Did you know visiting the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is among the free things you can do in Las Vegas? Yes, taking pictures in front of or around the Las Vegas sign is free for any passerby who wants an Instagram-worthy shot.
The world-famous sign is known by almost anybody who has ever watched Hollywood movies or happened to stumble upon Las Vegas souvenirs like t-shirts, hats, or mugs. Despite its vast popularity, the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign holds much mystery unbeknown to even Las Vegas residents.
Read on to get to know everything surrounding Las Vegas’ most famous sign and how it came to be. Keep reading to learn a few fun facts about the sign and what you may know to surprise your fellow travelers on your next visit.
Where Is the Welcome To Las Vegas Sign?
Very few people are aware that the Vegas sign is located outside the Las Vegas city limits. This means that it is technically not part of Las Vegas. Contrary to popular belief, the fabulous Las Vegas sign does not mark the start of the Las Vegas Strip either since it is four miles outside the city limits.
However, since it is still inside the metropolitan region of Las Vegas, many people count it as a Las Vegas staple, and who can blame them? It is an iconic sign that has deep-rooted ties to the city.
- Address: 5100 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89119
- Admission Fee: Free
- Open Hours: Daily 24 hours
With that said, the iconic Las Vegas sign is located a few miles south of the Strip, near the entrance to the ever-busy city center. It is about a 15 minutes walk from Mandalay Bay and a few minutes farther from the Excalibur, Luxor, MGM Grand, and the Tropicana.
The sign is situated across from Bali Hai Golf Club on the west roadside and less than a mile from the Russel Road exit at Interstate 15.
Adjacent to it is a small parking lot that was specifically built to manage the traffic that the ever-popular sign caused around the area. Please remember that the parking has limited space and is only accessible from Las Vegas Boulevard’s southbound lanes.
How to Get to the Las Vegas Sign
One thing to remember before visiting the sign is that there is always a long line. Many visitors take a snap or two during their visit, leading to a huge crowd forming right in front of the sign. You may wait up to 2 hours to get a clear photo.
Early mornings are the less busy times, and you may get a few shots at night when many visitors are busy partying the night away. Regardless, if it is your first time in Las Vegas, a picture of the sign is almost a Biblical must.
With that out of the way, let us dive into the various ways to get to the sign:
If you are driving on the northbound lane (from California, Los Angeles, M Resort, or South Point), you will have to make a U-turn into the southbound lane to get into the parking lot. Space is limited (12 car parking only), and you will usually have to wait before confidently letting your engine rest in the parking space.
There is no convenient time when you can get a lot of room in the parking lot, but the early morning hours are a good bet. Once you have parked, proceed to get out of the parking space and walk to the iconic landmark for your photo op.
- Uber/Lyft or Taxi
Uber and Lyft are the most convenient ways of accessing the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign, but they are more expensive. The ride is quicker from the sign, but you only need to walk from your stop after taking the vehicle from the Strip.
- Las Vegas Deuce
The Deuce is a Las Vegas service from Downtown to the Las Vegas Strip. The Deuce bus stop is just next to the historical sign, and you will only have to spend up to $6 for any particular ride on the bus (bus fares can be as low as $3).
Feel free to check with the bus service. It is also important to note that the bus only passes by the area once every 15 minutes.
- Las Vegas Tour Buses
There are many tour buses that are highly recommended for first-timers in Las Vegas. They will take you through many of Vegas’ iconic landmarks, including the Welcome to Las Vegas sign.
7 Interesting Facts About the Fabulous Las Vegas Sign
1. It was designed by Betty Willis in the late 1950s, but she did not copyright the sign
A salesman, Ted Rogich, hired Betty Willis to design the sign in the late 1950s. Ted later sold the sign to Clark County, and it was put up in May 1959.
Betty Willis did not get any dividends from the sale or subsequent usage of the sign-in media platforms since she did not copyright it initially. Because of this, people can freely make clothes branded with the Vegas sign without breaking any copyright laws. However, some restrictions have existed since the Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO) acquired the sign in the early 1960s.
2. General Public can use the sign in their media, provided it is under YESCO’s specific guidelines:
- The use of the sign should not interfere with the intellectual property rights of the sign since YESCO has exclusive rights to it.
- The use of the sign should not obscure the YESCO logo that is printed at the bottom side of the sign.
- The usage should not violate YESCO’s trademark rights or be used in competition against YESCO.
- The usage should only entail the installation of a replica of the sign if it is in partnership with YESCO or by YESCO alone.
- The usage should not depict anyone or any organization in a negative light, including YESCO, Las Vegas City, Nevada Tourism, or Clark County.
3. It is completely free to visit and shoot at the Vegas Sign
One thing you will notice when visiting the sign is the many photographers and performers in the area.
Please keep in mind that the Vegas sign is a free attraction that you do not pay for. Anyone who takes your pictures or performs for you at a small fee in the area is doing it out of their free accord to get some tips.
Please do not feel pressured or obliged to pay for their services. Your camera and a few shots at the sign will do you just fine. However, if you like the convenience and professionalism, you can pay a few bucks to have your picture taken.
4. The sign is listed in the National Register of Historic Places
The sign is not only an iconic structure but also a historic place & landmark. It was added to the directory of State Historic Places in 2013.
5. Betty Willis Day was added to Clark County
In 2015, Betty Willis died in Nevada, and the commissioners made the memorable decision of making May 5th Betty Willis Day in honor of her contribution to Las Vegas City.
6. There have been Four Similar Replica Signs in Vegas
The first replica was erected in 2002 by the City Council at 4th Street and Las Vegas Boulevard, but it was short-lived when an accident saw its demise in 2016.
The second replica was constructed in 2007 on Boulder Highway. A third sign was opened in Fremont Street Experience, and the fourth one was recently constructed in 2022 at the Chapel of the Flowers.
7. There is a Live Cam Showcasing Current Events at the Sign
Tune in to the earthcam to see live footage of what is happening at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign today. The camera gives you a glimpse of what the traffic looks like at different times of the day and week so that you can be able to plan your visit and also enjoy the show from the comfort of your home.
Also Read: Best Las Vegas Live Cameras