Neon genie signs won't disappear in Austin

January 18, 2010 7:07:41 AM PST
Abracadabra: the genie signs won't disappear. Some iconic genie signs will remain at car washes in Austin after the new owners agreed to keep the smiling, earring-wearing figures.

A change in owners for the Genie Car Wash franchise was announced last year, with H2O Hand Car Wash and Detail expected to operate the businesses.

Some Austin residents didn't want to lose the decades-old hand-painted signs.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that the sign lovers raised a ruckus, with e-mails and other contacts to H2O founder Buster Florence.

Florence says he and other company officials rethought the situation and realized the signs have been "Austin icons."

A more masculine facelift is in store for the genie signs, with a digital design instead of a hand-painted image, plus neon, in work that company officials say should be finished this spring.