Video: Riviera Hotel Implosion

June 15, 2016



The Riviera Hotel's Monaco Tower was brought down early Tuesday morning in Las Vegas and site prep has already started.

The Riv's Monaco Tower, (known by trade show folks as a decent hotel that was within walking distance from the convention center), is the first of two implosions planned at the Riviera, the second planned to level the Monte Carlo Tower in mid-August. The 24-floor tower fell around 2:30 a.m. to a salute of fireworks. The hotel complex closed last May and the property was aquired by the  Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), which spent $42 million to level the buildings.

The site's new purpose will be a mixed-use facility with outdoor tradeshow exhibit space. LVCVA says the entire four-phase project includes renovation and expansion of the entire convention center and will take up to five years to complete. LVCVA says the completed project will add an around 6,000 permanent jobs.

"So every time a trade show comes to Las Vegas there's a huge amount of local employees who set up the trade show, move the trade shows in, and tear the trade shows down, do all of the decorating and design on the trade show floor. That creates a lot of local jobs for our local Teamster union and other unions," said Terry Jicinsky, LVCVA senior vice president of operations.

The Riviera was the first highrise hotel on the Vegas Strip, opening in 1955. Soon after it opened, the hotel and casino hit some hard financial times but, as the story goes, some wise guys with connections stepped in to help. Bugsy Siegel ran the operation and gentlemen from Chicago and other places east were always welcome. Dean Martin was part owner at one time and Liberace was paid $50,000 as the club's first headliner act. In the '70s and '80s, Vegas casinos were cleaned up during crackdowns on organized crime, but somehow the Riv always looked like your best bet to run into one of the Rat Pack til the very end.

The outdoor exhibit space and parking lot should be ready for showtime in December 2016.

Source: KLAS-TV 8