Harleys, A Sign & Bruno Mars

The Las Vegas Harley-Davidson store, one of three in the greater Las Vegas area, is located at 5191 S. Las Vegas Boulevard. The tall sign can be seen for miles.  Photo by Diane Taylor
The Las Vegas Harley-Davidson store, one of three in the greater Las Vegas area, is located at 5191 S. Las Vegas Boulevard. The tall sign can be seen for miles.
Photo by Diane Taylor

I subscribe to a “breaking news” service from local Las Vegas Channel 13, and I can’t tell you the number of times I have seen news of another motorcycle accident. That being said, I’ve long had a curiosity about the huge Harley-Davidson store that opened a year and a half ago on Las Vegas Boulevard. Hard to miss that store with its tall sign and large letters in front of the building.

So, this past week I finally drove into the Harley parking lot intending to do a video tour of the store. The first gentleman I encountered couldn’t have been friendlier, but he told me I first had to talk to the marketing lady who “handles” the press. She, too, was lovely even when she “checked with corporate” or some such and very nicely told me that videos wouldn’t be allowed. I’m not an Asian copycat or an undercover filmmaker, but OK, those are the rules.

For those who can't look up at a sign, a ground-level sign in huge letters proclaims Las Vegas Harley-Davidson.  Photo by Diane Taylor
For those who can’t look up at a sign, a ground-level sign in huge letters proclaims Las Vegas Harley-Davidson.
Photo by Diane Taylor
This somewhat modest Harley is available for souvenir photos in the store; otherwise, customers are not encouraged to sit on display cycles.  Photo by Diane Taylor
This somewhat modest Harley is available for souvenir photos in the store; otherwise, customers are not encouraged to sit on display cycles.
Photo by Diane Taylor

But I couldn’t help but look around. A good deal of the 65.000-square-foot venue is a huge retail store. I could dress like a very cool rider, but I would need cash. One of my favorite leather vests was $181.95. A Harley-Davidson helmet was $198.95 and a pair of leather gloves was $88.95. If I want a motorcycle, I could probably spend somewhere between $7500 to $40,000 for a two-wheeled “hog” and, as I was told, a three-wheeler “for the older crowd” would run close to $35,000. If I needed the help of Harley-Davidson Financial Services, that is available as well. OR, one could rent a motorcycle for something like $200 a day. Bike parts and repairs are available at the store, as is a sort of cafe called the “Recharge Zone” where snacks, drinks, an ATM and wi-fi are available. Finally, for those tourists who want simply to have a photo on a Harley, a motorcycle is parked in front of an indoor Las Vegas sign. Folks can get on this Harley for a souvenir photo. Nice. And yes, the Harley-Davidson folks do have classes on motorcycle safety, “a must” I was told by one of the store clerks. That’s for sure.

This was the crowd Friday morning at the Las Vegas sign.  Photo by Diane Taylor
This was the crowd Friday morning at the Las Vegas sign.
Photo by Diane Taylor

On the morning I visited the Harley-Davidson store, customers were few, but across the way, at the REAL Las Vegas sign, the lineup was among the longest I’ve seen. Yet the temperature was well past 100 degrees. “Helping” to take photos was a gentleman who actually had a microphone and a sign taped to the back of his shirt guaranteeing that he would take a professional photo; his services were FREE, but donations would be appreciated “to help me support my family”. His service was very good, and he looked “almost” official. The parking lot wasn’t full, so a number of the folks in line had simply walked down Las Vegas Boulevard in the heat to the sign. Pictures at the Las Vegas sign go all over the world.

Lots of good information is at the sign telling its history (designed in 1959 and built for $4000) and a description of the three solar trees that were designed to offset 100% of the annual electrical usage of the animated sign. One Crime Stoppers sign that I hadn’t noticed before but I did notice when parking my car, said, in bold letters: LOCK your car; TAKE your keys; HIDE your belongings. I assume the sign was the result of….. Amazing.

"Free" photos were available Friday morning as this gentleman used visitors' cameras to snap souvenir pictures. Photo by Diane Taylor
“Free” photos were available Friday morning as this gentleman used visitors’ cameras to snap souvenir pictures.
Photo by Diane Taylorr
A warning to eager posers at the Las Vegas sign.  Photo by Diane Taylor
A warning to eager posers at the Las Vegas sign.
Photo by Diane Taylor

Lastly, I have an “excerpt” video to present. The video was taken last Tuesday in the Copa Room of Tuscany Suites & Casino. Local entertainer Kenny Davidsen presented one of his “playlists” evenings. Tuesday it was the songs of Bruno Mars. Davidsen has lots of entertainer friends, and when he does a playlist evening, those friends agree to participate. What amazed me about the Bruno Mars evening was the enthusiasm and talent of everybody involved, not to mention the sexiness of some of the numbers. I have three of my own videos and one by Davidsen’s mom, Rita Davidsen, on this excerpt. The evening’s hosts were Jassen Allen and Philip Drennen. The room was packed, a real tribute to Davidsen building so many friendships and fans in his five years in Las Vegas. A volunteer horn section was even part of the show. Here’s Davidsen’s list of guest singers: Eric Sean, James Simpson, Jason Andino, Ricardo Antonio, Amanda Avila, Stephanie Sanchez, David Nicoll, Stephanie Calvert, Skye Dee Miles, Brandon Nix, Rockie Brown, Kevin Mullinax, Savannah Smith, Justin Michael Rodriguez, Ted Zervoulakos, Marlana Dunn, Christina Shaw, Lannie Counts, Heath Burgett, Sarah Hester Ross, Sandra Huntsman, Joshua Smith, Nicole Kaplan Fenton, These Guys Worldwide (Jazarri Smith, Erik Carlson, Josh Downtain, Thomas Nanthavongdouangsy), and Enoch Augustus Scott. Thanks also to the band: David Ramirez, Dennis Blair, David Braun, Kevin Mullinax, Isaac Tubb and Rob Stone,and back-up singers Jerry Jones, and Sandra Huntsman! Wow!

Comments

3 responses on “Harleys, A Sign & Bruno Mars

  1. Too bad Harley Davidson would not let you take pictures.
    The video stuff looked kinda fun. You do get around for such a youthful person.

  2. Interesting article about the Harley Davidson and thank you for the article about Kenny Davidsen’s Playlists: Bruno Mars

  3. I heard those folks taking pictures for tourists are posing as ‘Official’ photographers for the city or the sign or such…although of course they accept tips.

Comments are closed.