This week Las Vegas said goodbye to an old friend as only Las Vegas can with fireworks, a huge party and a loud bang that set the wheels in motion for a giant implosion of the Monaco Tower of the Riviera Hotel and Casino. People from all over the world digitally left their fingerprint on the implosion with their personal Riviera Confessions as part of the newest “What Happens Here, Stays Here” campaign to capture Vegas memories with whhsh.com. Fans of the property took to social media to lament the loss of another iconic property and those that just like excitement lined the streets nearby to watch the building go down.
That's Las Vegas!
The view from the strip was preceded by a fireworks show in the sky and late night celebrations in anticipation of the boom went on in nearby bars and lounges. The strip side view from the Barrymore was lively with cocktails and Las Vegas visitors taking in the latest spectacle in a party atmosphere. Fireworks went off and a quick countdown led to the main event.
Overhead, I took long swooping orbits in a Sundance Helicopter surveying the strip and the Las Vegas valley. The view from a helicopter is captivating in that your eye seemingly attempts to catch all the details below while gliding past at a high rate of speed. The Riviera Hotel was dimly lit and barely visible but the surrounding area was alive with activity even at 2:30 am.
As the fireworks show started the flashing lights illuminated the Riviera for one last time. The brilliant light show in the sky worked to send off this icon with a bang.
The Riviera Hotel opened 60 years ago and will soon become part of a larger plan by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to further enhance the Las Vegas Convention Center’s ability to provide for their trade show clients. While the Monaco Tower came down, plenty of the property still exists and will eventually be completely removed in August as some asbestos abatement must be down before the final phase of demolition.
Nearby development is slowly starting to progress and the word is that soon a new mega-resort will open within walking distance from the former Riviera site. This north end of the Las Vegas strip is home to another older resort, Circus Circus, that still enjoys success as a budget property and family friendly hotel.