The Silhouette Sticker sign and “Welcome to Idaho” sign stand side-by-side in September 2019. | Idaho Transportation Dept.
TWIN FALLS – Next month will mark the one-year anniversary of the Idaho Silhouette Sticker sign concept.
For readers unfamiliar with the story, D4 TTO Pete Veenstra sought to reduce vandalism on the U.S. 93 “Welcome to Idaho” sign by offering another appealing canvas for would-be perpetrators.
After getting approval to proceed with his innovation, Veenstra worked with his sign crew to build and install a sign fashioned in the iconic shape of Idaho. They placed a few decoy stickers on the sign and then set back to watch the experiment unfold.
So how did things play out?
“This innovation exceeded all of our expectations,” stated D4 Shoshone East Maintenance Foreman Carl Horn. “The Idaho Silhouette Sticker sign not only reduced vandalism, but it also eliminated it completely. Keeping our ‘Welcome to Idaho’ sign free and clear of stickers both expands the life of the sign and reduces man-hours and department costs.”
In addition to the sign being a success at the border, it gained substantial popularity across social media. Not only were people intrigued by the new installment, but they also began reaching out to inquire what the Idaho Transportation Department planned to do with the old Welcome to Idaho sign.
“Because there was so much interest from the public to purchase the old sign, we determined the fairest solution would be to auction it off on Public Surplus,” explained D4 Program Specialist Technician Shara Stowell.
The heavily stickered “Welcome to Idaho” sign went to auction in September of last year and sold for $11,200 to an anonymous buyer.
Fast forward several months and the now fully stickered Idaho silhouette sign was put up for auction as well.
On June 2, the Idaho Silhouette Sticker sign sold for a winning bid of $825. Ben Rice, a financial advisor out of Boise, was the lucky purchaser.
Rice said he saw an online KTVB news story about the sign earlier this month, just a few hours before the auction was set to end.
“I was intrigued because we love living in Idaho and have been semi-looking for some eclectic art that was Idaho specific.”
Rice explained that he didn’t want generic artwork and his wife was excited about the prospect of owning the sign as well and encouraged him to bid higher.
The first-ever Idaho Silhouette Sticker sign will find a new home right behind Rice’s desk in his downtown Boise office. “I work out of the Owyhee Building, another neat old slice of Idaho history and it should fit right in.”
“We have been in Idaho for 25 years and it is fun to own this little piece of its history.”