Not too far from the Las Vegas strip lies a junkyard filled with huge neon signs – signs that once proudly adorned such famous nightclubs and casinos like Caesars Palace, Binions Horsehoe, Golden Nugget, Silver Slipper and the Stardust. Around 150 of these neon signs, no longer wanted by the businesses that commissioned them, make up the Boneyard of the Neon Museum in Las Vegas.
The collection was actually started by YESCO (Young Electric Sign Company) - a family owned business began by Thomas Young in 1920. By 1948 YESCO was installing neon extravaganzas up and down the Las Vegas strip and creating landmarks along the way. Eventually their innovative and award-winning signs began appear all over the country. YESCO would often lease their signs rather than sell them, so when the logos were decommissioned they would revert back to the company that made them. Aware of their unique heritage, and proud of their innovative designs YESCO, began to store some of their favorites.
Soon the number of rescued signs exceeded the storage space, and as the word spread that the old classics had been saved, more and more people sought permission to visit. Rather than go into the museum business, YESCO helped start and support a group that did have that as their mission.
The Neon Museum started in 1997 with the goal of collecting, refurbishing and exhibiting that classic Las Vegas art form – the neon sign. A tour of The Boneyard makes it clear that the advertising has become not only a part of popular culture, but a form of public art.
The Neon Museum offers tours by advanced appointment only Tuesday through Saturday at 12 pm and 2 pm. The minimum donation for our tours is $15.00 per person. If you want to visit the Neon Museum, request a tour here.