Uniquely Utah: Historic signs get new lease on light

Posted at 10:06 PM, Jun 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-06 00:06:43-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Businesses all over America rely on distinctive signs to capture the attention of potential customers.

This was especially true for local businesses long ago. Before websites, Facebook pages or television ads, having just the right sign could inspire customers to park their cars and come inside.

Utah was no exception. Main thoroughfares were bathed in blinking lights, and even the Hotel Utah's cupola and beehive were outlined in neon.

But over the decades, as new businesses replaced old ones, most of Utah's original, rusting, advertising signs got dumped. As a result, the few that remain have added value due to their rarity.

The Sugar House Community Council is now making great efforts to preserve a number of signs, which help give their neighborhood its distinctive flair. They offer to cover 50 percent of restoration costs if the current owner of a business with an aging sign agrees to pay for the other half. It's working. So far three signs have been restored.

Watch the video for more information, and to see which Sugar House signs are likely to get a new lease on light.