VEGAS MYTHS BUSTED: Vegas Vickie Originally Went by Sassy Sally

Posted on: April 22, 2024, 07:13h. 

Last updated on: April 22, 2024, 09:53h.

Vegas Vickie, Vegas Vic’s better neon half, is the victim of a salacious rumor that has her performing in her early years under a different name — as strippers often do.

Vegas Vickie is a neon cowgirl decked out in a 10-gallon hat and form-fitting fringed outfit. One of her legs — either the left or right, depending on your viewing angle — used to kick skyward. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Actually, make that two myths, because Vickie wasn’t installed atop a strip club, as is almost universally claimed. Glitter Gulch became a strip club in 1991, but poor innocent Vickie had nothing whatsoever to do with that.

It’s moving day for Vickie, as she gets transported to a storage warehouse in 2017.  Note how both her legs align in this position. (Image: Getty)

When she went up back in September 1980, Glitter Gulch was a casino. And her name was always Vickie, because owner Bob Stupak envisioned his casino’s rooftop draw as a female counterpart to Vegas Vic.

Vic — installed in 1951, back when his arm still waved and he yelled “Howdy Podner!” at passersby — generated more business and publicity for the Pioneer Club than Stupak believed the low-frills casino deserved.

Stupak hired Charles Barnard, of Ad Art in Stockton, Calif., to design Vickie.

In a 2017 interview with the Stockton Record, Barnard recalled being told by the casino mogul: “I’d like to put up a cowgirl sign.” Instead of waving hi like Vegas Vic, Barnard instructed him, “I’d like to have her kicking.”

Barnard originally envisioned a pin-up girl drawn by George Petty. The animator’s titillating “Petty Girls” were a popular decoration on the nosecones of WWII warplanes.

However, Barnard told the newspaper, since securing the rights would have taken too long, “I just sat down and I started drawing a cowgirl seated on a big gold chunk.”

This photo explains the confusion over Vickie’s name. Sassy Sally’s operated from 1981 to 1999 and was replaced in 2001 by Mermaids Casino, yet the misnomer stuck. (Image: Stockton Record)

Barnard admitted that Vickie wasn’t modeled on his wife, Ellie, whose only comment to her husband about his neon cowgirl was that “I went overboard on the bosom.”

Less than a year after he opened it, Stupak sold Glitter Gulch to Herb Pastor, founder of the neighboring Golden Goose Casino. It was Pastor who, in 1991, combined the two locations into a strip joint he called the Girls of Glitter Gulch.

Pastor kept Vickie up top, but by then, she no longer kicked. In fact, that mechanism broke about six months after the sign was installed, but Stupak wasn’t about to give his main attraction any sick leave.

Myth Understanding

Confusion about the neon cowgirl’s identity began in 1981, when Pastor opened another new casino next door to the Glitter Gulch.

Sassy Sally’s — which occupied the same space as the Silver Palace (1956-64), Carousel (1965-74), Gambler’s Hall of Fame (1974-76), and Sundance West (1976-1980) — had a bigger and brighter sign than the Glitter Gulch’s. And there was a female name already in it. (Sassy Sally was what Pastor’s children called their favorite babysitter.)

So, tourists commonly mistook Vickie for Sally.

Vegas Vickie and Vic get hitched in 1994. (Image: Scott Roeben/Vital Vegas)

A 2017 press release about Vegas Vickie’s removal misstated the common misnomer as fact, which resulted in many legit publications following suit.

The sign was “originally dubbed Sassy Sally, after the casino where she rode high over Fremont Street,” reads the story in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which adds that “later, Sally underwent a name change to Vegas Vickie, reflecting her 1994 ‘marriage’ to neighboring neon cowboy Vegas Vic.”,, and all also either cut-and-pasted the erroneous press release or assumed that a Las Vegas newspaper would know enough not to print myths about its own city’s history.

As of this writing, none of the articles has been corrected.

What Sign Are You?

At least everyone got the marriage part correct. Vic and Vickie were “wed” in a publicity stunt to celebrate the creation of the Fremont Street Experience in 1994.

Actually, they were married twice.

Vegas Vickie now resides in the hotel lobby at the Circa Casino. And her kicking leg kicks once again. An adjacent cocktail lounge at Circa is named in her honor.

“I had no idea they were already married,” Jeff Victor, former president of the Fremont Experience, told “So I came up with what I thought would be a fun and original idea.”

Sometime between 2005 and 2007, Victor recalled, he sent an officiant up in a scissor lift between them and pronounced them statue and wife. Again.

In 2017, Vickie was removed by downtown casino mogul Derek Stevens, so he could demolish the Girls of Glitter Gulch, Mermaids, La Bayou, and the Las Vegas Club to build his Circa casino resort where they all once stood.

Vickie had some work done — please don’t tell her we told you! — by the YESCO sign company, and now resides in Circa’s lobby, by a cocktail lounge named in her honor.

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