LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — They’re bright, they’re eye-catching and they’re very effective. LED signs can also be a nightmare to keep up as designs get trickier and trickier.

We asked YESCO — the prolific sign company behind many of the most famous signs in Las Vegas — which sign is the biggest challenge to maintain. They’re the voice of experience, celebrating more than 100 years in the business.

Their answer: The Harmon “wall.”

The curved display above the northeast corner at the Strip and Harmon Avenue is spectacular, delivering ads for Las Vegas shows, Apple products, Taco Bell, Tsingtao beer — you name it — day and night, 24/7. But when maintenance is required, it’s an ordeal, as YESCO Senior Vice President Jeff Young describes:

“The only way to get to that entire giant screen is to rappel off the edge. Which, even to get up the edge, it’s an elevator, a roof, a ladder, a roof, and then another ladder … all the way to the parapet. And then we have certified rappelers that go off the edge to take care of that thing,” Young said.

The Harmon “wall” looms over the Strip. (Greg Haas / 8NewsNow)

“It’s not the only place we rappel, but it’s one of the largest screens we’ve done in town and so just in terms of scale, it has its complexities,” he said.

Keeping older signs running can be tough, too.

Young marvels at Vegas Vic, YESCO’s cowboy built in 1951 in downtown Las Vegas. It doesn’t move the way it used to, but he regards it as a phenomenon of engineering. “His arms functionally moved for 50 years for 24 hours a day,” Young said

“Eventually he developed a little shimmy in his shimmy, and the counterbalances started to hit the structure, so we realized with a little bit of age, we had to shut him down, the moving arms that is,” Young said. “But he’s still alive and well and in great shape under that beautiful canopy at Fremont Street.”

A display at “Lighting Up Las Vegas,” an exhibit that’s running now at the Arts District, describes the renovations that have been done to the “Vegas Vic” sign. (Greg Haas / 8NewsNow)

Young also remembers a nervous moment as Derek Stevens hosted the official opening at the Circa hotel on Dec. 28, 2020. Stevens chose to use the famous Vegas Vicki sign as a backdrop to the opening. The sign had been lowered into the hotel before construction was complete — it would have been too big to bring in later.

As the opening approached, Vicki stopped kicking her leg, Young said. The company worked feverishly to get the sign working again before the opening, and somehow Vicki started kicking again.

Restoration stories aside, it’s the Harmon wall that presents YESCO’s biggest challenge today.

“There are more LEDs on that corner that we can think of than anywhere that we know of,” Young said. “If you consider the Cosmopolitan and the Harmon sign across the street, and Planet Hollywood … there’s a lot of LEDs burning there, and we’re taking care of all those.”