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Peg Price | all galleries >> Galleries >> The Silver State > Vegas Vic
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5 March 2005 Peg Price

Vegas Vic

The Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas

"The Pioneer Club opened in 1942 and closed in 1995 and is now a souvenir shop. It is best remembered for its gigantic waving cowboy sign dubbed Vegas Vic. In the late 1940s, prior to Vic, The Pioneer Club had a neon sign on the roof across the street that included a cowboy's head. He had a moving neon thumb and neon text that said "Here It Is! The Famous Pioneer Club".This original sign no longer exists.

Vegas Vic and his counterparts, Wendover Will and Laughlin Lou, were created by Salt Lake City graphic artist Partrick Denner. His artwork of a cowboy in blue jeans with a yellow-checked shirt and red bandanna was used by YESCO to build the 60' signs. Vic was the first of the three cowboys and went up in 1951 at a cost of $25,000. At the time, it was one of the most expensive signs in Las Vegas and it is still is the largest mechanical neon sign in the world.

Vegas Vic had a waving arm and a moving cigarette which blew smoke rings. He also had a voicebox that enabled him to exclaim "Howdy Pardner". Vic became a symbol for Las Vegas and the infamous Glitter Gulch area of downtown. Nevertheless, he was neglected for many years (faded paint and his arm stopped waving)." He has recently been restored and is under the Fremont Street Experience canopy which is where this photo was taken.
Vegas Vic is seen in almost every movie ever made about Las Vegas.

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