The last tower of the iconic Riviera Hotel and Casino is about to be reduced to rubble during an overnight implosion on Tuesday on the Las Vegas Strip.
Unlike the previous implosion, there won't be a designated viewing area this time. A series of explosions took down the taller, 24-story Monaco tower in June, which was celebrated as an organized spectacle. That event was carried out with flair, complete with a viewing area, local dignitaries and fireworks.
The 2,075-room property closed in May 2015 after 60 years hosting headliners from Liberace to Dean Martin on the northern end of the Strip.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority now owns the property and is spending $42 million to level the 13-building site. The tourism agency bought the entire 26 acres last year for $182.5 million, plus $8.5 million in related transaction costs, with plans to expand its Las Vegas Convention Center. The expansion is expected to be completed in January.
Once known as a classic mob joint, "The Riv" was also used in three of the most famous movies ever filmed in Las Vegas, including the Rat Pack's original 1960 "Ocean's 11," the 1971 James Bond film "Diamonds Are Forever" and 1995's "Casino." It's also a setting for scenes in the latest "Jason Bourne" film.
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