The foundation for Mesa’s iconic Diving Lady neon sign soon will be in place to help solidify her stance on the springboard once again.
At 8 a.m. on Friday, a new 70-foot pole will be placed in front of the Starlite Motel, 2710 E. Main St., where the Diving Lady performed three stages of a springboard dive for 50 years, but came crashing down last year during a severe thunderstorm when a previously repaired welding point on the pole snapped.
The nationally known sign was heavily damaged in its belly flop onto the concrete parking lot on Oct. 5, 2010, but has undergone an extreme makeover during the last year at Larry Graham’s Electric and Neon Sign Specialists shop in Mesa.
Five Valley businesses joined together to manufacture and rewire the new pole, which will be put in place Friday to support the three Diving Lady figures and five, 6.5-feet-tall letters weighing more than 200 pounds that spell out “MOTEL.”
The Scottsdale office of Hunt Construction, Able Steel, EMJ Engineering and JB Trenching, all of Mesa, and Fuze Electrical Services of Scottsdale have jointly contributed more than $35,000 to cover the costs of the pole portion of the restoration project. The pole is 2 feet in diameter and is made to withstand severe weather conditions.
The Diving Lady, which has been featured in books and magazines about neon signs, served as a beacon during an era when families traveled long distances by car and needed lodging.
A rededication for the neon sign is planned for sometime within the next two months.
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