The original intent of the Lights the Sign project was to replace and relight the River Inn sign that sits atop the historic River Inn building in Downtown Fergus Falls. The purpose was to draw attention to the downtown, riverfront and revitalization efforts. The Rive Inn was built as a hotel on the Ottertail River. It sits directly opposite the Edward J. Devitt US Courthouse and Federal Building and is a focal point in the city.
The River Inn sign was once a beacon in the sky, drawing attention to the building and downtown. However, it has been in disrepair and unlit for decades. Believing restoration of the sign was not feasible, the FFDRC planned a project to replaced the River inn sign with new red letters lit with LED lights. Unfortunately, after more than a year of efforts, approval from the State Historic Preservation Office to replace the sign has not been granted. However, pending future approval of a replacement sign, as of November 6, 2017, the FFDRC has installed a lighting system with a series of hard-wired commercial flood lights to illuminate the River Inn Sign.