Riviera’s Iconic Sign is Removed, Set for Restoration in Reno

The iconic neon “Riviera” has been removed from the facade of the now-closed Las Vegas hotel.

The unmistakable lettering was carefully taken down piece by piece by the Federal Heath Sign company, and a neon sign collector is expected to restore it.

Riviera sign

While not commonly known, “Riviera” got its name because it’s an anagram for “I arrive.” Then again, it may not be commonly known because we just made that up.

Some Las Vegas media have reported the removed sign will end up in the Neon Museum, but this particular element of Riviera’s classic facade is going to a sign collector, Will Durham.

Durham hopes to raise the funds needed to publicly display his collection of neon signs in Reno, Nevada.

Durham’s crowd-sourcing page says of the Riviera, “We cannot save the structures but we can save the most identifiable architectural elements, the neon signs. For the last year we have been working with the LVCVA to arrange for the preservation of two very important signs before the buildings are demolished.”

Here’s the former Riviera sign in all its glory. The Riviera sign replaced another for “Splash,” a show that closed in October 2006. Take a look.

Riviera Las Vegas

Sadly, to save this entire Las Vegas facade, they’d need another wing at the Neon Museum.

Read more about Will Durham’s plans for the Riviera’s classic signage. Durham plans to rescue another Riviera sign, one on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd. and Riviera Blvd.

Durham says the Riviera signs “will be safely stored until they are installed in a major exhibition that celebrates Nevada’s neon heritage currently under development.”

Let’s hope all that comes to fruition.

Riviera Las Vegas hotel casino

Don’t cry because it’s over. Cry because it’s not humanly possible to procreate with neon. Probably.

The Riviera is set to be demolished at a cost of nearly $44 million.

The hotel’s two towers will presumably be imploded at separate times, one in June and another in August 2016.

Although, those with a knowledge of new OSHA rules about “respirable crystalline silica” seem to think Las Vegas hotel tower implosions are now as likely as magician Jan Rouven being hired as a nanny.

Riviera neon sign

This beauty ended up at the Neon Museum, sans the gorgeous vertical tubes. They need to invent a sad emoticon just for situations like this.

Fun fact: It’s estimated there are more than 15,000 miles of neon in Las Vegas.

Following the hotel’s demolition, the site will be used for an expansion to the Las Vegas Convention Center. Which, according to our calculations, is approximately a bajillion times less fun than even the most run-down Las Vegas casino.

11 thoughts on “Riviera’s Iconic Sign is Removed, Set for Restoration in Reno

  1. Annster

    Run down Vegas casinos more fun than the convention center, now that’s a story I’d like to see! I personally had plenty of fun at Palace Station and Four Queens on my visit last fall, but not sure how run down we are talking here. We need the expert opinion on this. Didn’t make it to town in time to say goodbye to the Riv or Las Vegas Club, boo hoo!

    1. chewieb

      Riv was sort of a mess. (Then again, so is Circus Circus across the street which is supposedly doing fine.) As for Las Vegas Club, people didn’t even seem to notice or care about it being closed, probably because they didn’t notice that it was still open.

    2. AccessVegas

      Riv was in no worst shape than Four Queens or the (pre-remodel) Palace Station. I liked the place. Old school Vegas feel that we’re losing.

  2. Michael Gomez

    Don’t know if anyone noticed, but the Riviera sign here actually was superimposed over the existing outline of the previous Splash sign that was on the side of this building when the show was shut down.

          1. Michael Higdon

            Sounds like Will got two and the LVCVA took others to the boneyard. Everybody wins!

  3. Bouldersteve

    Glad I was able to visit the week before it closed. Got to take some pictures to remember to good old days. Even though the employees knew the end was near the service was great. The Riviera will be missed.


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