FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA

Business-local

1 towering sign gone, another coming soon

By From page C2 | May 25, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A Fairfield landmark of sorts is gone.

The 62-foot-tall red, Welcome to Fairfield sign topped by Mr. Jelly Belly along Interstate 80 in the Fairfield Auto Mall got torn down midmonth. It drew the attention of freeway motorists for almost a decade.

But it didn’t make money for the Fairfield Conference & Visitors Bureau, the owner of the sign. The more that’s on a sign beside the LED advertisement display board, the less revenue that gets generated through advertising sales, bureau President Anand Patel said. That’s because the sign has elements that compete for attention.

The Welcome to Fairfield sign had plenty of items to potentially draw viewers’ attention away from the LED ads. Most striking was the 8-foot-tall figure of the smiling Mr. Jelly Belly.

CBS Outdoors plans to put a new freeway sign up at the same location. This sign will mention the auto mall, but will be dominated by the LED advertising screen. It will not be a Jelly Belly sign.

Meanwhile, Jelly Belly plans to put up a sign along Highway 12 at its Fairfield plant. This sign is to be 70 feet tall and to be topped by a 30-foot-tall flagpole.

The Planning Commission on March 12 approved the sign. The Fairfield City Council on May 6 approved creating a Highway 12 tourism sign district that will permit the Jelly Belly sign.

At an April 15 City Council hearing, three residents from nearby neighborhoods criticized what one called “a monster sign” that could soon be erected across the highway from their houses. Council members listened to their remarks, but offered no comments.

“I think we listened very carefully to their concerns,” Mayor Harry Price said Friday. “I think they realized too that from an economic development point of view, the sign is certainly necessary.”

Patel said the now-gone Welcome to Fairfield sign got handed over to Jelly Belly to use parts for its new sign.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
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Discussion | 7 comments

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  • 2realMay 25, 2014 - 7:28 am

    People crying because they might see a "monster sign" from their houses across highway 12? Are you kidding me? Weirdos is what they are. Put up as many signs as you want. Those led screens are sweet.

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  • BobMay 25, 2014 - 8:55 am

    I think we listened very carefully and now we will ignore the poor people across 12 that will have a giant blinding light in their bedroom windows at night, every night, driving by at night with led lit sign so bright it hurts your eyes as you drive by in the dark good idea, so was the A bomb

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  • ToniMay 25, 2014 - 9:09 am

    What a waste of money

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  • JagMay 25, 2014 - 10:08 am

    You are walking down a street paved by money that is so bright (because of the sign) and can hardly see and all of the sudden you hear a voice, the sign flashes (Welcome to Fairfield) the voice says (AND HEARS HARRY) follow the money,,

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Ulises GuberMay 25, 2014 - 11:47 am

    on the brighter side, a well lit neighborhood is less likely to be burglarized....

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JagMay 25, 2014 - 12:32 pm

    What excatly do you get when you steal from the poor?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • B. ThiemerJune 07, 2014 - 11:37 pm

    "it didn’t make money for the Fairfield Conference & Visitors Bureau.." Is that the purpose of the FCVB, to make advertising revenue?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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