Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Remembering the Riviera

One year ago today was a Monday, and at noon Vegas time the Riviera closed its doors, ending its 60-year run on the north end of the strip.

The following pictures were foolishly taken with my cell phone rather than with a legitimate digital camera. I tweeted a few pics while at the Riv during its closing, but I should have been taking pictures with a quality camera, too. Lesson learned.

Many of these have never been shared anywhere. Happy anniversary, I guess.

That's all, folks!
A historic display inside the Riviera to commemorate its 60-year history.
The last night the bronze "Crazy Girls" art installation graced the facade of the Riviera.
The lights were shining bright during the casino's final night in operation, May 3.
Simplistic, yet colorful and fun, that was the neon outside the Riviera.
It's the 21st century, yet many people needed to check out the old-fashioned way on Monday morning, May 4.
The tables were full on Sunday night, yet all of them were closed during the final morning of the casino's operation, much to my disappoint. 
A final morning visitor stands inside the "secret pool" at the Riviera. Unfamiliar with the pool? A Google search will lead you to stories about it.
Sam, at right, was working for the former Vegas Chatter that day, and served as a de facto historian about the Riviera. 
Another look at the outdoor pool that was never used. As the story goes, the pool leaked into the casino. 
Sam's work can now be found on the Vegas Bright website.
Removing the "Crazy Girls" installation couldn't wait until after the casino had closed.
The statue, if that's what you call it, is reported to weigh hundreds of pounds.
The "Crazy Girls" show and its statue found a new home at Planet Hollywood.
Live reports outside the Las Vegas Boulevard entrance were common during the final hours of the Riviera.
One of the Spanish language networks reported from the closing and interviewed spectators.
Even before the property officially closed maintenance workers were fencing off the pool area. Did they fear protestors were going to jump in?
Whatever be the reason, several $1 bills were on the bottom of the pool. You know it's an old pool when it's more than 5 feet deep.
Inside the casino you could have your picture taken with an old sign. 
Closed long before the casino was shuttered, the second-floor buffet area looked like it either recently closed down or was ready to open for business. Little had been done to gut it since its closure. I didn't walk into the kitchen, but had I done so, I'm sure I would have found pots, pans and everything needed to serve breakfast to the masses.
The bubble craps game was a popular draw during the final morning at the Riviera. The game was still going past the noon closing, and a manager had to declare a point in the roll where players were obligated to cash out.  
The table games were packed on Sunday night, but none of them were in operation on the final morning at the Riviera. Many people posed for pictures that morning while standing in the dealer's position.
And away goes the statue.
As security officers were ushering people toward the back of the property, (the Las Vegas Boulevard doors had been locked,) a maintenance worker begins shutting down slot machines.
As people were heading toward the rear exit of the hotel, a few players stubbornly sat at slot machines several minutes past noon, trying to score one last win.
This anniversary display appears to be damaged, but plenty of people stopped for a picture in front of it nonetheless.
Nobody told local cab drivers that the Riviera was closing that morning, as there were many people, luggage in tow, waiting for a taxi on the back side of the property, facing the parking ramp, minutes after the noon closing.
The casino's sign on the back side of the property, along Paradise Road, says thank you to its patrons.

1 comment:

  1. Nicely assembled, sir. It was a significant day. Sammasseur