LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Changing signs at Harry Reid International Airport is proving more expensive than planned, and the total price tag is now up to $7.68 million, documents show.
On Tuesday, Clark County commissioners approved $4.77 million to fund the most expensive part of the project. “Marquee – Landmark Signs” on Tropicana Avenue had an original budget of $1.95 million and now are estimated to cost an estimated $2.82 million more than planned.
Those signs on Tropicana — one at Koval Lane and one at Paradise Road — will be built where temporary signs have already been changed to reflect the Reid name.
The funds come from an account set up by Clark County to hold private donations that are paying for the name change.
When the project began in October 2021, $4.2 million in private donations was raised to fund the project. Total estimated costs have grown to $7.68 million.
The name change from McCarran to Reid is still in Phase 1. The county plans to make up some of that shortfall in Phase 2 and Phase 3.
But by the end of Phase 1, the project will be $1,030,000 in the hole.
Through Phase 2 and Phase 3, the county expects to cut that deficit to $468,452.
Records show a $1 million donation was made in early November of 2023.
The battle to change the airport’s name goes back to 2017, when Democrat Tick Segerblom — serving in the state senate at the time — tried to pull McCarran’s name down over the Nevada senator’s record of racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia. McCarran represented Nevada from 1932 until he died in 1954.
Now, Segerblom is chairman of the county commission. The $4.77 million expenditure came with no discussion as it was passed as part of the commission’s consent agenda. The contract went to Benchmark Contracting dba Cobblestone Construction.
The debate over changing the airport’s name polarized Republicans and Democrats in the state.
Reid, the long-time Democratic U.S. senator from Nevada, served in the U.S. Senate from 1987 until 2017. He was U.S. Senate Majority Leader during Barack Obama’s presidency. He died in late December of 2021, about two weeks after the airport was dedicated in his name. He was 82.