8 Local Philanthropists Who Give Big
photography by jared mcmillan
styling by todd hanshaw
Alex Epstein: Neon Crusader
No one could accuse Alex Epstein of going rogue. The hotel scion puts everything into advocating for Downtown Las Vegas, which has been close to her family’s heart for decades. The 26-year-old manages a piece of neon history at the El Cortez, as executive manager, and she helps the conservation of our town’s most famous art form as a member of the Neon Museum’s board of trustees.
As a third-generation Las Vegan, Epstein’s family ties to the city inspired her to volunteer with the museum, which is scheduled to open Downtown next year with a much-anticipated visitors center. Previously, the Neon Boneyard of retired signs had always been by reservation only. “I always found it extremely enchanting,” she says. “These are the signs that welcomed my grandparents. Being in the casino industry, I am nostalgic for old, vintage Vegas.”
But it goes beyond the signs themselves and is really more about what they represent from an artistic, historical, and cultural standpoint.” One example: the Moulin Rouge sign, from the first integrated casino in Las Vegas.
Epstein says her board is relatively small, so she remains quite active with museum responsibilities, deciding anything from what materials to include in the museum to what photo shoots to allow in the Boneyard. She also helped plan the inaugural Boo! Boneyard Bash, held last month to benefit the museum. “Beyond it being what some people might imagine to be a junkyard or a boneyard where old times go to die,” she says, “it really gives you a sense of Las Vegas’s culture as it’s evolved throughout the years.”—MARK ADAMS
Scarf worn as a shirt, necklace, and boots, Fendi. Necklace and ring, Van Cleef & Arpels. All available at The Shoppes at The Palazzo