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Las Vegas Boulevard Gateway Arches & Showgirls

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Sep 13, 2022 - 01:54 AM

Illuminated arches that are 80 feet tall now form a gateway to downtown Las Vegas. They are located on Las Vegas Boulevard between St. Louis and Bob Stupak avenues at the base of The STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod. Now visitors have another #OnlyVegas experience to enjoy while in Las Vegas.

The original “Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas” sign is located about one mile south of Mandalay Bay at 5200 Las Vegas Blvd South.  Owned by Clark County, it was designed by Betty Willis and erected in 1959.

Background

The idea for the archway came in July 2016 when the Welcome to Downtown Las Vegas sign was destroyed when hit by a car.

We started looking at signage options to let people know they were entering historic downtown.

Conceived and designed by Selbert Perkins Design and fabricated and installed by YESCO, the 102-year-old company synonymous with Las Vegas’ most iconic signs, the archway marks travelers’ official arrival into the city of Las Vegas. The arches cross over Las Vegas Boulevard in the area between St. Louis and Bob Stupak avenues and feature they city’s script logo designed and created by Victoria Hart.

The contract and funding from the General Fund for the project was approved by the Las Vegas City Council Sept. 4, 2019. Construction began in March 2020 on the $6.5 million project that made its debut Nov. 18, 2020.  The project  employed approximately 80 people from a variety of construction trades.

Fun Facts  

  • One leg of the Gateway Arches weighs 18,400 pounds.
  • Number of lights on the arches: 13,016.
  • City of Las Vegas emblem measures 20 feet by 40 feet and weighs 7,300 pounds.
  • The entire arch draws over 61,000 watts of power.
  • The arches are comprised of over 13,000 RGB light-emitting-diode (LED) pucks that are individually programmable.
  • Over 700 feet of fully programmable RGBW LED Flex Neon, each pixel is 4.92 inches.
  • Fully programmable, the color-changing sign contains more than 170 IP addresses.
  • Each arch leg spans 140 feet across Las Vegas Boulevard.
  • 900-plus LED lamps in the southern face of the hanging “Las Vegas” cabinet.
  • Four footings were drilled with a drill rig and are 20 feet in depth by 4 feet wide with a steel reinforced cage.

Gateway Arches Compliment Showgirl Sign

A short distance from the gateway arches is the showgirl sign that features dice, poker chips stacked high enough to sit on, a roulette wheel, the city of Las Vegas logo and 50-foot-tall showgirls on the corner of Main Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. Elements of the sign light up, so it’s gorgeous in the daytime or at night. Bonus – this hidden gem on Las Vegas Boulevard next to The Strat is hardly ever as crowded as most of the other outdoor spots. This photography spot out-Vegases any other selfie spot in the city. The sign is located at 1810 Las Vegas Blvd. South.  These new showgirl signs are double the height  of the prior showgirl icons installed in 2018, which each stood 26 feet tall. The new showgirls lit up for the first time at dusk Aug. 31, 2022.

  1. Each showgirl is 50 feet tall by 15 feet wide.
  2. Each showgirl weighs 6,800 pounds.
  3. The showgirls are internally illuminated with white LED. The headdresses are lit with exposed full-color LED pucks designed to scintillate or twinkle.
  4. Each headdress is more than 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide. They were fabricated separately and were the last elements to be installed after the showgirls’ graphic panels were installed.

Upgrading The Showgirls 

The previously installed, 26-foot-tall showgirl signs needed refurbishment due to weather damage. The 26-foot showgirls will be relocated farther north on Las Vegas Boulevard. They are scheduled to  be installed in the Las Vegas Arts District this fall on the corner of Fourth  Street and Las Vegas Boulevard, in front of the Las Vegas Deuce double-decker  bus stop.

  1. Each showgirl was 26 feet tall by 8 feet wide.
  2. Each showgirl weighed 3,250 pounds.
  3. The showgirls were internally illuminated with white LED modules.
  4. The headdresses were part of the graphic face and not separate.
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