Las Vegas Airport Just Changed Its Name to Harry Reid International

What happens in Harry Reid International stays in Harry Reid International.

Las Vegas Airport officially changed its name on Tuesday to Harry Reid International Airport, 73 years after being named for Nevada's Sen. Patrick McCarran.

In February, the Clark County Commission unanimously approved renaming the airport after reports of McCarran's "history of perpetuating racism, xenophobia and antisemitism" began to surface, The Associated Press reported. The airport had been named after McCarran since 1948, due to the senator's reputation as a vocal advocate for the aviation industry.

"Immediate changes will be noticeable on the airport's social media channels and other digital presences; however, travelers should expect to see the former airport name in various locations as this transition continues," the airport wrote in a Facebook post. "A project of this magnitude will take time to complete, and changing of the signage and monuments surrounding the airport will occur as bids are sought and vendors identified to perform the work."

Earlier this year, the county voted to name the airport after Reid, Nevada's longest serving senator (who served from 1987 to 2017). Reid was not present at the naming ceremony held on Tuesday, although members of his family were in attendance.

Airline passengers wearing face masks arrive and depart the D Concousre at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas
Bill Clark/Getty Images

The original McCarran Field sign at the airport's Las Vegas Boulevard entrance will not be changed, due to its historical significance, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

The first phase of the renaming requires changing the primary signage around the airport's outdoor areas. The second phase will change the names throughout the airport, including signage from the curb to the gates. The final phase will see business cards, stationary and concessionaire-related work making the change.

Part of the stipulation for the name change was that all funding for the project must come from private donations. By October, the airport had collected $4.2 million to begin the project. The remainder of the process will cost an estimated $3 million.

As the airport is still seeking funding to complete the process, it has not revealed a timeline for when the changes will be complete.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.

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