Las Vegas Club Demolition Rounds Second Base

The former Las Vegas Club, a sports-themed casino in downtown Las Vegas, is about halfway toward its goal of becoming history.

The Las Vegas Club demolition project, which also included Mermaids casino and the Glitter Gulch strip club, hit a milestone with the removal of a baseball player statue that stood watch over Fremont and Main for decades.

Las Vegas Club baseball player

Demolition guy for scale.

The baseball player was spared becoming debris by the demolition company, Northern American Dismantling Corp.

The statue now sits on the demolition site, next to another classic sign, the Golden Goose.

Fun fact we learned about the Golden Goose: At one time it rotated. The mechanism responsible for the movement makes the goose ungodly heavy.

Las Vegas Club baseball player

Make a bid. Take one home. Check for lice.

Removal of the statue provided a rare close-up of the statue.

Las Vegas Club baseball player

Yeah, it’s gross.

There are currently no plans to dispose of the baseball player or the goose, but it’s likely they’ll end up in the hands of a private owner willing to foot the bill to remove, transport and restore the signs.

Ironically, while strolling Fremont, we spotted one of the baseball player’s relatives.

Fremont busker

We crack us up.

Meanwhile on the site, a massive high-reach excavator, nicknamed “Bronto,” suffered mechanical problems, resulting in what amounts to the excavator equivalent of a “slip and fall,” and has been sidelined for several weeks.

Las Vegas Club demolition

Bronto’s in the shop. Otherwise known as the Las Vegas Club’s former parking structure.

It’s been replaced by an even taller excavator that, after a longer-than-expected assembly period (high-reach excavators seem to be temperamental, a frustration that’s cost the demolition team about six weeks), has been steadily eating away at the Las Vegas Club’s south hotel tower.

Las Vegas Club demolition

Housekeeping has really been slacking at the Las Vegas Club. Photo taken Oct. 20, 2017.

It seems Bronto may be down, but it’s not out. The super of the site says it’s expected the excavator will be repaired and join the current excavator as the hotel’s towers are meticulously taken down.

Las Vegas Club demolition

This was taken Oct. 16, 2017. Fun fact: Demolition guys call the tool at the end of the excavator a “pecker.” Some jokes just write themselves.

It’s been fascinating to watch the progress at 18 Fremont, the address of the block being leveled for a new resort from Derek and Greg Stevens, owners of The D and Golden Gate.

The demolition hasn’t been without challenges. Aside from the mechanical problems with the excavators, early in the project the facade of Mermaids was taken down earlier than expected due to the instability of the old structure. Originally, the facade was to remain in place to assist with dust suppression.

Las Vegas Club demolition

Oh, like we weren’t going to show you a close-up of the pecker. Do you know this blog at all?

Recently, while working with the excavator at the top of the south tower, an exterior decorative piece (see below) tore loose, landing on the casino structure below and crushing a fence along Main Street. While not optimal, the demolition crew anticipated the potential for debris on the Main Street side of the structure and had stopped vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

The debris was cleaned up in short order and work was back underway immediately.

Las Vegas Club demolition

This is the “before” photo. First rule of demolition: Gravity always wins.

Here’s a look at the west side of the south tower. There will be a quiz.

Las Vegas Club demolition

Here’s the “after.” The Las Vegas Club opened in 1930. The hotel towers closed in 2013.

The dramatic nature of the Las Vegas Club demolition has made it a bona fide tourist attraction downtown, with groups of gawkers gathering to watch the excavator do its thing.

It’s been a blast tracking the demolition progress, and are giddy as workers move closer to a room on an upper floor that is said to contain dozens of cheerleader costumes, a hold-over from the sports-themed casino’s heyday.

Las Vegas Club demolition

This is one of our favorite things about the demolition site, a peek into Vegas history. We’re pretty sure this used to be a restaurant, possibly the Upper Deck coffee shop.

The plan is to finish demolition of the Las Vegas Club by the end of the year, although it may be slow-going when crews take on the north tower. The north tower’s base was built to be able to support another 20 floors that were never added. The reinforced beams are sure to put the excavators to the test.

Las Vegas Club demolition

There’s still time to swing by and kiss the Las Vegas Club goodbye. Metaphorically. That would really be gross.

Check back as we obsessively chronicle the Las Vegas Club demolition. Hey, the alternative is to get a life and we don’t have time for all that.

Las Vegas Club Demolition: Oct. 20, 2017

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24 thoughts on “Las Vegas Club Demolition Rounds Second Base

  1. mike__ch

    Without context, it’s hard to tell what that restaurant is. It’s probably the dugout diner on the casino level. I ate at the hotel’s Upper Deck coffee shop once, and it was upstairs where the arching windows looking out over Main Street are. It was not golf themed, it had what I can only assume was supposed to be a kind of pinstripe motif, but it was just actual stripes, and that felt more “Circus Circus” than “New York Yankees” as a consequence. You can actually see some of the blue striped wallpaper in some of your shots.

  2. Funkhouser_1

    Wow, so I am really impressed on the different editorial takes on the whole debris falling on the road debacle. Scott covers it this way..”Recently, while working with the excavator at the top of the south tower, an exterior decorative piece (see below) tore loose, landing on the casino structure below and crushing a fence along Main Street. While not optimal, the demolition crew anticipated the potential for debris on the Main Street side of the structure and had stopped vehicular and pedestrian traffic.” While another twitter feed photo showed mounds of debris stretched out int the roadway and it looking a a Las Vegas Club cluster. – Must be that fake news I keep hearing about. So was traffic stopped before or after it came down? Not knowing where debris is going to land is a little more then ‘Not Optimal”, I’d call it a career ending event. I get it though, No biting the hand that feeds the blog.

    1. Manybar Goatfish

      Pecker tracks are never pretty, but I do appreciate Scott’s attempt at dancing around this touchy subject with words like decorative and not optimal.

      1. Scott Roeben

        It’s not all that touchy, but thanks. It was a decorative section (you can see an extension of it still in place–it’s not a part of the building, it’s slapped to the outside). And it definitely wasn’t optimal! “)

    2. Bouldersteve

      As they say…no harm no foul. But your right it could have been ugly. As the Demolition gets closer to the street it would make sense to detour traffic on Main Street. Maybe the Demolition on that section of the building could be done late at night so not to cause too much inconvenience to traffic flow

      1. Funkhouser_1

        I’m always amazed how little publicity tourist impacting events in LV get. There is so little coverage by LV mainstream media and those connected to the tourism industry when accidents, crime, and crappy things done by resort operators occur. They only seem to get coverage if the national media picks it up. I’ve never seen a business industry or local government so well protected by the local media in this country.

        1. JeffinOKC

          Are you saying with certainty that the debris fell on an open road? Scott’s story says that traffic was diverted in advance in anticipation of this possibility.
          I think economic dependence driving local media coverage is common across America. Oklahoma and Texas gives big Oil a pass. Detroit does it with the cars biz, etc.

          1. Funkhouser_1

            I wasn’t there, I can only go by the photo circulating on twitter and shared by another blog. The view in the photo shows debris crushing the fence and spilled over to the center lane on Northbound Main Street in about at 20 ft area. There are workers in the road area, it’s uncertain if this was an expected incident or the workers were reacting to the incident after the fact. I can’t imagine the road not being blocked and traffic diverted if they really expected a chance of it falling on the road.

          2. Scott Roeben

            Sorry I haven’t jumped in on this yet, but right. The piece hit the building and debris went into the street (northbound). Traffic and pedestrians were stopped (they were sort of working in between lights to avoid traffic delays). While not expected, procedures are in place to ensure even if something happens, there won’t be damage to property or people.

          3. Scott Roeben

            Yes, the debris that went into the road was more the aftermath of the piece falling onto the casino roof below. Traffic was stopped, and crews were only working between lights, etc.

        2. Bouldersteve

          Few cities are so dependent on one industry. In Las Vegas it’s tourism. Also the hotel/casinos spend a lot of money buying ads so the media is reluctant to criticize. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you

          1. Scott Roeben

            That’s certainly true, and the tourism is a very touchy area. I’m usually the one being critical, despite my relationship with the Stevens, etc. This was not expected, but I’ve talked to a number of people involved, and precautions worked as they’re supposed to.

          2. Bouldersteve

            Yes Scott you are a straight shooter who calls it like you see it. You don’t sugar coat the news. Most Vegas bloggers ingnore the negative so they have little credibility with me. Keep up the good work.

          3. Scott Roeben

            Thanks. I’m not going to claim to be completely objective. There are projects and people I root for, and against. (I’m against memorial leavings at the Las Vegas sign as you no doubt know.) I wouldn’t lie to cover anyone’s malfeasance. I’m not beholden to anyone, and am thankful even my job stays out of my online activities. Thanks for the thoughts.

          4. Coop

            Ya. Business is Business.
            You don’t see Mexico cracking down on Cartels do you?
            Or asian auto makers talking fair trade?
            I wonder if Seattle tourism board speaks of rain.

      2. Scott Roeben

        Given the safety precautions (this isn’t the demolition company’s first rodeo, and they plan for accidents like they do for the regularly-scheduled events), I don’t think it could have gotten all that ugly. A fence broke, but cars weren’t moving along the street as they worked on that area of the building, just in case. Late night is probably valid, but more safety concerns when the crews can’t clearly see what’s happening up on top.

    3. Scott Roeben

      There was a clustery element, but I have the benefit of having direct contact with demolition crew members, safety team members and site management personnel. That gives me a perspective others might not have, and hopefully I can put incidents into perspective. I think everyone got the facts right, but the context helps in terms of being able to see if a scenario is dangerous or if it’s mitigated by safety precautions common to the demolition industry. Buffer zones, traffic control and contingency plans are all over the place. Nobody got fired, as the incident took into account the possibility of unexpected debris, and everyone acted in accordance with regulations and procedures they’ve done a million times before. My two cents, but everyone has a right to their take.

  3. JeffinOKC

    I recall there being one old drink waitress who still wore the (IIRC, blue and white striped top with a blue pleated skirt) cheer leader uniform years after the other girls had switched to khaki shorts and a jungle print top.


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