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Popularity Of 'Fabulous' Las Vegas Sign Spurs Changes

Gone are the days when tourists risked their lives dashing across busy Las Vegas Boulevard to take a picture in front of the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign.

That tourism rite-of-passage mostly ended years ago after Clark County built a 10-space parking lot and enlarged the highway median that surrounds the sign.

But now because so many people line up to get pictures in front of the landmark, and the parking lot is continually full of vehicles and tourism buses, Clark County will spend $1 million to expand the lot again.

Aggregate Industries-SWR Inc. won the contract to add 21 parking spaces to the lot; two large spaces for charter buses are also included. Other improvements will include a new traffic signal, streetlights, crosswalks, a bus turnout and signage. A company spokesman said Tuesday construction will begin when it gets the final go-ahead from the county.

Once work has begun, the contractor has 75 days to complete the job. The 55-year-old iconic sign, located between Sunset and Russell roads on the Las Vegas Boulevard median near Mandalay Bay, is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

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Adding more space to the median is a long time coming. Worrying about tourist safety, county commissioners began talking about it more than two years ago.

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