Long but very interesting article.

It actually wasn't the first welcome sign in Vegas. This one was there in 1930, but was torn down after locals complained it was ugly.

The sign was designed by a woman named Betty Willis, who despite having designed it 60 years ago, was alive until 2015.

Betty may have consciously or subconsciously ripped off the two Riviera signs from 1955 and 1957:

The WELCOME letters on the original sign were made to look like silver dollars, which were spit out by slot machines at the higher denominations.

The sign was actually dangerous to access for almost 50 years, without any parking spots or pedestrian walkway. The city finally installed both of these things in 2008.

By 1967, I-15 was taking a lot of travelers from California into Las Vegas, and they didn't pass through the area with this sign anymore, making it less seen and less relevant. However, parts of Vegas were still inaccessible by I-15. By 1974, I-15 completely stretched through Vegas.

In December 2008, shortly after the sign was made more accessible to tourists, six inches of snow fell in Vegas, which was the second most received in recorded history there.