Tags: riviera casino | closing | las vegas | strip | 60 years

Riviera Casino Closes: A Las Vegas Strip Staple for 60 Years Is No More

By    |   Tuesday, 05 May 2015 12:58 PM

The Riviera Casino, which anchored the northern portion of the Las Vegas Strip for 60 years and hosted such entertainers as Frank Sinatra, Wayne Newton, and Dean Martin, closed its doors Monday to make room for a revamped convention center complex.

The 23-story hotel and casino, the first high-rise resort on the Strip, checked out its final guests Monday morning before locking up the property that will become the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority on June 8, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The newspaper said the site will be part of the new $2.3 billion Las Vegas Global Business District.

Workers removed the casino's "No Ifs, Ands Or . . ." statue from the casino front and placed it onto a pickup truck.

"We're going to go up and down the strip with it," Nevada Nichols, the show's technical director, told the Review-Journal. "Then, it's going on tour to Red Rock, Lake Mead, and the Welcome (to Fabulous Las Vegas) sign."

Even though more glamorous hotels and casinos were built, the Riviera still caught the eye of Hollywood. It served as the location for scenes in the 2009 hit movie "The Hangover," 1995's "Casino," 1997's "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery," and the original "Ocean's Eleven" in 1960, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

"Anytime you lose an icon like the Riviera, years ago, the Desert Inn, the Frontier, yeah, it is a sad time in Las Vegas," Kevin Carpenter, one of the last guests to stay at the storied venue, told KLAS-TV. "It brings back just a lot of fond memories that me and my family always had coming down here on this side of the Strip."

Entertainer Pia Zadora, who performed at the Riviera, told the local station that the closing of the casino marks the end of an era in Las Vegas.

"It's the end of a vintage, Vegas, classic era," Zadora said. "All great things must end. A lot of that old style glamour has dissipated over the years."

Convention center officials have not yet decided when demolition will start on the building or if it will be imploded like other past Las Vegas structures, the Review-Journal noted.

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The Riviera Casino, which anchored the northern portion of the Las Vegas Strip for 60 years and hosted such entertainers as Frank Sinatra, Wayne Newton, and Dean Martin, closed its doors Monday to make room for a revamped convention center complex.
riviera casino, closing, las vegas, strip, 60 years
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2015-58-05
Tuesday, 05 May 2015 12:58 PM
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