The Riviera Hotel & Casino seems to have been “on the market” since filing for bankruptcy in 2010. If the Las Vegas rumor mill is correct, and it usually is when there is this much chatter, the oldest still operating casino on strip will be sold to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). Speculation places the closure as early as May and demolition by the end of June. The property will not be replaced by a new casino as the LVCVA charter prohibits it from owning or operating gambling properties.
Last Fall a feasibility study was released examining the LVCVA’s proposed Las Vegas Global Business District – a plan to expand and refurbish the Las Vegas Convention Center – which was originally built in the 1950’s, as was the Riviera. The 5 to 8 year plan would expand the current 3.2 million square foot facility to almost 5.7 million square feet. The project is estimated to cost $2.3 billion for the expansion and renovation alone – not counting neighborhood gentrification or the proposed new transportation plan for the city which would center on the project.
In 1955, The Riviera became the ninth casino to be built on the Las Vegas Strip and has counted among its partial owners names like Dean Martin, and The Marx Brothers. The casino property is currently owned by Starwood Capital Group. The Riviera has a 110,000 square foot casino with nearly 1,000 slots and 40 gaming tables, 2,100 hotel rooms, and 150,000 square feet of convention space. The Mardi Gras Theatre there has hosted such names as Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, Elvis Presley, and Liberace over the years.