Saying Good Bye to the Riviera

Vegas’  fans and fanatics are all atwitter as Tuesday morning gets closer and the first of two planned demolitions of the Riviera Hotel and Casino happen.  At 2 am on Tuesday the Monaco Tower will be leveled.  The Monte Carlo Tower will go in August or late in September after the removal of asbestos. This will be the first Las Vegas Strip implosion in nine years.  The last one being the New Frontier in November of  and the Stardust was before that in March of 2007.

Riviera Towers ready for demolition

The Riviera has a special place in the history of the Las Vegas Strip.  Some of the biggest names in show business stayed there, played there and even owned parts of it at one time.  So you really didn’t expect it to go down without a show, did you??  Just like its former neighbor across the street, the Stardust, there will be fireworks before the big event.  The famous Grucci Fireworks team has been on site working alongside everyone else prepping the building for its final moments in the spotlight.

Riviera Sign Post

Going to See The Show?

Join the crowd.  We love to watch something in Las Vegas go Boom and we love to have a reason to get together and celebrate.  This is one of those moments.   So plan to show up early and be surrounded by lots of other people there to party and to celebrate. The Barrymore which is across the street from the Riviera has a viewing party from midnight to 3 am and sold out within hours after announcing it.

I would suggest to show up early.  Plan for chaos, because there is no real good place to view it from except street level and METRO will have the Strip and the side streets, Convention Center and Riviera Blvd,  closed off early.  They will be wrangling the crowds to a safe distance away.  Of course, they are keeping quiet about their exact plans for crowd control.

 

Saying Good Bye

Like a few others we saw wandering around the borders of the property, we headed down to the Riviera today to see it one last time. Always sad to say goodbye to a friend who treated you so well over the years.

First up, it was just a classical, classy place that was abused by its owners.  You have seen parts of it so many times in so many movies: Casino, Vegas Vacation, 3000 miles to Graceland, etc…  The neon, the blinking lights the marble counters at check-in, were all parts of its past and a lost part of the classy Vegas from a time gone by.  You could almost see Dean, Frank or even Elvis coming through the casino area. Or you just saw their impersonators!

riviera-lights

Those famous lights!

As a chauffeur, I picked up many a fun people here.  Not so much great tippers, but genuine fun people here to have a good time and spend their kids college fund!  As a tour professional, I picked up some nice groups here that spent a lot of money seeing some amazing things and enjoying the experience of being in Las Vegas.   As a gambler, I probably broke even over the years. Won some good jackpots, saw a lot of great entertainment and gave a lot of my winnings back.  With cheap rooms, cheap booze, and other great deals, the people watching was always top notch no matter the time of day or the season.

The Riviera Butts Statue

Catching some famous Vegas Backside!

And finally, just before they kicked the last guests out, we got to stay in one of the suites.  Not “The Suites”… But a two room suite… Just one floor under the big suites… Loved the place.  Lots of room with a balcony that overlooked the strip.  We had a better view of the Strip for $60 than the people now paying $400 for a room at the SLS up the street!!

 

Suite at the Riviera

A 2 room suite at the Riv with a great view of the Strip

What are your favorite memories of The Riviera??

 

Posted by Mark Anthony

Mark Anthony is The Vegas Tourist! Popular Tourism Ambassador, a frequent contributor to Las Vegas forums as well as travel media and bloggers. Loves to help people discover new things to see, do and experience while visiting Las Vegas and Beyond!

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