One of Las Vegas’ traditions is destroying its tradition.  Implosions of old casinos has become a spectacle in itself, with public viewing areas, fireworks, and of course collapsing buildings.  But with each celebration of the future, there is always a little sadness for a loss of part of the past.

The most recent of these spectacles took place just took place in the early Vegas Morning this week.  This one seemed a little different.  This one wasn’t just any casino.  This was the Riviera.

It was one of the oldest and certainly one of the most iconic.  The Riviera help to make Vegas what Vegas is.  It was everything Vegas is. It was the first casino to have a highrise hotel.  It had its roots in the mob.  Liberace headlined here.  Sinatra had his own suite where he stayed after his performances.  It had showgirls and topless revues.  It had neon and shimmering lights.  It had a pit that epitomized Vegas in films such as “Casino,” “Vegas Vacation,” and “The Hangover.”  In other words, Vegas would not be what it is today with the Riviera.

While Vegas is always trying to reinvent and outdo itself, it is still with a fair amount of sadness that it is time to say “Goodbye, Riviera.”

Las Vegas, Nevada    May 2015

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