“Debris is raining down from the Riviera’s Monaco tower as it is prepped for implosion sometime in June….”.
“Look out below!”
Those are the words from VegasBright‘s resident photographer Greg C., who supplied these remarkable pics yesterday. They detail the beginning of the end….for Riviera Hotel Casino, that is. Greg is an aficionado of vintage Vegas structures and he has been following the happenings at Riviera for quite some time. You may have caught his self-penned article on the old girl’s fate back in August of last year.
As Greg described in that piece: “It is expected that the process will be a combination of conventional demolition with heavy equipment on the low-rise structures, and the use of explosives to bring down the towers and parking garages. No specific dates have been set, just a ballpark of early to mid-2016”.
It would seem that Greg’s predicted time frame was right on target, as I too observed the bobcats and cranes on the property during my visit to Vegas last week. Luckily for us, Greg has been keeping a watchful eye on the proceedings and captured the heavy equipment in action.
“This is the newest tower built in the late 1980s. They are using bobcats to demolish the interior walls. The crane you see in the pics holds a hoist which is used to lift the bobcat up to the different floors. There is one section on the south side of the tower where every floor has been opened up–this is where the bobcats are lifted to”. Greg C.
“A scene from the 1995 movie “Casino” was filmed in the suite under the RIVIERA logo in…..I got to go in there during the liquidation sale and explore–(to) see right where Robert De Niro was standing”. Greg C.
As the cranes and bobcats do their thing in the sky, the more earthbound Riviera Convention Center is also coming apart at the seams. The low-level structures on the rear of the property should be gone in short order, and we should expect to see the two parking structures in the cross-hairs very soon.
It is widely believed that the remaining structures (the taller towers) will be brought down via separate implosions in June and August. Greg says “The Monaco tower is set to be the first implosion, as it is “green”–asbestos-free. It was the last one built, long after the Federal ban on asbestos. The older mid-70’s Monte Carlo tower, however, presents a problem. It will need to be literally wrapped in plastic to have its stucco skin scraped off prior to implosion. The stucco has asbestos embedded in it”.
No specific dates have been set yet for the implosions (to our knowledge, at least), but that hasn’t stopped the party-hearty residents of Vegas from pre-planning their own “Implosion Viewing Parties”. Greg and I hope to attend at least one of them and set up his cameras at dual locations to capture the historic events.
Keep checking back on these pages for more updates and great photos as we cover the ever-changing skyline of Las Vegas.
Photos: [Greg C.]