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  1. Despite the few historic classic signs that lost their way into newer technologies and lost themselves it's apparent more and more that Neon's demand is back in the horizon by the consumer. We know more custom sign shops are preferring their fabrication to go all LED because they lack the technical "know how" & creative craftsmanship compared to the signs shops that are more diverse in their manufacturing integrating all light sources. These sign shops even go so far as to convince the minds of the consumer by feeding them made up and false brochure marketing claims such as the The Pillsbury Dough Boy Sign fiasco. But within the last year we've seen a turn around especially in the wholesale side of our industry. Demand for neon is coming back, via the consumer. If you're still doing neon then I'm sure you've seen how the competition is less and obviously this means the margin is higher.....well because if there aren't very many who have continued in the market or remember, well that means there isn't anyone around to compete. Chances are if you're still around doing neon, it means you were doing something rights and the low quality shops have been washed away leaning the market out. Matter of fact, if you're still fabricating & installing Neon you might want to stay ahead of the curve and integrate the word "Neon" back in your business name. Some shops over the years have chosen to toss the word "Neon" out of their business name because they didn't want the consumers to associate them with "just" Neon. Maybe not such a smart move after all, consumers who want to pay for what they get will be looking up shops with the word "Neon" because it will be a nich market, a specialty that won't be associated with "Sign Shop, or Graphics". On the story below, interesting how the shop owner chose not to accept any kind of rebate or subsidy for the revival of HIS sign. A light source that can stand on it's own and by it's own merit. Maybe that's just his character in understanding that he doesn't want to tax the taxpayers (his neighbors), or steal from Pete to give to Paul like some of these other state and energy tax rebate programs they give consumers by choosing light soures like LEDs (where government picks the winner not the consumer) that are more expensive that give an unfair advantage to justify undefined and false Return On Investment figures. This man should be applauded, he's doing it on his own, paying for his own project because he knows it will last, just like it has since 1965 with just a "little" bit of help. The California Sign Association Tree Hugger , or Broccoli Eater once prided herself in saying that "Green is not a trend, it's a migration". I said back then she didn't know what she was talking about and nothings changed today, she still doesn't know what she's talking about because she's still nothing more than a "Marketeer". Trust me when I say, Neon will snowball back into the market. Those outside of our industry (Light source manufacturers & Marketeers) tried their best to have it shamed out of the market place and in marketing guilt by using the fictitious "Green Movement" to mischaracterize all conventional light sources as a "dirty" word. A lot of the sign industry especially our leadership bought into it, they still do today. If you think about it, CCFL light sources are VERY efficient!!! Neon....LED....Fluorescent all have their place for signs. One thing I've always said, a successful shop/individual should do is always find that niche market and DO what the others AREN'T! Maybe I should stop giving away free unsolicited business advice on how to make money and stay ahead of the curve myself! Pocatello business refurbishes its sign: Project in keeping with Light up the Night effort POCATELLO — A businessman whose family has been in the shoe repair business since 1956 restored his shop’s street sign in keeping with the ongoing efforts to “Light up the Night.” “I took the old existing sign and had it totally repainted,” said Jerry Meyers, of Meyers Shoe Repair at 508 E. Center St. “I had all the neon fixed on it. I actually refaced it also. They put new metal on both sides to straighten it up. It really looks nice.” He took the sign to Blaze Sign and Graphic Design, which worked on it for three weeks before it was reinstalled on Friday. While the Light Up the Night committee offered Meyers grants to help cover the cost, he declined. “I didn’t feel right about it. I felt better doing it myself,” he said. Meyers’ inspiration came after several neighboring business opened up shop and repaired their signs. It also helped that Randy Dixon of the Light Up the Night Committee met with him about doing so. “He kind of helped convince me to go ahead and have the neon sign fixed. I got a bid to get the whole thing done and decided on what I was going to do from there. I just decided to have the whole thing fixed,” Meyers said. After nearly 60 years, the sign really needed an upgrade, he said. “The paint was peeling and everything. Everybody was putting in new signs and fixing things up. I followed suit and had my sign fixed up,” he said. He said it’s good to see the new sign. “I feel better when I come to work. Instead of looking up at an ugly old peeling paint sign, I see this one,” he said. The improvements are what the lighting committee has hoped for ever since it reinstalled the old Chief Theatre neon sign at its old location, according to Dixon. “Jerry did a great job,” he said. Neon signage proves an important issue in Pocatello, Dixon said. “It’s a hot item right now. I like to think that (Meyers) set an example. It’s a great decision. His sign may be the first of many signs that are updated, restored or repaired by business owners,” he said. The interest in neon signage got its boost thanks to the relighting of the old Chief Theatre sign about 18 months ago. The old sign spent 20 years in storage at the airport before being restored and placed in its former location. “When we see somebody like Jerry relighting his own sign, we are encouraged because it has caused excitement in the community,” Dixon said. Those old signs take people on a trip down memory lane while also establishing interest in Old Town Pocatello, Dixon said. “Our priorities have come back. There is a real honest moment of historic preservation. Old signs are public art. We’ve got to preserve our history; it’s our responsibility,” he said. It’s hoped that other businesses will follow suit in upgrading their old neon signs. “We’re trying to convince business owners to restore their signs as well. We can really create a historic feel and a great old town feel. It may even be a draw for tourism,” Dixon said. He noted that Las Vegas has an old neon sign display that’s turned into quite an attraction. "We’re never going to rival Vegas. I don’t think we’re trying to do that. What we’re trying to do is relight what we have. The potential is there to relight,” he said. The community has 25 or 30 really nice neon signs that the group hopes will be restored. “We’re certainly trying to get attention to Pocatello’s history with our neon signs,” he said. As for Meyers Shoe Repair, Jerry Meyers says that his customers have taken note of the refurbished sign, too. “So far, I’ve had some people tell me it’s great,” he said.
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