Vintage commercial signs from the past are scarce. However, some still stand as sentinels to bygone eras. Such is the case for the Rustic Resort vintage commercial neon sign.
A harrowing beginning…
Founded in 1931 by William J. and Alice Richardson, Rustic Resort has had several colorful owners who built and managed the settlement. This included a handsome log hotel, cabins, a store, and a remarkable hydraulic “power plant.” Later owners added a restaurant/bar and gas pump. However, the first owners were the most interesting. For example, the Richardsons thought nothing of adopting pet bears and pet porcupines. They had wolf pack encounters, and fished the Poudre’s world-class trout waters. They also survived harrowing buggy trips during record-breaking snowstorms. However, they never could have imagined a large, commercial, neon sign towering over their homestead.
First neon lights in the canyon
During the 1970s, subsequent owners decided to upgrade the resort. They installed a two-sided commercial neon sign that featured a gigantic neon trout. Truthfully, they really didn’t need a neon sign in such a remote area. The resort’s reputation for “good food and good times” was legendary. Most likely, they made an effort to out-advertise their competition, Glen Echo Lodge, situated immediately next door.
A sad ending but fond memories
Unfortunately, Rustic Resort burned to the ground in 2008, taking with it the good times and good, interesting people. Although worn and faded, the vintage commercial neon sign still stands – awkwardly out of place – in one of Colorado’s few remaining pristine canyons.
Read Rustic Resort’s history at,
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