Tag: Vegas History

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Are the Lights of Rio Las Vegas Inspired By The Christ the Redeemer Statue?

Where: 3700 W. Flamingo Ave [map], 89103
June 9, 2015 at 1:50 PM | by | ()

Expert VegasChatter readers and longtime Vegas visitors and residents--we need your help with a fasciating connection involving the The Rio Las Vegas.

We recently received this question from a reader. Note: Once you see it, you cannot unsee it.

“Several years ago we arrived in Vegas at night, traveling by car. I do not remember on which freeway but I think it was from the north. At any rate, when I saw The Rio from that fresh angle, I was struck by the fact that the light pattern they use on the exterior of the building look like an homage to the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. The lights at the Rio go up and out, as do the arms in the statue. I can find no confirmation of this anywhere on the Internet. I even asked a server at Carnival World about it. She said she had been there 15 years and never heard that before. You must have sources you could ask? I am convinced that light pattern had to have an inspiration!”

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Overpriced, Obscure, and Possibly Illegal: Riv Relics are Hot on Ebay

June 4, 2015 at 3:43 PM | by | ()

While Vegas residents had the opportunity to say goodbye to the Riviera in person, last month’s closing came a bit too quickly for many visitors weren’t able to squeeze in a final visit.

The chance to stay or play has passed but, if you want to take home a piece of Vegas history, there are still a few days left during which you can get in and take part in the ongoing liquidation sale (ends June 7th).

Can’t make it out? Really have your heart set on one of those rare items that were quick to go? Your best chance at picking up a Riviera treasure today is biting the bullet and paying the premium to get it on Ebay.

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The Very Last Days of The Riviera Have Become Even More Tragic

May 26, 2015 at 8:16 PM | by | ()

A "secret" pool, long abandoned at The Riviera

Saying the last goodbyes to The Riviera took a tragic turn on Sunday during the hotel and casino's liquidation sale when a woman jumped to her death, landing near a closed-off pool area.

Despite the tragedy, the liquidation sale continued the next day but with several new security restrictions which closed off access to certain areas as well as sealed shut the glass doors leading out to the balconies.

Our resident photographer, Greg Clarke, was at The Riviera a few days before the suicide and was able to take a bunch of amazing photos of the suites, the wares for sale, the rooftop views and the unique architecture of the buildings. We started to compile his photos on Friday, with the plan to publish them on Tuesday.

We decided to go ahead and publish these photos because they show a part of Las Vegas that will soon be gone when The Riviera is demolished to make way for the LVCVA's new convention center. Even though The Riviera's last days have a dark cloud hanging over them, we have to hope there will be a brighter future ahead.

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If You Can't Be in Vegas This Weekend, You Can Virtually Visit 'Old Vegas'

May 22, 2015 at 9:48 PM | by | ()

This is our last post until Tuesday. Don't worry, we made it a good one!

We love getting tips from readers, and we recently got a tip on Twitter from follower @nj194x about a crazy good blog that features a TON of amazing vintage photos from The Strip. The Tumblr site, vintagelasvegas.tumblr.com, is described as a "photo history of Las Vegas resorts, casinos, hotels, motels in the 20th century.”

According to the Tumblr page, the photos come from UNLV Skyline, UNLV Digital, and UNLV Gambling, as well as Skyscraperpage. There are over 100 pages of pictures. We picked out some of our favorite ones for you to discover below.

The site also has a variety of vintage videos and facts about Las Vegas. So if you can't be in "New Vegas" this weekend at least you virtually visit "Old Vegas."

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Old Vegas Fans are Picking Up The Last Remnants of The Riviera

May 15, 2015 at 5:36 PM | by | ()

We said our last goodbyes to The Riviera nearly two weeks ago but Vegas history and casino buffs are getting one last chance with the casino hotel during its liquidation sale, which began yesterday.

Lines were extremely long on the first day (people waited more than three hours to get inside) but social media bragging has been kept to a minimum. In fact, below are pretty much the only photos we saw on Instagram. (You can peruse the full catalog of items for sale here.)

One thing that's not for sale? The Riviera sign. The iconic marquee has made its way to the Neon Musuem. No word on when it will actually be seen inside the museum's gates though, since the museum reports that it will keep the sign in storage until they have enough space to actually display the sign. We hope they can find a spot for The Riviera soon. In the meantime, we'll just have to fondly remember the way The Riviera would always auto-tweet us anytime we mentioned where to stay in Vegas. Sniff.

And now, here are the Instagram images of the sale that we found. Got your own photos to share? Send 'em to us.

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The Day That Classic Vegas Died: Riviera's Final Dawn

Where: 2901 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV [map], 89109
May 5, 2015 at 4:31 PM | by | ()

Look closely at the photograph above. It seems fitting that Riviera Hotel Casino's Diamond Jubilee display should end up this way, with the word "Classic" being shattered into pieces. One could easily visualize that a mini wrecking ball had come through, perhaps to drive home the fate of this iconic and legendary resort.

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Au Revoir Riviera: Some Snapshots of the Casino's Last Day

May 4, 2015 at 12:31 PM | by | ()

Well, the day has come. No, not "May the 4th Be With You" (although that's happening for you Star Wars nerds today too.) No, we're talking about saying goodbye to another long-standing casino on the Strip.

Although The Riviera's closure hasn't warranted the tears and outrage that came with the closing of The Sahara, it's still a sad day on an already sad end of the Las Vegas Strip.

VegasChatter resident lensman Greg C. has snapped a few shots of the nearly emptied-out joint yesterday. We'll have more updates on the last moments inside The Riv for you tomorrow.

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A VegasChatter Reader Drops By Riviera One Final Time

Where: 2901 Las Vegas Boulevard [map], 89109
March 9, 2015 at 1:08 PM | by | ()

As Riviera draws closer to its closure, many Las Vegas tourists and residents alike are finding time to drop by for one last time.

The iconic north Strip hotel-casino will close at noon on May 4 after being sold to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for $191 million in February.

Over the weekend, a VegasChatter reader made his pilgrimage and shared what he found:

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Vegas Past: How Bar Stools Helped Change Casinos Forever

February 19, 2015 at 7:46 PM | by | ()

We love checking out Old Vegas. Whether browsing through black-and-white era photos in books, watching old 8mm footage online, or getting out and seeing the artifacts for ourselves, we’re always coming across intriguing similarities and differences between days gone by and present Vegas. Sometimes, they’re obvious and give us a laugh, like the differences in attire. Other times, we’re left with questions. Today’s is “where did all the chairs come from?”

If you look at the images from way back in the early days of Vegas, you can’t help but notice that nearly everyone is on their feet. Slot players, armed with handfuls of nickels, stand shoulder to shoulder as they watch the cherries spin by on old-fashioned reel machines. Ties, pocket squares, and hats accessorize the suits worn by roulette players crowding around green-felted tables. Even blackjack players, notorious for putting in long sessions, are often seen upright.

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Forgotten Vegas: Why Doesn’t Anyone Remember MGM Grand’s EFX?

Where: 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S. [map], 89109
November 13, 2014 at 2:26 PM | by | ()

Remember EFX? Back in MGM’s Wizard of Oz era, EFX was the spectacle of The Strip. Technical marvels KA and "O" didn’t exist and Cirque du Soleil’s first Vegas show, Mystere, was still brand new. MGM, not even two years old at the time, invested heavily in a special-effects driven show so ambitious that it dwarfed not only anything else in Vegas, but any other show in the world. Despite an eight-year run in a massive 1,800-seat theater, EFX seems to have been largely forgotten among the relics of Lost Vegas.

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Lost Vegas: Lounging Around A 1968 Flamingo

September 4, 2014 at 5:36 PM | by | ()

Reader Chris C. had some quality time with his grandma recently going through old photo albums and wondered if VegasChatter was still accepting submissions. Funny thing about the Internet is that our mailbox is always open and even more curious about the VC staff is that flipping through photos of Lost Vegas never gets old. That's what we love about Vegas pics: we get older, but they stay the saaaame age. Alright, alright.

So, Chris and Grandma C. dug out the western states album that captured an August 1968 stop in Las Vegas on the way back from a California trip. Chris writes:

She and my grandfather drove out to California in the summer of 1968 to visit relatives and stayed for a few days in Las Vegas on the way back, some time in August of '68. They stayed at the Flamingo, which these photos are from. They didn't do much gambling and they didn't even go to downtown Las Vegas until way later in the 1990s. They did spend a lot of time by the pool, which, as it is now, was the center of attention at the fabulous Flamingo. I asked her why she took pictures of the room, and she said that when she got back to New Jersey she wanted people to believe that they had stayed in the Flamingo. I think she was just waiting for Tripadvisor to post photos.

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Clarion Closes Its Doors

Where: 305 Convention Center Drive [map]
September 3, 2014 at 12:36 PM | by | ()

On the heels of the openings of Delano Las Vegas and SLS Las Vegas are we about to see the next implosion of a Vegas hotel? The off-Strip Clarion, just west of the Las Vegas Convention Center, marked its last day Tuesday.

We stopped by the property this morning and found security guards patrolling the grounds. The one we spoke to said there were no guests inside and that the property would be demolished. Over its history, the hotel has undergone more name changes than a former mobster in witness protection. The Las Vegas Sun recounts the various name changes here as well as the succession of owners, among which included Debbie Reynolds.

Employees had reportedly been warned of an impending closure and, over the weekend, stopped taking reservations past Labor Day. The hotel had been known as The Debbie Reynolds Hotel, The Paddlewheel, Royal Inn and the Greek Isles. It held the distinction of being the only Clarion with a casino.

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