I’ve stayed and played at the Riviera. Admittedly though it was twenty years or so too late as it was a shadow of its former self by 2010 when I visited. The rooms were shabby and the table games area worse still but the building still had something about it, something evocative of its heyday when it was both one of the coolest and hottest places to be seen in town.
It has now been announced that the taller of the two hotel towers, the Monaco Tower, will be imploded at 2am in the morning of the 14th June. The eventual destruction of the remainder of the Riviera and clearance of the site will make way for the expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center campus. I’m led to believe that local hotel rooms boasting a good view of the demolition site have been selling fast.
The numbers involved are staggering. When it was built in 1987 the Monaco Tower cost $28 million to construct. The Monte Carlo Tower, which is scheduled for subsequent demolition some time in August this year, cost about $20 million – a total cost of $48 million. The demolition cost, by comparison, is a snip at $42 million!
The Monte Carlo Tower is to be demolished last because there is a preponderance of asbestos which has to be removed by hand in case the lethal particles spread in the inevitable dust cloud. That, in turn, requires the tower to be wrapped while the asbestos is removed.
It will take less than a minute for the Monaco Tower to hit the ground in many million pieces.