Busted! Howard Hughes’ Silver Slipper sign myths

Las Vegas is full of sensational stories that have been immortalized in movies, books and online, but how many of them are factually correct? 

One of our most important responsibilities at the Neon Museum is to ensure we are sharing accurate information with our guests. Our team spends a lot of time researching history at local archives, going through images to date our signs and talking with other historians to confirm the stories we present to the public. 

One of the most common myths we are asked about regularly relates to the ever-mysterious Howard Hughes. According to local legend, Howard Hughes thought there was a government camera in the Silver Slipper sign, so he bought the casino and filled the shoe with concrete to prevent it from recording him. 

Also, light from the sign bothered him so he bought the property when the owners wouldn’t turn it off. 

In reality, neither of these myths is true. 

A manager from the Silver Slipper shared with Geoff Schumacher, director of content at the Mob Museum, that the room was blacked out so no light could bother him. Also, the Frontier Hotel Casino was bigger and brighter and would’ve been more of a nuisance. 

Finally, we have the sign and can confirm with confidence there is no concrete in it. Hughes’ purchase of the Silver Slipper was simply part of his 1966-1970 buying spree.