By Erik Sine
Woman who designed "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign dies
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The woman who came up with a neon sign that has welcomed countless visitors to "fabulous Las Vegas" since 1959 has died.
Betty Willis, credited with designing the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign, died in her Overton, Nevada, home on Sunday, according to an obituary on the Virgin Valley & Moapa Valley Mortuaries' website.
The 91-year-old artist's often-copied sign sits in a median in the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard south of the Strip.
"It's the most recognizable icon in the world," said Danielle Kelly, executive director of The Neon Museum in Las Vegas, where the signs of Sin City's past are retired and on display.
The welcome sign's design, which doesn't have a copyright owner, has become a fixture on travel tchotchkes from Vegas and everywhere else, Kelly said. She has a T-shirt from San Francisco with that city's name swapped in for Las Vegas in front of the sign's recognizable shape, she said.
"The fact that everyone loves that sign and its design after all these years is a testament to Betty's talents," Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak said. "There is probably no bigger Las Vegas icon than that sign."
In 2009, the sign was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Kelly called Willis' designs dazzling and said her personality was akin to a strong, fast-talking female lead in movies like "His Girl Friday."
"A little salty, a little irreverent," Kelly said with fondness. "I thought she was a classic broad."
Willis, born in 1923 in the small town of Overton northeast of Las Vegas, worked as a commercial artist in Los Angeles before returning to Las Vegas, where she worked for sign companies and designed the famous diamond-shaped beacon of flashing lights.
The sign has become such a popular photo backdrop that a parking lot for cars and tour buses in the middle of the street was expanded in 2012.
Willis also designed neon signs for the Moulin Rouge casino and Blue Angel motel in Las Vegas.
By Erik Sine
The Sign Syndicate "Meet & Greet" 2015 - ISA Expo
- 2012 Orlando Meet & Greet
- 2013 Las Vegas Meet & Greet
Alright, well this is the official Sign Syndicate 2015 Meet & Greet Thread.
ALL ARE WELCOME
CENTRA BAR - Luxor Hotel
APRIL 10 Friday, 2015
6:00 PM - 8:00PM
Same place as our 2013 Meet & Greet, for those who showed up. The Vegas Meet is never as large as Orlando I don't expect a large crowd and that's because well.....there's just too much to do in Vegas! BUT, we'll have our annual meet at the Centra Bar Located right in the middle of the Luxor Hotel casino floor.
Look for us, Kirstie & I will be there with beverage in hand, we'll be the group with bright LED "blinkies" attached to our shirts, necks, or fingers. Come on by and introduce yourself, and of course have a beverage!
After the Meet we'll go and get into trouble somewhere, just not sure where.....but it'll happen!!!
Please chime in if you plan on stopping by so I have an idea about how many blinkies to bring with me or you can always email us firstname.lastname@example.org or call us 858-880-1400
Centra Bar Map, so you can find it/us!
What it looks like the last time we were there, things change!
By Erik Sine
We'll be staying at either at the Luxor or Excalibur and will be doing a road trip for this one since we're so close.
There has been some talk of doing something jointly with a few vendors as far as a meet goes but at the very least we'll meet up at the Centra Bar located in the middle of the casino floor at the Luxor Hotel if nothing gets done for that Friday Night. After all, it's Vegas and the turn out for these things is usually pretty small compared to Orlando where there really isn't anything to do over there. Vegas has waaaaay too many distractions and we plan on being distracted and getting into some trouble ourselves
I'm looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and well as putting a face with a name.
By Erik Sine
Some bad news.
We'll most likely be taking a pass this year with attending the Orlando ISA Expo as well as having a Syndicate Meet & Greet. We have too much going on this year. We might make it last minute and if we do we'll let you all know and maybe we can have a small intimate meet at a pub or something.
I think this is the year that the Western States Sign Show is on later in the fall here in so cal, so we'll probably do that.
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