Vegas Vic Neon Sign Gets Much-Needed Repairs

An iconic Las Vegas neon sign, Vegas Vic, was recently repaired following months of neglect.

The Fremont Street fixture, first erected in 1951, looks better than ever thanks to the efforts of the YESCO sign company. (Before you point it out, we understand “YESCO sign company” is redundant, as YESCO stands for Young Electric Sign Company, so it’s like saying “ATM machine.” We love your freakish attention to detail.)

Here’s a look at Vegas Vic following his rejuvenation surgery!

Vegas Vic Las Vegas

The neon king of smokin’ and cow-pokin’ is back! Speaking of cowpokes, awkward fact: Bestiality was legal in Nevada until 2017.

Vegas Vic made his debut in 1947, first at the Chamber of Commerce building. Shortly thereafter, he began to stand watch over the Pioneer Club.

Vegas Vic neon sign

Don’t be alarmed if you experience southerly moistness after gazing into Vegas Vic’s piercing blue eyes.

The Pioneer Club casino closed in 1995. Now, it’s a gift shop.

In fact, it was the Pioneer gift shop owner, Haim Gabay, who paid to have Vegas Vic repaired. Gabay is the former owner of the Bonanza Gift Shop, touted as the world’s largest gift shop. He sold Bonanza for $50 million in 2016.

Technically, the responsibility for maintaining Vegas Vic falls to the owner(s) of the building, in this case Schiff Enterprises. The owners have apparently been unresponsive to ongoing requests to get Vegas Vic back up to snuff. Duly noted, Schiff Enterprises.

Vegas Vic Fremont Street

When Vegas Vic first went up, he was the biggest neon sign in Nevada.

While the 40-foot-tall Vegas Vic is looking infinitely better than in recent months, he’s not the man he used to be.

Originally, Vegas Vic had a moving arm (it stopped moving in 1991) and featured audio saying, “Howdy Podner,” among other things.

In addition, a portion of Vic’s cowboy hat was trimmed away when the Fremont Street Experience was build in 1995.

Vegas Vic

Look closely and you can see where Vic’s hat was trimmed to accommodate the curve of the Viva Vision video screen.

Worth noting: The red circle in Vic’s pocket is a Durham Tobacco tag hanging from a yellow string. Vic presumably rolled his own.

Vegas Vic’s repair has sparked questions about his counterpart, Vegas Vickie.

Vegas Vickie was taken down in July 2017 (see below), and was recently transported to YESCO for a renovation. Vickie will return to Fremont Street in the new Circa Las Vegas resort in December 2020.

Vegas Vickie

Oh, like we were going to miss a chance to share this photo. Do you know this blog at all?

Vegas Vic and Vegas Vickie were married in 1994. We can’t wait to see the pair reunited again following their legal separation.

Big thanks to the entities, governmental and otherwise, who kept the pressure on to get Vegas Vic back to his former glory.

Vegas Vic is an irreplaceable part of Vegas history, like the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, and it warms our cockles to see him looking so sharp again.

12 thoughts on “Vegas Vic Neon Sign Gets Much-Needed Repairs

  1. Tom

    Glad to see they fixed him growing up here I remember hearing him from my house when he would say howdy partner it was pretty cool.

    Reply
  2. Tom

    Just wondering if the city has any ordance on the neon signs on the strip being up to par noticed the Coca-Cola sign needs some touch up as well as m&m world.

    Reply
  3. WILLIAM WINGO

    From the article it’s not clear whether they fixed Vic’s moving arm(s). I suspect not–it was probably just a rework of the neon tubing.
    Vic’s Southern cousin, River Rick at the Pioneer in Laughlin, was completely overhauled a few years ago and for a while was fully lit up with moving arms and all. More recently, he’s been completely dark and immobile.
    https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g45964-i292-k10229942-River_Rick_is_dead_long_live_River_Rick-Laughlin_Nevada.html
    But if you want deteriorating signage, just check out the Rio–for starters.

    Reply
  4. Rob McCoy

    Iconic. We need to maintain it and keep it in place. A smaller version of Vegas Vic is part of the Nevada Motel sign at the Neon Museum and of course the famous “Howdy Podner” is part of our BRILLIANT show at the Museum.

    Reply
  5. A

    Fun fact: There’s a hidden gem bistro in the Arts District that serves the best warm cockles in Vegas, flown in daily from West Hollywood. Enjoy…..

    Reply
  6. WILLIAM WINGO

    If I read it correctly, Schiff [the building owner] didn’t get the $50 mil; Mr. Gabay [the gift shop owner/operator] did. So it was very nice of him to do it even though it wasn’t his primary responsibility. Besides, restoring Vic might spiffy up the place and bring in more business.
    And of course these days, $50 mil doesn’t go as far as it used to. We read right here on this blog not long ago how Caesars was sold and the CEO made $94 mil in one day; and eight years later they were $24 billion [with a ‘b’] in debt. “A million here, a billion there–pretty soon you’re talking about real money.” Senator Everett Dirksen, misattributed. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Everett_Dirksen

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.