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Las Vegas' Riviera will close May 4

 LAS VEGAS -- The Riviera Hotel & Casino will close on May 4 at noon to make way for expansion of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, according to a news release.

The 60-year-old Las Vegas Strip property will be demolished and replaced by the Las Vegas Global Business District which will offer more convention exhibit and meeting space.

More than 6,000 construction jobs are expected to be created for the project, while also bringing a permanent job force of 6,000 once completed.

Around 1,000 employees will lose their jobs once the Riviera closes.



LVCVA board pushes for local workers on expansion project

LAS VEGAS -- Last month, it was announced that the Riviera will be torn down to make room for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor's Authority. That project could mean thousands of jobs.



'High Roller' falls short on riders

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The world's tallest observation wheel, for now, isn't quite meeting its owners' original elevated expectations.

Caesars Entertainment officials said during a recent call to discuss the company's latest financials that its High Roller wheel on the Las Vegas Strip was just shy of 5,000 daily riders in the last three months, up 10 percent compared to the prior quarter.

But that's about 3,000 to 6,000 riders shy of company expectations before the ride opened nearly a year ago.

And that's with deep discounts on tickets offered to locals, on deal sites like Groupon and bundled with airline vacation packages.

Early action on Manny Pacquiao

LAS VEGAS -- Manny Pacquiao has always believed he can do what 47 other fighters before him have failed to do -- beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring.

Turns out a lot of other people are believers too. And they are backing their opinions with money.

A flurry of early action on Pacquiao has already narrowed the odds for the big fight in this city's legal sportsbooks. By the time they get into the ring May 2, it's conceivable that Mayweather might not be favored at all.

"I've never seen Mayweather this low eight weeks out before the fight," said Jimmy Vaccaro, who has booked money on every big fight for the past four decades in Las Vegas. "This is as close as we get to a legitimate pick 'em fight since Mayweather fought [Oscar] De La Hoya."

WalletHub: Nevada 8th worst state for women

LAS VEGAS -- The quality of life for Nevada women is eighth worst in the nation, based on an analysis released Thursday by consumer information website WalletHub.

Among the 50 states and Washington, D.C., Nevada ranked 35th for women in terms of economic and social well-being, but dead last for health care.

The only states worse off overall for women, according to WalletHub, are Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia and Georgia.

A closer look at specific categories found Nevada has the highest unemployment rate for women. With first place being the most favorable ranking, Nevada also rated 50th in both the female uninsured rate and women's preventive health care, and 41st in the percentage of women who voted in the 2012 presidential election.

8 News Now team joins in on Scale the Strat

LAS VEGAS -- This year, a record 630 people signed up for the Scale the Strat event. The fundraiser was held at the Stratosphere Sunday morning to raise money for lung cancer awareness.

Climbers formed a line and waited, one-by-one, to go up 108 flights of stairs to the top of the tower.

The 8 News NOW team joined in on the action. Anchor Paul Joncich and Assignment Editor Jonathan Cisowski joined in the climb to show their support and raise money. Joncich also emceed the event.

“Two of my three kids are asthmatic,” said Joncich. “So I know the breathing issues in the valley and I want to do everything I can to raise money for the American Lung Association and help people like my dad or people going through lung cancer, COPD. It's a really great cause and my cause is making it to the top without passing out."

“I got my dad to quit smoking 15 years ago and any kind of awareness to prevent lung disease, cancer is always a great benefit,” Said Cisowski.

Vegas sees same number of January visitors, 3.4 million

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Tourism officials say 3.4 million people visited Las Vegas in January, virtually the same number as last year.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority released its latest statistics Friday that the number of visitors was up one-tenth of a percent in a month when the city was filled with Consumer Electronics Show attendees, New Year's Eve visitors and fans of the Super Bowl leading up to the Feb. 1 game.

The agency says hotel occupancy was down on the Las Vegas Strip and area-wide in hotels, motels and during the week and weekends. The downtown Fremont Street area was the exception with 77.6 percent of its rooms occupied, up 4.2 percentage points.

Average daily rate for a hotel room in the destination climbed 15 percent to $136 a night.