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The oldest operating casino on the Las Vegas Strip has been sold and will soon be scheduled for implosion. On Friday, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors agreed to purchase the Riviera Casino for $191 million.

The LVCVA plans to close the casino, implode it and use the property as part of the Las Vegas Global Business District. This project is considered more ambitious than the Tesla deal in upstate Nevada.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on the story Friday, revealing that the LVCVA paid $182.5 million for the property as well as $8.5 million in other acquisition fees. They also retained the services of Paragaon Gaming, the company that is currently managing the Riviera for Starwood Capital Group.


Riviera’s Immediate Future

For now, the Riviera will remain fully operational with an expected closing date of May 4. Scott Menke, Paragon CEO, claimed that the Riviera is currently operating at 80% capacity. The property currently employs close to 1,000 full and part-time workers.

With regard to those workers, Paragon is currently pursuing various avenues to find work for those about to lose their jobs. That includes setting up a website with job listings in the Nevada area and job training information. They have also contacted several agencies within the state in hopes of finding work for their employees.

The closure doesn’t come without some challenges. The casino will have to find a way to move certain events already scheduled at the casino past May 4. An estimated 150,000 nights will have to be transferred to another property.


Implosion and Beyond

Once the casino closes, the process begins of vacating the property of furnishings and anything of reasonable value and then setting a date to have the property imploded. Once that happens, the work can begin on building the Las Vegas Global Business District.

The project will employ approximately 6,000 for its construction, followed by 6,000 permanent jobs actually running the campus. This could generate up to $221 million in salaries once the campus is operational.

The campus will have over 1 million square feet of space. Approximately 750,000 feet of that will be exhibit space and 287,000 feet of space for various meetings. The last 100,000 will be for general sessions. There will also be inter-campus transportation provided for guests.

The LVCVA estimates that the new facility will bring in at least 25 new shows to the Las Vegas area and events currently held in the city can be expanded to bring in more people. The board feels that this project will ultimately benefit the entire Northern Strip area.

The LVCVA will now begin the process of designing the project with various engineers and architects. When completed, the project is estimated to cost $2.3 billion.

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[Photo at top of page By Alex Proimos from Sydney, Australia (Riviera Casino, Las Vegas  Uploaded by russavia) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.]

[Thumbnail photo By mrak75 ( [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.]

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.