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.
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.
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.
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.
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.