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Neon Museum in Vegas hits targets in first year

By: The Associated Press
March 9, 2014 Updated: March 9, 2014 at 2:00 pm
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LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Neon Museum in Las Vegas stayed in the black and hit its attendance projections almost perfectly in its first full year of operations, drawing more than 60,000 visitors into the outdoor space full of retired casino signs.

The downtown tourist attraction took in $1,956,903 in revenue and hosted 60,461 visitors in 2013. Eighty percent of the visitors came from out of town, and out of those, 25 percent were from overseas.

"The tours sell out well in advance," museum board chairman Bill Marion told the Las Vegas City Council Wednesday, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal (http://bit.ly/1ilULCu). "We'll do additional fundraising because we'd like to expand the collection and the programs."

The museum features more than 150 giant signs retired from casinos throughout Las Vegas. Some are fully restored and light up on their own, while most are lit by external spotlights.

The city is the land owner and the initial creator of the outdoor museum, which officially opened in October 2012 and is now an independent entity with nonprofit status. It leases the land to the nonprofit for $1 per year.

The staff includes nine full-time and 20 part-time employees and 30 volunteers.

General admission tickets are $18 for day tours and $25 for night tours, but the museum also makes money hosting special events including weddings and corporate parties. Officials said there were 48 special events held at the museum in 2013 and 247 photo shoots.

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