Last updated: 12:21 PM ET, Tue April 21 2015

Iconic Las Vegas Sign Designer, Betty Willis, Passes Away at 91

Destination & Tourism | Donald Wood | April 21, 2015

Iconic Las Vegas Sign Designer, Betty Willis, Passes Away at 91

When travelers make their way to Las Vegas, Nevada, one of the first things people see is the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” neon sign that stands in the median of Las Vegas Boulevard.

Unfortunately, the woman who is credited with designing the sign, Betty Willis, passed away Sunday in her Overton, Nevada, home at 91 years old, according to The Associated Press.

The sign has become a piece of Las Vegas history, taking visitors back to a time in the city when the neon lights were everywhere and the good times flowed. The sign is so iconic that it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

Clark County Commissioner, Steve Sisolak, told The AP, “The fact that everyone loves that sign and its design after all these years is a testament to Betty's talents. There is probably no bigger Las Vegas icon than that sign.”

The official Twitter account of and Darko Promoter paid homage to the designer by sharing memorable images of her designs and her charming smile:

As the popularity of the welcome sign climbed through the years, city officials were forced to add a parking lot in 2012 and expanded the roads surrounding the sign to accommodate for the extra traffic.

Willis was a Las Vegas icon and a Nevada native. She moved to Los Angeles early in her career to become a commercial artist, but found her most success upon returning to Las Vegas. While the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign is her most famous, she also designed neon signs for the Moulin Rouge casino and Blue Angel motel.

Anyone who has ever visited Las Vegas or watched any television shows or movies based in or around the city knows exactly what the sign represents. While Willis may have passed away, her work will live forever as a part of Las Vegas history.

For more information on Las Vegas

For more Destination & Tourism News


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.

Xcaret: Experience All of Mexico in One Place

Hotels & Resorts