Iconic Cowboy Bar neon sign will be restored

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – It’s been a visual anchor downtown for 70 years but down it will come next week…just for renovation.

The upper section of the iconic Million Dollar Cowboy Bar sign is slated to come down on Tuesday, March 13 for a complete restoration of the upper portion of the sign. The lower portion will also be removed for restoration in the coming weeks.

Newspaper clipping from the Courier c1946. (Andy Shinkle Facebook)

The restoration will take place in compliance with the guidelines set by the Historical Preservations Board as outlined in a letter to Town of Jackson dated February 27, 2018 and subsequent letter to Silver Dollar, Inc. from Senior Planner, Tyler Valentine. The sign will be down for approximately six weeks.

Silver Dollar, Inc. president Jim Waldrop stated, “We are most grateful to the Historical Preservation Board and the Town of Jackson for recognizing the historical significance of this iconic sign. We are all committed to a restoration and preservation of the sign that this community will be very proud of.”

The sign restoration will include matching original colors, materials and the iconic neon will also remain.

“We felt like the neon was truly a signature part of the sign, so we will be refurbishing it as well with the original neon colors to remain in place,” Waldrop added.

The neon sign was installed in the late 1940s. Most believe in 1946. It was the source of some skepticism as the first of its kind. Many locals calling it the beginning of a new age in Jackson ala Las Vegas. After neon signs at the Virginian Lodge and Teton Gables, town ordinance was enacted to ban neon signs.

Silver Dollar, Inc. is the management entity for The Wort Hotel, The Wort Plaza Shops & Properties and The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.  Baxter Properties, WY and Principal Bill Baxter have owned The Wort Hotel since 2004, Wort Plaza since 2009 and The Cowboy Bar since early 2018.

The Cowboy Bar in the late 1940s-early 1950s. (Esther Dopyera Livingston Facebook)
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