I used to muse, when we lived in Port Townsend, Washington (a quaint, touristy Victorian seaport, harshly split between granola crunchers from California and PT-born paper mill workers and others scrambling for a living) that a Hollywood Video store, complete with garish pink and orange neon, was needed on the main street, Water Street—or at least on the road into town—to add a bit of reality and discourage further migration from the south.
Now I learn that Las Vegas wants stimulus money for more neon—off the strip—because there’s not enough glitz “off the beaten path,” says the Wall Street Journal. The project “will revitalize a blighted neighborhood,” says the city’s spokesperson.
Now, I think I was wrong in my earlier thinking. Neon won’t necessarily scare away Californians and others who want to change communities…always for the better, of course. Neon won’t provide many additional jobs for locals in blighted neighborhoods in Vegas, but it might light their way home at night.