in this area aren’t as flashy and are honestly a little creepy if you look at them long enough. I love them, but some are starting to look out of place without the original buildings surrounding them. I like to think of the downtown area as a walking art tour. A place where the new is trying to mix with the old.
I consider “DTLV” to be a subcategory of the Downtown portion. This is where the kids that are too cool for Las Vegas Blvd. hangout. They aren’t tourists, they know the whole city like the back of their hand, but they choose to drink & eat in select portions of the Downtown area. Look for the hashtag #DTLV if you want to see what I’m talking about. I don’t have pictures of all of the hot spots just yet, but here is a little sample.
Las Vegas has become known for so many different things over the years, but I will always think of it as the sparkling oasis in the desert. It may seem like there are still plenty of these old school lights all over the city, and as my pictures show, there are. However, they are slowly being replaced. I’m just trying to enjoy my time with them. Not all loves last forever. You must cherish them while you can. Viva Neon Lights and Viva Las Vegas.