The splat pack ... Sinatra's on the soundtrack as first Vegas hotel in years levelled
With a 2,000kg explosive punch, a Las Vegas hotel has turned into a pile of rubble.
The 12-story Clarion casino-hotel became the 13th hotel to gain implosion infamy in a town that explodes the old to make way for the new.
"Hopefully 13 will be a lucky number," Lorenzo Doumani, the site's new owner and developer, said a few hours before he and his family counted down to the Clarion's final seconds at nearly 3am, flanked by two showgirls and having listened to a pre-implosion soundtrack of Frank Sinatra.
The 200-room casino-hotel opened in 1970 as the Royal Inn and was called the Debbie Reynolds - for its one-time owner - as well as the Greek Isles and the Paddle Wheel.
What took seconds to destroy required several months of planning and 2,000kg of explosives, said Anthony O Schlecht, safety co-ordinator for Las Vegas-based Burke Construction who said the preparation extended to covering nearby pools, including at the neighbouring Marriott hotel.
It's been a while since a casino-hotel was felled by controlled explosives.
Between 2004 and 2007, six Vegas properties were brought down, but in the eight years since, the only Strip-side implosions were a segment of the Tropicana hotel and a parking structure.