Sammy Davis Jr. reunites with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin — or at least their roads do

The Rat Pack is getting back together.

In a reunion that harkens back to the early days of the Las Vegas Strip, Clark County Commissioners today approved changing the street name on a portion of Industrial Road between Twain Avenue and Sahara Avenue to honor pioneering entertainer Sammy Davis Jr.

Appropriately, the newly-christened road, Sammy Davis Jr. Drive, meets Frank Sinatra Drive and Dean Martin Drive in an intersection just west of Las Vegas Boulevard.

The new street signs are expected to be installed within a month.

The commission’s decision brings an end to a years-long effort by Rat Pack enthusiast Josh Elliott to rename the street in honor of Davis, one of the first black performers to be featured on a Strip marquee and a leader of Las Vegas’ civil rights movement.

Although the commission approved the name change long ago — Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani said it was before her tenure started in 2007 — the board required Elliott raise money to pay for the new street signs and to help defray costs of businesses affected by the change. The county will replace 11 traffic signal signs and one post-mounted sign.

In 2011, Elliott estimated that he’d need to raise $30,000 to help pay for new business cards, stationery, signs and advertising for businesses located among the 90 addresses contained in the newly-named roadway. Although he eventually raised enough money to cover the costs for businesses, Elliott was still short the $3,000 needed to pay for the county-maintained signs.

That changed with today’s commission vote directing county staff to cover the costs of the new street signs, clearing the way for the official name change to happen. Elliott was not in attendance at the meeting.

Giunchigliani, whose district includes the roadway, said the county had previously paid for signage when roads were renamed for Sinatra and Martin and should give the same treatment to Davis. She also argued the change would have other benefits. “It will help in cleaning up that area and help businesses have better [public relations],” said Giunchigliani, “for Industrial Road not to be called Industrial.”

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