This month the Riviera Hotel & Casino celebrated its 60th Anniversary. Next month it closes down for good. The lights go out at noon on May 4.
After outlasting its neighbors the Stardust, Frontier, and the Sahara, I thought the Riviera would manage to stick around a little longer. Long enough to see the opening of Resorts World across the street and whatever it is the Fontainebleau is going to be after it's someday bought and finished. But it wasn't to be. The Riviera will be replaced with more convention facilities.
|The Riviera 1950's, digital.library.unlv.edu|
The Riviera Hotel & Casino opened in 1955 and was the first high rise type hotel and casino on the Las Vegas strip. Liberace was the headliner for several years. There were three major Riviera based shows over the past sixty years that had extraordinarily long runs...Splash, An Evening at La Cage, and Crazy Girls.
The other day my sister and I went to pay one last visit to the Riviera. Over fish & chips at the Wicked Vicky Tavern we tried to recall our favorite memories of this classic property. Turns out we didn't have many, except a few in the 1990's because the Riviera had not been a major player in town for many years. Although I always liked it, the Riv had no real identity amongst the newer giants of the strip. In fact a lot of people didn't even realize this piece of old Vegas was still around.
|Wishing Michael the bartender well. He worked at the Riviera 27 years.|
Even though it's sad to say goodbye to this grand old lady of the Las Vegas strip it's also true that it was time for the Riviera to go. To prosper there must be change. Las Vegas learned this the hard way in the late 1980's, and has never forgotten that lesson.
|Riviera Hotel & Casino Las Vegas ...1955 - 2015|