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End of an era: Riviera closes | News

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End of an era: Riviera closes

LAS VEGAS -- After more than 60 years, the Riviera Hotel and Casino is no more. It shut its doors at noon on Monday.

The property had been a fixture on the north end of the Las Vegas Strip since 1955. 

For many, it was an emotional day filled with stories of days gone by. Whether it was employees or people who once stayed at the hotel, most had some memory to share as they said goodbye to another piece of "old" Las Vegas. 

Plenty of people swarmed the sidewalk to snap pictures.

"Very emotional, very upset," said Las Vegas Debbi Mauk.

"Riviera has been a part of our lives," said Leah Smith, whose father was a long-time Riviera employee.

She came to the closing to support her father, a bartender, who had worked at the Riviera for 30 years.

"It's my dad's job. It's given me all of the opportunity that I ever had," she said.

For Debbi Mauk, there are also memories. She got engaged at the hotel in 1991.

"Last night I was really bummed, I can't believe they are doing this," she said. "This morning, I thought I had to come down to get pictures and do something."

Aside from photographs, guests tried to grab any souvenirs, including a farewell sticker being posted outside the front doors.

One man who worked at the hotel for 13 years says not everyone was ready to see the Riviera go even if it wasn't as fancy as some of the newer properties.

"They could do some remodeling here and there but people didn't mind it the way it was," said Tony Alamia.

For others, they are just happy to take in a piece of history of a city that keeps on changing.


"It's just sad to see it go, Vegas has to grow from rat pack to wolf pack, the Riviera has been through it all," Las Vegan Mike Chapman said.

A star on the sidewalk in front of the property marks the spot where Liberace cut the ribbon at the hotel's grand opening in 1955.

The property is set to be imploded sometime this summer making way for more space for the Las Vegas Convention Center.


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