Here's the marquee next to the motel office for the Starlite
Motel in Mesa, Arizona. At this property right off the roadside,
there are not just one but two fancy marquees. The animated diving woman sign always struck of irony since the motel swimming pool has been gone for several years.
Starlite Motel animated diver Photo by RoadsidePeek.com
(Left) A view looking down Main St. for travelers entering Mesa from the east end of town.
Mesa, AZ Photo courtesy Tony Craig
The Starlite Motel sign was designed in 1960 by late artist Stanley Russon and built by noted sign maker Paul Millet. According to azcentral.com, the 78 tall sign was commissioned to promote the motel's pool and has been featured in the sign industry's national trade publication Sign of the Times.
The swimmers (right) even still light up at night as the animated neon
gives the impression of the swimmer diving off the top of the sign. There are four stages to the animated sign. The first three stages light up the three neon divers in sequence, with the fourth lighting up a blue neon splash.
Starlite Motel animated sequence
Mesa, AZ Photo courtesy Nick Florio
Unfortunately, the Starlite Motel lost its animated neon diver sign in a thunderstorm on October 5, 2010. According to the Arizona Republic, the 50 year old sign was destroyed when a powerful wind gust sheared off a metal pole support.
The motel owner Minal Patel states the sign most likely will not be replaced due to funds required and Mesa's sign ordinance. It appears that yet another roadside treasure has become just a memory.
Here are photos of the Starlite Motel during better times.
The neon view traveling along Main St. Photo by RoadsidePeek.com
The animated neon divers Photo by RoadsidePeek.com
Day view of main sign Photo by RoadsidePeek.com
Below are photos from October 9, 2010 of the fallen sign, courtesy of Nick Florio of NIck Florio Photography.
View of fallen sign and motel office Photo courtesy Nick Florio
The sheared post Photo courtesy Nick Florio
Fallen diver Photo courtesy Nick Florio
Another view of the sign and post Photo courtesy Nick Florio
Shattered neon letters Photo courtesy Nick Florio
The fallen sign Photo courtesy Nick Florio
UPDATE 11/13 : The Starlite Motel sign was restored and reestablished back to its familiar location in the parking lot. Photos to be added soon. The restoration and replication of the sign cost $100,000. It was good news to hear that that sign is now back. 11-13