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Taller of two Riviera towers to be imploded June 14

The taller of two hotel towers of the shuttered Riviera will be imploded early June 14, a spokesman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said Wednesday.

The 24-story Monaco tower demolition is scheduled at about 2 a.m., the morning before Nevada voters go to the polls for the 2016 primary election.

The destruction of the Riviera is giving way to the expansion and improvement of the Las Vegas Convention Center campus.

Word of the planned implosion had leaked last week prompting some wanting a good view of the event to book rooms with good vantage points at nearby hotels.

Representatives of the Marriott SpringHill Suites Las Vegas Convention Center last week said the property, located next to the Riviera site, is frequently filled to capacity because of its proximity to the Las Vegas Convention Center, but a check of the property’s online reservation website Wednesday indicated there were still vacancies the night before the scheduled implosion.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is demolishing the two towers for almost as much money as it cost to build them.

The LVCVA board of directors voted in April to approve the implosion of the two towers, one in June and the other in August, for $42 million in a contract with W.A. Richardson Builders LLC.

The Monaco tower, built in 1987 at a cost of $28 million, added 940 rooms to the property when it was completed in 1988.

The Monte Carlo tower, a 17-story, 361-room facility completed at a cost of $20 million in 1975, will be brought down sometime in August.

The Monte Carlo demolition is more complicated than the Monaco tower because Richardson workers will have to wrap the building in plastic and chisel away the finish and haul the debris away to prevent asbestos particles from becoming airborne during the planned implosion, which normally result in large dust clouds.

There also is asbestos in the buildings’ interiors that will have to be removed before the implosions can occur.

Authority staff and board members view the dual implosions as an opportunity to call attention to the Las Vegas Convention Center expansion plan, which the LVCVA says will cost $1.4 billion. That doesn’t count $250 million the agency budgeted for acquiring the Riviera and future construction on the Riviera site that hasn’t been detailed. Previously, the LVCVA priced the whole package at $2.3 billion.

Construction of the state-of-the-art facility is expected to generate 7,000 high-paying construction jobs and 6,000 full-time permanent jobs.

The Riviera grounds are adjacent to the Convention Center’s Gold Lot and will give the authority an extra 3,100 parking spaces that could either be used for additional vehicle parking or for outdoor exhibits.

The implosion of worn-out hotel-casino properties has become a cultural phenomenon for Las Vegas with more than a dozen places taken down in a flurry of explosions, collapsing towers, billowing smoke and dust and then deadly silence — except for the cheers from onlookers — all in less than a minute.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Find him on Twitter: @RickVelotta.

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