Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas
A project like this only comes along every once in a while. Loctite Adhesives asked me if a house of cards could be glued, and my answer was that I was not sure because I had never glued anything. This became my first glued project. I was a bit worried about what people would think of me gluing something. Do I made a stipulation: the end product must float, fly, hang or do something the a freestanding house of cards cannot normally do? Enter the idea of building the iconic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. To top it off, the venue was to be at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas—a fitting choice.
It turns out that gluing a project takes forever. And, I discovered that you need to build a wooden structure inside large glued projects; otherwise, when you try to move them, the paper of the cards will otherwise tear and pull itself apart. This project had even more extra weight because it also contained dice and poker chips in the design, so the internal structure was even more important.
My favorite story about this project is that I loaded the sign into a truck in New Mexico where I had built it, and then drove it out to Las Vegas with a friend. The sign was traveling in many pieces that were to then going to be assembled onsite. When it was loaded on the moving truck, it really did not look impressive. Quite frankly, it looked like a pile of trash. So, when we tried to cross the Hoover Dam and the trailer got inspected by the Hoover Dam Police, they asked us to stop and throw the door up. What did they say? “Well gosh, guys, it looks like you’re just headed to the dump, right?” Of course this was hilarious until I got to thinking that in just an hour’s time we would pull up to a loading dock at the Rio Casino where the event was happening, and my client would be there waiting to see a first glimpse of the finished project as we rolled the truck door open. Fear consumed me at what they would see. Luckily the Loctite marketing team was very imaginative, and they watched in awe as we carefully took the many pieces out of the truck and put them together as they were intended to be. Last I knew, the sign was still hanging high in the rigging out of sight above the stage at the Rio, collecting dust after having had its moment in the spotlight centerstage at the WSOP tournament.