By JAMIE MUNKS and KIMBERLY DE LA CRUZ
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Posted June 13, 2016 – 8:21pm Updated June 15, 2016 – 8:48pm
Las Vegas bid a bittersweet goodbye to the Riviera early Tuesday, as the historic hotel’s Monaco tower came crashing down to pave the way for expanded convention facilities.
The 24-story tower was imploded around 2:35 a.m., preceded by a fireworks show and a countdown. A rumbling began, and the easternmost part of the tower began to fall first. The entire building ceased to exist in under a minute, and in the minutes that followed, the dust cleared, leaving a void on the northern end of the Strip.
“As we say goodbye to the Riviera, we look forward to our future,” Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority President and CEO Rossi Ralenkotter said at a lively viewing party in an adjacent convention center parking lot.
The Riviera on Tuesday joined other resorts such as the Stardust, the Aladdin and the Dunes when it was reduced to rubble by 18 delayed detonations. But those hotels “are the foundation of where we are today,” Ralenkotter said.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority acquired the property for $190 million in February 2015 and plans to expand convention facilities there.