Riviera Las Vegas Will Be Sold, Future Uncertain

The Sin City rumor mill is in overdrive over word the Riviera Las Vegas is being sold, and the rumors have legs.

The details of the sale, as well as the ultimate fate of the struggling casino, are unclear at this time. An official announcement is expected within a week.

Riviera Las Vegas

The Riviera opened in 1955, and boy are its arms tired. Or something.

At least one of the rumors online involves the Riviera being “closed and leveled for non-gaming use.” Which is just about the least Las Vegas scenario possible. (Please don’t say it’ll be a shopping mall!) Thanks to our pal Marc at Edge Vegas for pointing us toward this Sin City bombshell.

Another possibility is an investor or investors (not a bank or investment firm, please) are buying the Riviera to take full advantage of its relatively low price and exploit the iconic casino’s invaluable brand equity to make it a kick-ass gambling joint again. We vote that.

The once-thriving Riv got its arse handed to it when three nearby casinos went away, specifically, The New Frontier, The Westward Ho and one of the greatest Las Vegas casinos ever, The Stardust. Foot traffic is king in Vegas.

The Riviera Las Vegas is home to, mainly, “Crazy Girls.” And several pinball machines.

We look forward to official news of the Riviera sale, especially if the news involves a rejuvenation of this iconic Vegas fixture.

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  • JeffinOKC

    The non-gaming idea is such a total non-starter that it has to be seen as laughable. If everything in real estate is founded in “location, location, location”, then the location of the Riviera has to be looked at: to the North is the monolithic Fountainbleau site, which is owned by Carl Ichan, and he shows zero interest in any kind of movement with it, and has the financial ability to let it sit until the year 2525 (If man is still alive); to the South is the former La Concha site, owned by the Doumani family, who are seen in Las Vegas lore as a group that even the voice of Anthony Corleone can’t wash the doubt away; to the West is Circus-Circus, value forever: to the East is Westgate Hotel & Casino. What does the Riviera site have to offer that makes it worth any real estate price (plus $5 million net demolition cost) that would pencil out in ANY scenario?
    I will still maintain that Boyd Gaming buying it is the best solution for all involved. Next ideal is Boyd operating it. Boyd’s aging demographic will fill the rooms and casino up within 7 days of any deal closing.

    • boulder steve

      I hope your right about Boyd buying the Riviera. They no longer have a hotel on the strip since the demise of the Stardust. They have a large customer base with the B connected card and could make this property successful again

    • Steven Brown

      Actually, the La Concha site was sold in 2007 to a company that had a stake in the Riv that planned to build a resort on that land (as well as some land they acquired behind the Peppermill and the shopping center next door). That land is currently up for sale. http://www.reviewjournal.com/business/major-riviera-holdings-investor-buys-strip-land

      • JeffinOKC

        Of course, Steven is right (as usual). Clearly I misremembered. Judging by the date on the article linked to, I was probably hanging with Brian Williams in the French Quarter, counting bodies floating by in the flooded streets. Maybe I misremembered that.
        But, I am more clearly remembering that the company that bought the La Concha and El Morocco sites was the Triple Five company. The are, I think, the owners of the Mall Of America, and other large shopping centers. They listed it for sale within the last couple years, for much less than they paid, and I don’t think they have any plans for the site.

        I can’t imagine the Riviera being converted for non-gaming use in any scenario. I don’t care how much money they lose, the iconic Las Vegas Strip casinos are much like Sports Franchises: they ain’t making more of them, and EVERYONE wants to own one. They found a buyer with money, and that entity will put a lot into it. Maybe it will hit, maybe it won’t.

  • FYMYAWF

    Would be sad to see one of the last “old school” strip properties go away, if they decide to put a Walgreen’s on that lot.

    I stayed there a few years ago and the room, service and amenities were all 3rd class. It felt like it was on its last legs then. Seemed as if they tried to make some improvements in the last year but with that location it’s all lipstick on a pig unless they decide to gut the place and re-model it modern standards.

    Unfortunately they just DID that at a similar spot just down the road at Sahara, and that didn’t go so well…

    • Steven Brown

      There’s already a Walgreen’s on the corner of Convention Center and LVB. Then again, Walgreen’s does have locations at the Venetian/Palazzo and Casino Royale.

      • No non-gaming use! If they put up a shopping center, we’re moving to France.

        • boulder steve

          What is the deal with all these drug stores opening on the strip..is there that much demand for pain killers?..oh I forgot its Lost Wages!

          • Scott Roeben

            Everything in Vegas is based upon Capitalism, so there’s clearly a demand. We just wish they’d do them more interestingly, because to be honest, TI’s new shopping addition looks like an industrial park.

          • Just about everything in Vegas is based upon Capitalism and profitability, so there’s clearly a demand. We just wish they’d do them more interestingly, because to be honest, TI’s new shopping addition looks like an industrial park draped in WTF.

          • boulder steve

            Agree Scott. I live in Los Angeles within 1 mile of 4 CVS and 1 Wallgreens.they all do great business. Maybe im being old fashioned but i think the strip should limit non gaming non entertainment establishments on the strip. I guesss if they over build the free market will fix the problem

    • It seems like there are a lot of moving parts involved, and no one casino is going to rejuvenate that end of The Strip. SLS needs to get its act together, and the new hotels need to happen. Together, the whole area can be viable.

  • Matt S.

    Bummer. I’ve never stayed there, but I make a point to cruise in there on every trip. I’ll be out there in 2 weeks, hoping they keep the doors open a little longer so I can make one more visit.

    • Scott Roeben

      No timeline given yet, but we’ll keep an eye on it.

    • No timeline given yet, but we’ll keep an eye on it.

      • DILLIGAF

        What sources do you have to substantiate this?

        • Scott Roeben

          The official announcement middle of next week should cover those bases. “)

  • Another scenario: Dave McClane buys the Riv, brings back the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling full-time. (It was the first time, way back when, I had heard of the Riviera.)

  • JeffinOKC

    Now, a semi-related comment. In research yesterday, I read where a member of the Doumani family was who bought the Clarion/Greek Isles/Debbie Reynolds/Paddlewheel, etc. and is imploding it. In an interview, I think it was Lorenzo, said he was going to build the most awesome, market changing, bigger than Wynn, non-gaming resort. With an FAA waiver, it was going to be taller than Wynn, and he was going to pay for it with EB-5 and other vehicles.
    This got me to thinking that maybe some of these non-gaming plans are coming from people that know they have zero chance of getting a gaming license, but they keep floating the ideas out there, in order to keep the location in play?

  • Jean-Philippe Mill

    I am staying there next month. Hope everything will be OK. Does someone stayed there lately?