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Vegas Vic, Las Vegas

4.5
#25 of 36 in Sightseeing in Las Vegas
Landmark Tourist Spot
Vegas Vic is the unofficial, yet most widely used name for the Las Vegas, Nevada neon sign that resembles a cowboy that was erected on the exterior of The Pioneer Club in Las Vegas in 1951. The sign was a departure in graphic design from typeface based neon signs, to a friendly and welcoming human form of a cowboy. The sign's human-like abilities of talking and waving its arm constituted an immediate acceptance as the unofficial welcoming sign reproduced thousands of times over the years and all over the world. The trademark is currently owned by Pioneer Hotel, Inc. which owns and operates the Pioneer Hotel and Gambling Hall in Laughlin, Nevada. The sign can still be found at 25 E Fremont Street, where he has been since 1951 on the exterior of what used to be The Pioneer Club but is currently a souvenir shop. Pioneer Hotel, Inc. is the owner of the Pioneer Hotel and Gambling Hall along the Colorado River in Laughlin, Nevada that has a twin of the Vegas Vic image on another large sign referred to as River Rick.HistoryAlthough the Pioneer Club no longer operates as a casino, the 40ft neon cowboy that was its mascot still exists. In 1947, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce hired a West-Marquis firm to draw visitors to Las Vegas. The company then created the first image of Vegas Vic and his friendly "Howdy Podner" greeting. Due to the popularity of the cowboy, Young Electric Sign Company was commissioned to build a neon-sign version by the owners of the Pioneer Club. They then commissioned Pat Denner, who modeled it after the image in use by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. The neon version was complete with a waving arm, a moving cigarette, and a recording of "HOWDY PODNER!!!!!" every 15 minutes. Vegas Vic was then erected on the exterior of the Pioneer club in 1951 on the southwest corner of First Street and Fremont Street replacing the sign that simply said Pioneer Club with an image of a horse drawn covered wagon.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
30 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Not difficult to spot on Freemont Street, and definitely worth stopping for a photo op. Iconic Vegas sign.  more »
  • It was great to see iconic signs such as Vegas Vic! Ride the deuce to and from 'old' vegas to 'new' vegas. Best seen after sunset and before sunrise!  more »
  • Visiting with Friends walking Fremont Street. So much to see and do as a tourist. Places to eat, shops to check out and a zipline  more »

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Most Las Vegas hotels increase their room rates on the weekends, so if you have a flexible schedule, avoid Fridays and Saturdays and take advantage of package deals that include shows, meals, and gambling coupons. Remember also that if you stay at any one of the lively casino hotels, you may not be able to get a good night's sleep for the duration of your trip. If you come to Vegas to stay but not necessarily play, try one of the non-gaming hotels or explore the quieter areas surrounding the city.
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