The vote is in and Tuesday’s decision by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) to tear down the gambling mecca’s first high-rise casino and one of the oldest remaining in “sin city,” came as no surprise.
The 60 year old Riviera Hotel and Casino was purchased by the LVCVA in February for $182.5 million plus $8.5 million in transportation costs, and closed for good on May 4. The purchase is part of the city’s plan to expand the existing Las Vegas Convention Center to the Strip, all part of the $2.3 billion Las Vegas Global Business District project.
Rather than have the building sit vacant until the LVCVA finds the funding necessary for the expansion project, the decision to demolish sooner than later, was a practical one. Terry Miller, the agency’s contractor, said the method and date of demolition have yet to be determined, but that it wouldn’t take place for at least six months. The contractor suggested that a combination of tear down and implosion would probably be required, and estimated the cost to pave the site to be approximately $42 million.
The casino issued the following statement, “We greatly appreciate the expressions of fondness and loyalty for ‘The Riv’ from our guests since ground first broke in 1954 and through the years,” the casino said in a statement. “More importantly we want to acknowledge and applaud our associates who have worked to create enduring memories for all of our guests. This is what will be remembered long after the walls have come down. We look forward to making the coming weeks fun, exciting and memorable.”
LVCVA president and CEO, Rossi Ralenkotter, said the expansion is necessary in order to maintain Vegas’ convention business.