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Longtime Sioux Falls Sign Maker Sees Signs Of Change

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Drive across Sioux Falls, and you'll likely see several products made from a local business. 

Pride Neon has been making signs for companies across the region for more than 70 years. 

For around 35 years, Scott Johnson has been breathing new life into an old art. 

He makes neon signs for Sioux Falls company, Pride Neon. 

"The sign industry has changed quite a bit, but neon has not since the early 1900s," Johnson said. 

While Johnson still works with the company's product namesake, neon, new technology is changing the industry dramatically. 

"There's new stuff coming out all the time," CEO Dick Menke said. 

Menke's uncle started the company back in 1947. 

At that time all of the signs were made by hand. 

"Our designs are all computerized now. We have table routers," Menke said.

Another sign of the times, most of the orders are now LED. 

"They're much more efficient. There's very low voltage, so there's power savings," Menke said.

In addition to changing technology, the family is also gearing up to hand the business over to the third generation.

"It is pivotal, but it's exciting. We're very excited for the future. We're very proud of our past and our history. We need to continue to look forward, and that's what we're doing," Menke said.

Even though neon is not always the hot item, Johnson believes it still has a bright future.

"Neon will stay around in some form or another for quite a while," Johnson said.

A future and past you'll see all across the city.

"You have to drive at night though," Johnson said.

From Fenn's Ice Cream to The Pomp Room, Pride Neon has made signs for hundreds of companies throughout the past 70 years. 

 


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