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No late checkout: Riviera closes doors at noon | News

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No late checkout: Riviera closes doors at noon
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LAS VEGAS - After 60 years on the Las Vegas Strip, the Riviera will close its doors Monday.

The Riviera has hosted classic shows and legendary performers during its 60-year run.

The casino opened April 20, 1955. Liberace performed on stage that night, becoming the first of many legendary performers to appear at the Riviera.

PHOTOS: A look back at the famous people who performed at the Riviera

Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin also graced the stage and performed for hundreds of guests.

One performer who knows the Riviera is Pia Zadora. She entertained crowds there in the 1970s and 1980s. At one point, she was even married to the owner of the famous hotel.

Zadora says some of the best memories of her life occurred at the Riviera. She says, when the doors close Monday, it will mark the end of the vintage Las Vegas era.

“It just seems like, you know, the glamour has – that old style glamour – has dissipated over the years,” she said. “Now, the Riviera is going to go down and won't be standing there reminding us anymore. We have to keep the memories in our hearts and go on.”

INTERACTIVE TIMELINE: Riviera history

The Riviera is also known for being the backdrop in a number of movies, including “Casino”, “Ocean's Eleven”, and “The Hangover”.

In February, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Board of Directors approved the agency's purchase of the Riviera for more than $180 million.

The LVCVA plans to transform the site into an expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center. The two-phase project is expected to take five to eight years to complete.

The LVCVA says this is the largest project of its kind since the Las Vegas Convention Center opened in the 1950s.

UNLV economics professor Robert Lang says this expansion is good news for Las Vegas.

“Our success has been not just in tourism, but diversifying tourism to include conventions, to include food, to include shopping – all these other things we attached to it,” he said. “That is our most successful area. So, what are we the most competitive in? Putting on big shows, and what that does is it lets us put on bigger shows.”

Lang says this extension will bring the Las Vegas Convention Center to the Strip and upgrade the facility.

Once complete, the expansion and renovation would expand the Las Vegas Convention Center from 3.2 million square feet to nearly 5.7 million square feet.

The project is expected to create more than 6,000 construction jobs and 6,000 permanent jobs.

Courtesy: LVCVA
Credit: Paris Ellyson
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