VEGAS' NEON GRAVEYARD + THE STORY OF DUNES

 

Did you know city code requires businesses on The Strip to have neon or animated signs in order to run? Signs and flashing lights are a part of Las Vegas’ DNA. Sadly enough though, the traditional neon signs speckled with gas-filled bulbs are hard and dangerous to make, expensive, and don’t come with a lot of color variety, so they are slowly being replaced by LED.

To commemorate the fantastic signs from era of the 'Glitter Gulch,' which drew gamblers, tourists, and construction works from the Hoover Dam, and beyond, The Neon Museum came to being in '96 and takes us back on a journey through fanciful Old Las Vegas. Housing over 150 iconic neon signs, including the marquee for the New Frontier Hotel and Casino (where Elvis played his first Las Vegas show in the 50s) and the landmark Stardust sign, the Boneyard is a funky through history.

A wedding at the Neon Museum

A wedding at the Neon Museum

Since it is technically a metal junkyard, you can only make your way through in an hour long guided tour - so snap photos quickly while taking in the history. The guides are all super passionate and knowledgeable about the signs and their connections to Las Vegas’ distinguished past, and their stories gave more meaning to the Strip than we thought was possible. On Volterre's "alterna-vegas" voyage, we came here and learned just exactly how Vegas came its lavish being with its 1950's casino boom that brought gamblers, lost souls and Hoover Dam workers alike. Among the casinos built during the boom was the Dunes Resort & Casino, which led us to the creation of our retro, desert glam cateye frame. These casinos, few of which are still standing, were even more ridiculous than the ones that exist today.

The front of the Dunes Casino in 1983.

The front of the Dunes Casino in 1983.

Back in the day, the casino/resorts in Vegas were more thematic and over-the-top. The Dunes was cray, man.

Back in the day, the casino/resorts in Vegas were more thematic and over-the-top. The Dunes was cray, man.

The famous Stardust sign before it went to the graveyard.

The famous Stardust sign before it went to the graveyard.

Tours of the Neon Museum are available seven days a week and hours vary per season. The space is also available to be booked out for photo shoots and weddings.  Book online in advance as tickets (especially nighttime ones) sell out quickly!

Check out more details at http://www.neonmuseum.org/.

SHOP THE VEGAS-INSPIRED FRAME: