Greg C perches atop the former Mint Tower for deconstruction views.
Beginning the week of July 17th, demolition has begun in earnest on the block containing LV Club, Mermaids and Glitter Gulch. They basically are starting with clearing away the ground level structures and then (literally) working their way up. Last to go will be the two towers of LVC.
First order of business, demolition of the Granite Gaming offices that sat behind Mermaids on 1st Street. Removal of this nondescript 1-story building which few people ever noticed (except local employees) allows heavy equipment access to the guts of the block. There, behind the scenes, workers are smashing apart low structures at the base of the older LVC tower and ripping the guts out of it. You can see this going on from above, but not at all from Fremont Street where barrier walls keep this out of sight. Luckily for the demo crews, the constant blare of music being piped into FSE helps keep the noise of chugging excavators and crumbling walls covered somewhat.
Next up on the chopping block—long time favorite, Mermaids. The closing of this cheap, fun-time joint with its cholesterol-choked deep fried Twinkies and Oreos produced more than a few tears from locals and tourists alike. It was where one could walk in with a 5 dollar bill and walk out feeling satisfied (try that on the Strip…).
Originally opened in 1956 as the Silver Palace, the place went through a few name changes over the years–most notably Sassy Sally’s back in the 80s and 90s. Now the venerable structure is set to be leveled as the 2nd phase of the block demo continues.
Biting the dust at about the same time as Mermaids will be adjacent Golden Goose/Glitter Gulch “gentleman’s club” building. Not much lamentation for the passing of this place–its only major claim to fame being the iconic signage sitting above the entrance. While Vegas Vicki has safely vacated her perch above the flashy “Glitter Gulch” sign, the fate of the remaining neon façade remains in question. The ever-smiling Golden Goose and his trove of sparkling eggs are still in place, as are the neon and bulb signs themselves. It will be left to the demolition company to determine if any more will be spared or scrapped.
The next phase of the demo process will see the last of the “easy” low-rise buildings, the Las Vegas Club main casino, be reduced to rubble. It was a shame that no liquidation sale took place at LVC with all of that cool sports memorabilia it had inside. It leaves this observer wondering where it all went. Will the statue of the baseball batter out front get preserved?? Maybe he could wind up at Cashman Field or some other appropriate location.
The next phase will be the beginning of the heavy work with the leveling of the LVC parking garage at the corner of 1st and Ogden….. You can expect plenty of noise and dust as this gets underway. It will also see the demise of much colorful artwork/graffiti on the top of the structure. This was leftover from the 2015 “Life is Beautiful” festival where performers were allowed to paint on their logos for a promotional video.
The final round offers up the big challenges…..the two towers. First up will be the older 15 story one closest to the FSE canopy. Built around 1980 or so, it was at first thought it would be imploded in typical Vegas style. Alas, no, it will be smashed apart using some VERY heavy demo cranes and brought down in sections. Should be interesting to observe the process–despite being denied the thrill of seeing high-explosive charges walk through the building, followed by a big dust cloud.
Last to go will be the bigger, newer tower at the rear of the property along Ogden Street. Added sometime in the late 90s, this building isn’t really that old. However, this being Vegas, that doesn’t mean anything (the Boardwalk tower, built in 1996, was imploded in 2006 at age 10). Once the debris is cleared away, a nice-sized plot of dirt will offer a clean slate for the upcoming “18 Fremont” brainchild of Greg and Derek Stevens.
Las Vegas never ceases to re-invent itself.
[Photos: Greg C]