Vital Vegas

Riviera Casino Closed Two Years Ago, Watch Her Fall Again

The iconic Riviera Hotel and Casino closed its doors on May 4, 2015, after 60 years of ups, downs and WTFs.

Toward the end, public indifference toward the aging casino turned to melancholy, with many bemoaning the end of an era in Las Vegas.

Spoiler alert: This is the “before” photo.

While we, too, did a fair share of bemoaning when the casino closed, mostly we dove headlong into the task of obsessively chronicling the casino’s months-long demolition, capturing The Riv as it transformed from a run down relic to a paved-over parking lot.

It’s like dermabrasion, but with a vintage Vegas hotel.

On the second anniversary of Riviera’s closing, we figured it was a good time to look back, to reflect upon the history of a casino woven into the fabric of Sin City and to shamelessly try and increase the number of views of our Riviera demolition video.

The Riviera was purchased by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for $182.5 million. Demolition of the Riviera cost about $44 million. Yes, that’s a really pricey parking lot.

During her heyday, Riviera was featured in movies like the original “Ocean’s 11,” “Casino,” “The Hangover” and many others.

After closing, the Riv played a key part in the bigtime Hollywood yawner, “Jason Bourne,” which, come to think of it, we also wasted our time obsessively chronicling.

In the climactic finale to “Jason Bourne,” this SWAT truck drove into the Riviera’s shuttered casino. Unforgettable moment, utterly forgettable movie.

We miss the Riv from time-to-time. Its “Crazy Girls.” Its future kiddie porn-downloading Jan Rouven. Its pinball machines. Its “An Evening at Le Cage,” wherein Frank Marino (now at the Linq casino) made an eye-popping $20,000 a week for impersonating a woman. Its crappy food court. Its “Splash.” Its Liberace.

Goodbye, again, old girl. We’ll never see your like again.