The Welcome to Las Vegas Sign on The Strip is one of the most iconic signs you’ll find anywhere in the world. I was curious about its origins and this is what I found.
Where is the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign on The Strip? The Welcome to Las Vegas Sign is found at 5100 Las Vegas Boulevard South. It’s located in the median of the road and is the iconic entrance to the famous Las Vegas Strip when heading into the city from the south.
The signs address: 5100 Las Vegas Boulevard is kind of funny in that the sign (along with most of the Las Vegas Strip) is actually located in the unincorporated town of Paradise which is about 4 miles from the actual Las Vegas city limits.
Table of Contents
- 1 Welcome to Las Vegas Must See Stop
- 2 How Old is the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign?
- 3 Is the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign Copyrighted?
- 4 Who Owns the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign?
- 5 Parking at the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign
- 6 Can You Walk to the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign?
- 7 Las Vegas Welcome Sign at Night
- 8 What Does the Other Side of the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign Say?
- 9 Notable Happenings at the Welcome Sign
- 10 Replica Welcome Signs
Welcome to Las Vegas Must See Stop
The sign has become a must-see stop on the way onto or off of The Strip. As such, the area around the sign can become very busy, especially on the weekends.
At peak times there is often a line of selfie seekers waiting for their turn to get the perfect souvenir picture. Frequently you’ll also see people taking their wedding pictures at the sign. Sometimes it’s just a newlywed couple and at other times it is an entire wedding party!
Early mornings are one of the best times to visit the sign if you want to avoid the crowds. Tourists in Vegas are not typically early risers 🤣Plus the way the sign is situated, the sun is in the best position for pictures prior to about noon.
How Old is the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign?
The 25 ft. Welcome to Las Vegas Sign was erected in 1959 by a company called Western neon. So as of this writing, the sign is 60 years old. The signs designer, Betty Willis, created the design for a local businessman who then sold it to the county (Clark County, Nevada).
Is the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign Copyrighted?
In fact, no the sign is not copyrighted. The designer Betty Willis intended the sign to be her gift to the city and was okay with it being in the public domain.
This is probably the biggest reason that the sign has become so famous all over the world. Since there is no copyright protection, people, businesses and organizations have been free to use the sign’s image on everything from t-shirts and coffee mugs to the Nevada State license plate.
Who Owns the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign?
Although the design is not copyrighted, the sign itself is owned. The current owner is the Young Electric Sign Company who in turn leases the sign to Clark County for the benefit of the city.
Clark County installed artificial turf around the base of the sign in 2007. The turf has four decorative playing cards inlaid into it.
The famous Las Vegas landmark was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.
Parking at the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign
Prior to as recently as 2008, the only way to access the sign was to run across the road. Risky business anywhere but even more so in Las Vegas. So in 2008, Clark County undertook site improvements that created the parking lot and crosswalks. Now everyone who wants to can get pictures of the sign without risking life and limb.
Since the improvements, the sign sits in a wide spot in the median of the road. The small parking lot (parking lot has 32 spaces) can be accessed from Las Vegas Boulevard when you are heading south. There isn’t any access to the parking lot if your heading north toward The Strip. You’ll have to park over on the right-hand side of Las Vegas Blvd and use the crosswalk.
Can You Walk to the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign?
Technically yes you could walk to the sign but would you really want to? The sign is quite aways away from any of the other attractions or hotels on The Strip.
It wouldn’t be that pleasant of a walk and in summertime could give you heatstroke 🥵My suggestion is to drive or hop in an Uber or Lyft.
If you really want to walk get to Excalibur and take the free tram to Mandalay Bay and walk from there. It’ll be about a 15-minute walk to the sign (one way).
Las Vegas Welcome Sign at Night
Nighttime can be a blast at the sign. Of course, at night the sign is all lit up and the whole parking lot and small grounds around the sign can become a party zone with limos and taxis pulling in and out.
The parking lot is open 24 hours a day so anytime is a good time to check out the sign.
What Does the Other Side of the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign Say?
While you may be aware that the front of the sign says “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada” you may not know what the sign says on the other side.
When driving south heading out of Las Vegas you’ll be able to see that the sign says “Drive Carefully, Come Back Soon.”
Notable Happenings at the Welcome Sign
- In January 31, 2008 the lights on the sign turned red to support the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women event
- March 28, 2009 the sign went dark for 1 hour in observance of Earth Hour
- May 14, 2009 the sign made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for being part of the largest bikini parade
- October 5, 2017 artist Greg Zanis placed 58 crosses behind the sign to remember the 58 victims killed in the Vegas shootings four days earlier
Replica Welcome Signs
There are or have been a couple Welcome to Las Vegas replica signs around town over the years.
The first one was a lit sign that was installed in 2002 on Las Vegas Boulevard and 4th street. It actually correctly marked the border of the city of Las Vegas. Unfortunately, a truck crashed into it and destroyed it in 2016. It was not rebuilt.
The second one is a smaller version that is currently installed on Boulder Highway near Tropicana Ave. This sign was put up when the casinos along the “Boulder Strip” got together because they wanted to have their own sign. Like the original, it does not accurately represent the border to the actual city of Las Vegas.
Find out about more fun things to do and see in Las Vegas on our website here.
Download our free Las Vegas Strip map here.
What do the circles in the Welcome to Las Vegas sign represent? The seven circles containing the letters for the word “Welcome” represent silver dollars. These silver dollars represent Nevada via its nickname of “The Silver State.”
Where does the Strip start and end? The Strip starts at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign on the southern end of the Strip and officially ends at Sahara Avenue right by the SLS Hotel and Casino.