Sunday 4 December 2016

Famed Las Vegas casino's last tower reduced to rubble

Published 16/08/2016 | 13:31

The Riviera casino's Monte Carlo tower is imploded in Las Vegas (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
The Riviera casino's Monte Carlo tower is imploded in Las Vegas (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
The Riviera casino's Monte Carlo tower and adjacent buildings are imploded in Las Vegas (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
The Riviera casino's Monte Carlo tower and adjacent buildings are imploded in Las Vegas (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
Motorist navigate through smoke covered Sands Avenue after the Riviera hotel-casino implosion in Las Vegas (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

The last tower of the famous Riviera Hotel and Casino has been reduced to a pile of rubble on the Las Vegas Strip.

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The 2.30am demolition of the Monte Carlo wing came two months after the taller Monaco tower was levelled the same way.

The 2,075-room property closed in May 2015 after 60 years hosting headliners from Liberace to Dean Martin. It was also a backdrop for films including the Rat Pack original Ocean's 11 in 1960.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority now owns the property and plans to use it for an expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Centre.

The tourism agency bought the entire 26 acres last year for 182.5 million dollars (£140 million), plus 8.5 million dollars (£6.5 million) in related transaction costs. The expansion is expected to be completed in January.

Unlike the previous implosion in June, there was no designated viewing area on Tuesday morning.

But a small crowd began gathering on Las Vegas Boulevard to witness the implosion, many of them taking photos before blasts caused the building to collapse into a pile of rubble.

"This is like history right here," Dan Teson told the Las Vegas Sun, as he pointed to the 17-storey Monte Carlo tower and other remaining buildings.

"It's got weird architecture compared to everything else on the Strip."

Once known as a classic mob joint, The Riv was used in three of the most famous movies ever filmed in Las Vegas, including Ocean's 11, the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever and 1995's Casino.

It is also a setting for scenes in the latest Jason Bourne film.

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