The Vegas Vic sign in Las Vegas, NV, is one of Vegas’s most famous signs and one of the biggest tourist attractions of the Fremont Street Experience.
Vegas Vic has been a mainstay of Fremont Street since 1951, when he was built by the Young Electric Sign Company for The Pioneer Club.The sign was designed by Pat Denner and was based on a popular cowboy image initially used by the city’s Chamber of Commerce on postcards and other Vegas souvenirs since 1947.
Through the 1950s and early 1960s, Vegas Vic had a yellow shirt and winked, smoked a cigarette, waved and yelled “Howdy Pardner!” to folks passing by while a smoking cigarette moved around in his mouth. However, in 1966, Vegas Vic was silenced when, according to legend, actors Woody Strode and/or Lee Marvin had had enough of Vegas Vic’s greets and shot an arrow through him from a hotel window while in town filming scenes for the Richard Brooks film The Professionals. As a result of the damage, poor Vegas Vic stayed silent for the next couple of decades. He hasn’t waved since 1991 when his arm stopped working and his voice gave out for good in 2006.
In 1980, Vegas Vic’s relationship status changed when Vegas Vicky was erected across the street at the Girls of Glitter Gulch strip club. They were officially “married” in a “wedding ceremony” in 1994, but have been “separated” since 2017 when Girls of Glitter Gulch was demolished and the Vegas Vicky sign was temporarily removed. Fortunately for Vegas Vic (and the legions of neon lovers who love both signs dearly!), Vegas Vicky is expected to return to Fremont Street in 2020!
When he was created, his shirt was white with yellow plaid stripes. It remained that way until the 1970s, when his shirt was changed to solid yellow. His yellow shirt was again changed to a red and yellow plaid in 1998 when the sign underwent restoration.
Vegas Vic is one of three famous “neon cowboys” who have graced the city of Las Vegas over the past six or seven decades, but has been the most famous and the most enduring.
(Image Copyright: Antoine Taveneaux. Used via Wikimedia Commons per CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.)