YESCO TURNS 100, REPRESENTS ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST MAKER OF ICONIC SIGNS

YESCO, a renowned company known for creating internationally recognizable signs, celebrates 100 years in business in 2020. Today, YESCO represents one of North America’s largest and most-recognized sign companies thanks to its historic roster of iconic signs.

The family-owned and operated company began in 1920 in Ogden, Utah when founder Thomas Young borrowed $300 from his father to start the business. It began specializing in wall-painted advertisements, gold-leaf window lettering and coffin plates.

Today, headquartered in Salt Lake City and helmed by second-, third- and fourth-generation members of the Young family, YESCO designs and creates the world’s most spectacular signs, incorporating dazzling color, LED displays, motion and digital animation and video. With three state-of-the-art manufacturing plants featuring automated and custom equipment, as well as sales and service offices located around the country the company continues to grow. YESCO also operates a franchise sign-and-lighting service business throughout the United States and Canada. “This year marks an extraordinary milestone for our family’s business,” says Jeff Young, vice president and chief marketing officer, YESCO. “Thanks to my grandfather’s vision and ingenuity during the pioneering days of sign design, along with the hard work of nearly 1,100 employees today, our company is – literally – looking ahead to a bright future.

A pivotal moment in the history of YESCO was its entry into the burgeoning Las Vegas market in 1932, with the iconic Boulder Club sign, which depicted a stein of flowing beer. With this sign and others, YESCO became a pioneer in incorporating neon into storefront advertising and acquired national recognition for its creativity. In 1945, the company opened a branch in Las Vegas, which today represents its largest.

Recognizable examples of YESCO’s work illuminate the United States and Canada. Notable projects include:

  • Hacienda Horse and Rider, Silver Slipper, Vegas Vic and Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, Las Vegas
  • El Capitan Theatre, Hollywood, California
  • The Forum, Inglewood, California
  • Snelgrove Ice Cream, featuring a giant, rotating ice cream cone, Salt Lake City
  • Iconic Olympic rings illuminating the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Salt Lake City
  • Denver International Airport, Denver
  • Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
  • Jackson’s Food Stores, Boise, Idaho
  • Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino Laveen, Arizona
  • Reno Arch, Reno, Nevada
  • Rogers Arena, Edmonton, Alberta
  • Signage for Las Vegas Raiders Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, opening in 2020.

YESCO Centennial Highlights

1920   Thomas Young borrows $300 from his father and creates the Thomas Young Sign Company. The company specializes in wall-painted advertisements, gold-leaf window lettering and coffin plates.

1932   YESCO begins servicing Las Vegas. First clients include the Boulder Club, with its sign depicting a stein of flowing beer. Young would become credited with pioneering the use of neon in storefront advertising and building a national reputation for creativity.

1942   Thomas Young, Jr., second generation, joins YESCO.

1945   YESCO opens a branch in Las Vegas.

1955   YESCO acquires Rainbow Sign Company of Southern Utah.

1958   Silver Slipper and Golden Nugget neon spectaculars are designed and built by YESCO; the massive Stardust sign and fascia cover the entire front of the building with flashing light bulbs, neon tubing, simulated stars and planets against a painted lunar background.

1959   A massive sign is designed, manufactured and installed for The Mint Hotel and Casino. Acknowledged as the electrical engineering classic sign of its time, the majestic sign’s curved and arched form towered 96 feet above “Glitter Gulch,” as Las Vegas’ Fremont Street was known.

1962   YESCO designs, builds and installs a new sign for Snelgrove’s Ice Cream in Salt Lake City, featuring a fabulously popular rotating ice cream cone.

1964   YESCO acquires Sierra Neon and Western Neon (which created the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign), and YESCO Reno installs the Palace Club and Harrah's Club spectaculars.

1965   Three-dimensional Dee Burger clown signs designed by YESCO appear in Salt Lake City.

1969   YESCO opens branch offices in Idaho Falls and Twins Falls; Thomas Young, Jr., is named president of YESCO. The company expands to eight branch offices and 300 employees; the Circus Circus Clown spectacular is installed in Las Vegas. The sign is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest freestanding sign.

1970s YESCO America is established and a new YESCO logo is introduced. A branch office opens in Boise, and YESCO acquires Westarc Leasing of Denver. YESCO expands the Salt Lake Division and opens offices in Los Angeles; Elko, Nevada; and Kingman, Arizona. Royal Sign Company is acquired. YESCO acquires Federal Sign offices in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, and Epcon Signs in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Nevada. After 45 years, YESCO's Ogden division moves to a new location. YESCO opens a branch office in Phoenix.

1971   Thomas Young Sr. dies on September 11, leaving behind his life’s work – a legacy of light to be carried like a torch from generation to generation.

1972   Michael T. Young, third generation, joins YESCO.

1977   Paul C. Young, third generation, joins YESCO.

1980   Jeffrey S. Young, third generation, joins YESCO; at 222.5 feet tall, YESCO installs the world’s tallest freestanding sign at the Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

1982   YESCO creates sign package for Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida.

1989   YESCO installs the sign for The Mirage Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.

1990   YESCO installs the sign for Excalibur Hotel and Casino.

1993   Stephen E. Jones, third generation, joins YESCO. Jones is the son-in-law of Tom Young, Jr.; YESCO installs the signs for Luxor Las Vegas Hotel and Casino and MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.

1996   Ryan P. Young, fourth generation, joins YESCO; YESCO turns over its retired boneyard signs to The Neon Museum, a new 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of Las Vegas’ historic signs; YESCO installs the sign for the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino.

1997   YESCO installs the sign for New York-New York Hotel and Casino.

1998   YESCO installs the sign for Bellagio Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.

1999   Joshua M. Young, fourth generation, joins YESCO; the company installs the sign for The Venetian Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.

2002   YESCO creates the Olympic rings illuminating the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City; LED becomes the preferred lighting format for Las Vegas Strip resorts.

2004   YESCO fabricates Hollywood’s iconic El Capitan Theatre sign, featuring LED high resolution display; Nathan T. Young, fourth generation, joins YESCO; Daniel T. Young, fourth generation, joins YESCO.

2011   YESCO launches franchise sign maintenance and repair operation.

2012   The Neon Museum opens to the public, featuring hundreds of signs acquired from YESCO’s boneyard; Thomas R. Young, fourth generation joins YESCO.

2016   David K. Jones, fourth generation, joins YESCO. Jones is the grandson of Thomas Young, Jr. and the son of Stephen Jones.

2019   YESCO restores and installs the 80-foot-tall Hard Rock Café guitar sign in The Neon Museum Boneyard; YESCO installs the 79-foot-wide by 272-foot-high LED sign on the Palms Casino Resort tower in conjunction with its property-wide renovation; YESCO’s Franchise Sign and Lighting Service maintenance and repair operation covers 180 territories by the end of the year.

2020   YESCO installs its largest sign ever at 38,500 square feet atop The Reef building in downtown Los Angeles; YESCO fabricates/installs signage for Allegiant Las Vegas Raiders Stadium, opening in August.

About YESCO

Celebrating our 100th anniversary, YESCO specializes in the manufacture of custom electric signs, sign maintenance, and out-of-home advertising. Additionally, the company has sign and lighting service franchises throughout North America and operates a sign financing business.
 
Thomas Young founded the company in Ogden, Utah in 1920 after borrowing $300 from his father.  YESCO began by offering wall painted advertisements, gold-leaf window lettering and coffin plates.  Shortly after with the advent of the neon tube YESCO grew rapidly and was soon manufacturing, installing and servicing signs in Utah, Nevada, Idaho and Wyoming.  
 
Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, YESCO has locations throughout the United States and Canada.  Experts at the company have designed, manufactured and installed some of the world’s most creative and iconic displays. From dazzling spectaculars on the Las Vegas Strip, to simple but elegant signage for corporate office buildings, YESCO creates award-winning displays for some of the most prestigious brands.
 
Today, the second, third and fourth generations of the founder’s family continue the work of leading the company forward, maintaining the legacy of light that began 100 years ago. To learn more about YESCO, follow us on YouTubeFacebookInstagram and Twitter.

about yesco
Re-Discovering Signs

4th, 5th & 6th grade students at M. Lynn Bennion and Newman Elementary in Salt Lake City, Utah are preparing to to celebrate the opening of their art exhibit exploring the history neon signs.

Students have studied the commercial purpose of signs, how they are made and how they add to the character of our cities and towns. Students have approached their art with the essential question: "What signs are important to you as you travel around?"'

The exhibit will be open January 17 - February 14 at the Downtown Artist Collective, 100 South 258 East, Salt Lake City. downtownartistcollective.org.

The DAC's mission is to create a community where artists can reflect collaborate and share in a cooperative environment. Larry Cohen, YESCO Salt Lake Design Director, is a member of the co-op.

Value vs Price

At YESCO, our mission is to provide our customers with signs and services of the highest quality and the greatest possible value. Value is commonly, yet mistakenly conflated with price. Our mission in this regard is twofold, as it includes commitments to both quality and value. 19th century art critic and philosopher John Ruskin offers a caution related to price that resonates to this day:


Happy Thanksgiving

Thank you to our clients, business partners, communities and employees! Wishing you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

Josh Young speaks at the 2019 Daniels Fund

"Imagine a world where people give of themselves simply because they want to..." Bill Daniels

Josh Young, president of YESCO Franchising, recently gave the keynote speaker at the 2019 Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Summit held in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

The Daniels Fund is a private charitable foundation dedicated to making life better for the people of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming through its grants program, scholarship program, and ethics initiative. The Fund's mission consists of eight components. The principles are straight-forward with understandable principles

The Fund honored YESCO as a business that embodies the spirit of ethical leadership 2018. Thomas Young, founder of YESCO used the phrase, “honest and fair dealing.” Honesty and integrity have been and will continue to be essential at YESCO. It is It is up to each of us, every day, to act with integrity. Doing so will help ensure YESCO’s next 100 years.

Juxtaposition of Two Images
 
 
 
How about the juxtaposition of these two images?
 
A few members of our Salt Lake team and Corporate staff recreated this iconic scene some 90 years later in front of one of YESCO's original offices. The building is located on Grant Avenue in Ogden, Utah.
 
Proof that "the more things change the more they stay the same."