Vol. 5: Neon Signs in Las Vegas (2)

The hotels of Las Vegas are preoccupied with providing accommodation for the gamblers who visit the city at rates well below the level needed to make a profit. In the casino on the first floor, attractive bunny girls bring in free drinks to ensure that the customersf concentration remains permanently fixed on the game. In contrast, it is the function of neon signs to entice the guests of other hotels. The sparkle of brilliant neon signs acts like a light trap to allure gamblers with loose purse strings. This is why the casinos of Las Vegas do everything they can to attract people with lavish neon signs installed with no thought for expense.

The Holiday Inn hotel has a facade designed in the manner of a paddle steamer created entirely with a lavish display of neon signs. Looking up at the structure from a position by its side, one is struck by the absurdly tall chimney and the tire-shaped neon tubes floating in midair. Taking a closer look, one sees that the contrivance which creates this effect is deceptively simple: a wire rope from which wheel shapes are suspended set between two pillars. However, the way in which neon signs that one would normally expect to be fixed steady seem to be floating in midair is clearly an effect deliberately conceived by the designer. The neon signs of Las Vegas are all about ingenuity and providing people with pleasure.

1998 Copyright (c) All Japan Neon-Sign Association