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Vegas Vic: The Iconic Neon Cowboy that Watches Over Las Vegas


In the glittering landscape of Las Vegas, neon signs have long been synonymous with the city’s vibrant nightlife and entertainment. Among these, one stands tall—literally and figuratively—as an enduring symbol of Sin City. Meet Vegas Vic, the iconic neon cowboy sign that has been a beloved fixture of downtown Las Vegas for over six decades. Information can be found here.

The Birth of an Icon:

Vegas Vic made his debut in 1951, created by the Allied Arts Corporation as a part of the Pioneer Club’s innovative marketing strategy. The Pioneer Club, a downtown casino and hotel, wanted a unique and eye-catching sign to draw in patrons. The result was Vegas Vic, a towering neon cowboy, complete with a cowboy hat, boots, and a lasso, standing over 40 feet tall. See here for information about Symphony Park at The Smith Center: A Cultural Oasis in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Classic Design and Animation:

Vegas Vic’s design captures the essence of the American West with a touch of Vegas flair. His friendly, animated face and waving arm became an instant attraction. The sign was a technological marvel for its time, featuring moving parts that brought Vegas Vic to life. His friendly “Howdy, Podner!” greeting became a welcoming beacon for visitors entering the Fremont Street area.

Fremont Street Landmark:

Perched high above Fremont Street, Vegas Vic quickly became a beloved landmark, welcoming visitors to the bustling downtown area. The sign’s strategic location and charismatic design made it a popular meeting point for locals and tourists alike.

Preservation Efforts:

As Las Vegas continued to grow and modernize, there were concerns about the fate of classic neon signs like Vegas Vic. In the late 1990s, as part of a downtown revitalization effort, the City of Las Vegas took steps to preserve and protect these iconic signs. Vegas Vic underwent restoration in 1998, ensuring that this symbol of Las Vegas history and culture would continue to shine brightly for generations to come.

Neon Museum Homecoming:

In 2016, Vegas Vic found a new home at the Neon Museum, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and showcasing iconic Las Vegas signs. The Neon Museum’s “Neon Boneyard” became the final resting place for retired neon signs, and Vegas Vic’s move was a homecoming of sorts. 

Cultural Impact:

Vegas Vic isn’t just a neon sign; it’s a cultural touchstone that encapsulates the spirit of Las Vegas. The sign has been featured in countless movies, television shows, and documentaries, solidifying its status as a symbol of vintage Vegas. Artists, photographers, and historians celebrate Vegas Vic as a representation of the city’s rich history and the enduring allure of neon art.

A Symbol of Resilience:

Vegas Vic has weathered the test of time, standing tall through economic shifts, urban development, and technological advancements. As newer, sleeker structures rise in the city, Vegas Vic remains a steadfast reminder of the bygone era of neon glamour. In a city that constantly reinvents itself, Vegas Vic stands as a testament to the resilience of iconic symbols in the face of progress.


Vegas Vic, the neon cowboy, continues to be a beacon of nostalgia, welcoming visitors to the Neon Museum with his eternal “Howdy, Podner!” greeting. As Las Vegas evolves, this iconic sign preserves the city’s history, reminding us all of the magic, charm, and enduring legacy of vintage Las Vegas. 

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