Category Archives: Riviera Demolition

Riviera Demolition Reaches Iconic Facade, Implosions Imminent

Demolition of a number of low-rise buildings has been happening at Riviera Las Vegas for some time.

Now, the destruction has reached the casino’s iconic facade on Las Vegas Boulevard.

Riviera Las Vegas demolition

Don’t cry because it’s over. Cry because you’re adorable with puffy eyes.

As multiple buildings at the Riv disappear before our eyes, the hotel’s two main towers are being prepared for separate implosions.

One’s essentially being wrapped in plastic due to an abundance of asbestos left over from a time when people thought asbestos enhanced virility. Or something.

Riviera Las Vegas demolition

When in Las Vegas, wrap it up. Which is an allusion to condom use, in case that was unclear.

The first tower is scheduled for implosion at 2:00 a.m. on June 14, 2016. The second tower will be taken down sometime in August.

Riviera Las Vegas demolition

The Monaco tower, at right, will be the first to go.

We did what we do and grabbed some drone footage of the Riviera site for posterity. Yes, it was 104-degrees out. The things we do for you.

The Riviera site is expected to be used for an expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center. That sensation you feel is a yawn coming on. It’ll pass.

Riviera Las Vegas demolition

Truth in advertising.

It’s downright jarring to see the front of the Riv being stripped away. As walls are torn away, you can see right into the former casino, the same casino featured in such classic films as “Casino” and “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery,” among others.

Soon, the Riviera will be featured in “Jason Bourne,” and we didn’t just mention that so you’ll check out our many stories on the subject.

Riviera casino demolition

This is quite probably your very last look inside the Riviera’s casino.

It’s a bittersweet time for longtime fans of Riviera. Rivera’s time had passed, and Las Vegas has an insatiable appetite for fresh stimulation, whether that’s convention center space, new casinos or lap dances. Especially that last thing. Las Vegas is no idiot.

Riviera Las Vegas demolition

Does two broken mirrors mean a total of 14 years of bad luck, or do bad luck streaks run concurrently? Yes, we actually think about this crap.

Break out your Kleenex and check out our gallery of the Riviera as it was on June 9, 2016.

Riviera Demolition Update: June 9, 2016

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Date of First Riviera Tower Implosion Confirmed: June 14

The date and time of the implosion of the first of two Riviera resort hotel towers has been confirmed, and you probably won’t be awake for it.

The Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority (LVCVA) has announced the Riviera’s 24-story Monaco tower will be imploded on June 14, 2016 at 2:00 a.m. The site will be used for an expansion to the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Riviera demolition

The Monaco tower, at right, goes down June 14. The 17-story Monte Carlo tower, left, gets whacked in August.

Props to our friends at VegasBright.com for nailing the demolition date weeks before the official announcement. That’s just how we roll in the Las Vegas blogosphere.

VegasBright.com is also reporting another implosion will take place August 14, 2016, but that has yet to be confirmed.

Riviera demolition

Leading up to the implosions at The Riv, several other buildings are being torn down old-school, with large machines.

Given the history of Las Vegas hotel implosions, it may seem curious The Riv’s implosion would take place at 2:00 a.m. You might even conclude it’s an intentional decision to avoid the usual hoopla surrounding implosions, and that’s very much the case, for a number of reasons.

For starters, Riviera was a beloved resort, even though its popularity waned in recent years. Given that the hotel site will end up as a (yawn) convention center expansion, the Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority doesn’t want to draw attention to something not everyone agrees should happen.

There have even been petitions to save the Riviera. They’ve been misguided and masturbatory, but the message has nevertheless been received loud and clear by the LVCVA.

Riviera demolition

Formerly the Riviera’s convention center. Soon to be, you know, a convention center.

There’s also the matter of serious opposition to the convention center expansion but a heavy hitter in Las Vegas, Sheldon Adelson. The bajillionaire’s resorts, Venetian and Palazzo, contribute a lot of money to the LVCVA (it’s funded by a room tax), and Adelson is vehemently opposed to LVCVA funds being used for a convention center expansion because it’s in direct competition with his Sands Expo and Convention Center.

Ah, the circularity of the universe.

Suffice to say, it’s complicated.

There’s also another aspect to the Riviera demolition timing that isn’t being widely reported: The Riv’s hotel towers contain a metric ass-ton of asbestos.

While demolition crews are doing what they can to manage the asbestos (there are conflicting reports about that, actually, but we are a Las Vegas blog, not an OSHA), when the towers come down, there’s likely to be a cloud of god-knows-what, and a smaller crowd in attendance means less risk and liability on the part of the demolition company and the LVCVA.

Still, die-hard Vegas fans will want to find a way to be in the vicinity when The Riv is imploded on June 14. That’s late in the evening on June 13, in case you’re as time-challenged as we are.

The implosion of The Riv marks the end of a colorful chapter in Las Vegas history. The resort opened on April 20, 1955.

Even if you’re not around for the demolition of the Riviera, you can see it featured in the upcoming “Jason Bourne” movie, which we also sort of chronicled obsessively. Because Las Vegas. And Jason Bourne. Don’t judge.

Here’s our exclusive video of the sequence where Jason Bourne’s car, atop a SWAT vehicle, crashes into the front of the Riviera.

In film making jargon, that’s what’s commonly referred to as “badass.”

Will you be around for the implosion of one or both of the Rivera’s hotel towers? Disappointed it’s going out with a whimper rather than a bang? Leave a comment. All the kids are doing it.

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Riviera Demolition Imagery Will Make You Feel Things

Demolition of the Riviera casino is progressing at a startling pace, and we’ve got the latest pics and video to prove it.

Riviera Las Vegas demolition

If all we are is dust in the wind, the Riviera is quickly becoming us.

Work crews are tearing down a number of buildings simultaneously, cleaning up the rubble as they go.

Here’s a video of the Riviera demolition that your children’s children will play for their children to show them how Las Vegas hotels were taken down before the invention of Death Stars. Or something.

The speed and efficiency of the work being done is truly impressive. Props to W.A. Richardson Builders LLC, whomever that might actually be.

The company is responsible for demolishing about a dozen low-rise structures on the Riviera site, in preparation for implosions of the hotel’s two main towers. Implosions of those towers are expected in June and August.

Riviera demolition

Cranes and dozers and asbestos abatement, oh, my.

Recently flattened structures include the Riviera’s convention center and parking garage.

Even the Riviera’s once-flashy facade is being dismantled.

Riviera demolition

The Riviera’s facade is currently advertising the entire list of magician Jan Rouven’s legal defenses.

The Riviera site is scheduled to be part of a Las Vegas Convention Center expansion. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

Riviera neon

Yes, they’re tossing lots of vintage Vegas neon. This is the point where we turn into a blubbering idiot. Although, admittedly, that really only involves the addition of blubbering.

Take a look at our previous Riviera demolition coverage if your tear ducts can take it.

Yes, the closure and demolition of The Riv is progress, but it’s also a loss of Las Vegas culture and history. Riviera opened on April 20, 1955.

We’re going to need a minute.

Riviera Demolition Update: May 18, 2016

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The Very Latest on the Riviera Demolition

The shuttered Riviera hotel continues to be taken apart, piece by piece.

Riviera demolition

Several buildings at the Riviera site have been demoted to rubble.

We’ve got the latest from the demolition site, from a perspective that reveals Riviera from a whole new perspective.

The wrecking crews are currently demolishing a number of low-rise buildings to the east of Riviera’s main hotel towers.

Implosion of Riviera’s two main hotel towers is slated for June and August 2016.

Riviera demolition

Crews are prepping the hotel towers for implosion by tossing giant chunks of the building out gaping holes. Hey, we’re a blog, not a structural engineer.

Here’s a peek into a little courtyard that can only be seen via drone.

Riviera demolition

You might call it demolition porn, but we call it demolition porn.

Riviera is being flattened to make way for an expansion of the Las Vegas Convention center.

Here’s one more look at the disintegrating Riviera Las Vegas, once a gleaming example of a Las Vegas casino that didn’t actually gleam there toward the end.

Riviera demolition

Riviera’s hotel tower is now see-through.

Workers are making quick work of the Riviera, so swing on by to bid the old girl a fond farewell.

We’ll be keeping an eye on the progress as Riviera’s implosion dates near. It’s a great excuse to indulge in our drone obsession. Sorry, Las Vegas history obsession. Thankfully, those aren’t mutually exclusive.

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Riviera Demolition Update: Because Drone

Yes, we did a recent post about the demolition under way at Riviera. But we have a drone. So, update!

Riviera Las Vegas demolition

Baby-sized bulldozers, sometimes called skidsteers, shove stuff out the windows. It’s quite the demolition party going on in there.

Here’s a peek from a better vantage point. Buildings are being tore up or gutted all across the Riviera site.

Consider this the “before” video.

It’s expected Riviera’s two main towers will be brought down in separate implosions later this year.

Las Vegas blows up things real good, despite the fact it’s been awhile since we had a legit implosion extravaganza. It’ll come back us, promise.

The Riv closed May 4, 2015 to make room for an expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center. That is, unless mysterious forces (Sheldon Adelson) get their way and divert resources away from the planned expansion to building a new sports stadium so the new convention space won’t compete with existing convention space (Sands Expo & Convention Center) offered by the aforementioned forces (Sheldon Adelson, again—please try and keep up).

Oh, Las Vegas.

Riviera demolition

A convention center being demolished to make room for convention space. Think of it as the Möbius strip of The Strip.

In either scenario, convention spaces and sports stadiums will always be less interesting than even a fading casino.

But it’s still Vegas, so we’ll keep you up-to-date on all the latest conventioning and sporting, assuming those are actual things.

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Demolition of Riviera Las Vegas Begins

Demolition of the Riviera has begun in earnest at the shuttered Las Vegas hotel-casino.

While specific dates for implosions of the Riviera’s two hotel towers have yet to be announced, it’s likely they’ll come down in June and August 2016.

In the meantime, about a dozen other low-rise buildings on the site will be demolished in a less dramatic fashion, with wrecking balls, excavators and bulldozers.

That process has already under way. Here’s a look at the hotel’s former convention center.

Riviera demolition

Work crews take giant bites out of Riviera’s convention center.

The Riviera closed May 4, 2015. The intended purpose of the site is to expand the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Riviera demolition

Demolition crews were working on a weekend, so we figure the schedule must be ambitious.

While we were snapping pics of the destruction, we captured some video, too. We tried adding some upbeat music, but it’s still a little sad.

Demolition of the Riviera is expected to cost $44 million by the time the work is completed.

Although some of the hotel’s signs are being saved, in a few months the Riviera will be an empty lot. The site’s first post-demolition use, in early 2017, is expected to be as an outdoor exhibit space for the Con-Expo/ConAgg construction equipment trade show. We’re atingle with anticipation.

Riviera demolition

Can we just skip to the part where stuff gets blowed up?

The demolition of the Riviera is bittersweet for many Las Vegas fans. While it became run-down in recent years, for many it was one of the last remaining classic Las Vegas casinos, complete with lots of gorgeous neon.

Riviera demolition implosion

Riviera opened April 20, 1955. This photo was taken on April 23, 2016. Worst 61st birthday party, ever.

We’ll keep an eye on the old girl in the weeks to come.

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