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Airport signs to soon show ‘Harry Reid’ as new name

Work could commence soon on updating signage at McCarran International Airport to reflect the name change to Harry Reid International Airport.

Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom said the account set up by the county to receive donations for the renaming cause met the $4.2 million threshold needed to carry out the first phase of the work. McCarran officials also confirmed that the threshold was met.

The first phase includes changing primary signage outside of and leading up to the airport with the new name.

“It allows us to change the name officially,” Segerblom said. “Major signage where it’s visible as the Harry Reid airport.”

An additional $2.8 million needs to be raised to take care of the other two phases of the renaming process.

The second phase is curb to gate, or mainly signage located inside the airport, and the third phase is smaller changes such as stationery, letterhead, business cards and concessionaire-related needs.

Neither Segerblom nor airport officials had a time frame of when the physical work might begin or an estimate of how many signs are in need of rebranding. Airport officials also noted that a firm date has not been set for when they would start to use the Harry Reid International Airport name.

A McCarran spokesperson said now that an adequate amount of money has been collected, meetings can be set up with the Federal Aviation Administration, the county and the Nevada Department of Transportation to finalize plans.

That will be followed by the design phase and the contractor hiring process and then the construction phase.

One sign that will not see a change is the original McCarran Field sign located at the entrance of the executive terminal off Las Vegas Boulevard. With the historical significance of the sign, Segerblom said it was important to keep that intact.

When the name change was approved by the Clark County Commission earlier this year, a stipulation was put into place that no taxpayer dollars would be used to fund the process. The county then set up a bank account to accept donations.

Donors to the account include some notable Nevadans.

Three $1 million donations each were made by William and Judy Boyd; professional gambler Billy Walters and his wife, Susan; and businessman Stephen Cloobeck. William Boyd is the executive chairman of Boyd Gaming, but the donation was a personal one.

Law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck donated $75,000; The Murren Family Foundation, founded by former MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren and his wife, Heather, contributed $50,000; and former Congresswoman Shelley Berkley donated $5,000, according to a county document.

Segerblom spearheaded the movement for the name change, first as a state senator years ago and again this year, leading to the County Commission unanimously voting to approve the renaming.

The move was spurred by current namesake Pat McCarran’s controversial past, which included racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia. In light of that past and the work Reid did for the state as a political figure, the choice of the new namesake made perfect sense to Segerblom.

“It means so much because I’ve been pushing this for quite some time,” Segerblom said. “But since Black Lives Matter and all the Confederate statues from around the country have been going down … it’s just lots of things happening, and I view this as part of that. Truthfully, Harry (Reid) has done more for the state of Nevada than anyone has done, or probably ever will do.”

The commissioner called it “a perfect transition from old Nevada to new Nevada.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter. Send questions and comments to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com.

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