Goodbye to Vegas Hotel!

The rumor mill in Las Vegas was spinning like a roulette wheel on Monday with speculation that the oldest hotel-casino on the Strip, often used in films, would be bought.
Photo: Flickr user kokalola

Photo: Flickr user kokalola

The rumor mill in Las Vegas was spinning like a roulette wheel on Monday with speculation that the venerable Riviera, the oldest hotel-casino on the Strip, would be bought by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The agency reportedly would demolish the hotel and use the site to expand the Las Vegas Convention Center all the way out to Las Vegas Boulevard, according to local news sources, including Vitallasvegas.com and the Las Vegas Sun.

The official announcement about the deal was expected imminently. One report stated that the sale by the current owner, Starwood Capital Group, would be followed by the hotel’s closing as soon as May, with demolition beginning the following month.

Another unconfirmed report stated that Paragon Gaming, the casino-hotel’s management team had already moved out of the complex to other quarters.

The Riviera, which opened in 1955, has more than 2,100 rooms and about 100,000 square feet of gaming space.

In February 2013, the LVCVA released plans for the Las Vegas Global Business District, a phased project that would include major renovations and expansion of the convention center, creating a dedicated World Trade Center facility, and establishing a centralized transportation hub. Up to $150 million in funding was to be sought for the first phase.

By September 2014, plans had been firmed up, outlining 750,000 square feet of new exhibit space as part of a 1.8-million-square-foot expansion of the convention center, currently at 3.2 million total square feet.

The price tag is estimated at $2.3 billion, and the project is expected to take five to eight years.

The Riviera has been a popular setting for movies, having been used in the original 1960 “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Casino” (1995), “Showgirls” (also 1995), “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” (1997), “3000 Miles to Graceland” (2001) and “The Hangover” (2009).