The saying “go big, or go home” must apply to Las Vegas since the city doesn’t do anything half-way. Even the destruction of an old worn out casino receives a huge sendoff with fireworks, media coverage and plenty of fanfare. The imploding of outdated casinos allows for new structures such as uniquely themed casinos, parking lots and hotel additions.
[jwplayer mediaid=”1178″]The Dunes opened its doors in 1955 and underwent destruction in 1993 and 1994 by entrepreneur Steve Wynn. It was the first structure demolished for the purpose of building a new casino and the implosion of the Dunes brought the Bellagio to town.
[jwplayer mediaid=”1180″]The Landmark hotel was the next to go. In 1963, Howard Hughes built the casino. It was ready for business in 1969 and brought down in 1995. The Landmark became the new parking lot for the Las Vegas Convention Center.
[jwplayer mediaid=”1181″]The Sands resort opened in 1952 and was the scene for the famous Rat Pack. In 1967, Howard Hughes purchased the property and constructed a round tower with 777 rooms. The Sands resort’s destruction in 1996 gave Las Vegas the popular Venetian Hotel, which is currently located in the spot where the Rat Pack once performed.
[jwplayer mediaid=”1182″]In 1956, the Hacienda opened at the extreme south end of the Las Vegas strip. It stood alone and unpopular until the Excalibur opened in 1990. The area grew, which brought doom to the Hacienda. The casino’s implosion in 1996 allowed for the construction of Mandalay Bay, THEHotel and the Four Seasons.
[jwplayer mediaid=”1183″]The Aladdin opened in 1962 and struggled throughout its 26 years. It was put out of its misery in 1998, and the new Aladdin resort opened in 2000. However, the casino ended up in bankruptcy, and the owners of Planet Hollywood bought the resort. They later repurposed the Aladdin to their specifications.
[jwplayer mediaid=”1184″]With its start as the Thunderbird in 1948, the El Rancho experienced several name changes including the Silverbird in 1977. It became the El Rancho in 1983 and closed permanently in 1992. Its destruction in 2000 brought the Fontainebleau resort to the city of lights.
[jwplayer mediaid=”1185″]The Desert Inn opened in 1950 and endured numerous facelifts, in addition to Howard Hughes in residence for four years. The resort was destroyed in several sections with the Augusta Tower the first to go in 2001. In 2004, the remaining structure came down after a series of carefully placed dynamite blasts, and the Wynn Las Vegas took its place.
[jwplayer mediaid=”2019″]The Castaways was never a popular hotel. It went up in 1987 and crashed to the ground in 2006. The site currently stands empty.
[jwplayer mediaid=”2022″]In 1985, Bourbon Street opened its doors and became the 11th structure to be destroyed in Las Vegas. The current owners of Harrah’s have purchased the property and have yet to release their plans.
[jwplayer mediaid=”1189″]The fake rollercoaster and creepy clown met their demise in 2006. The Boardwalk began as a Holiday Inn during 1965 with a six-story room structure added in the early 1970s. The casino’s demolition made way for the ambitious CityCenter project.
[jwplayer mediaid=”1190″]In 1958, the Stardust opened as the world’s largest hotel. In 2007, the classic casino came crashing down. A $4 billion mega-resort titled Echelon Palace will soon be taking its place.
The New Frontier
[jwplayer mediaid=”1191″]The Frontier opened in 1990 and fell to the ground in a puff of smoke during 2007. The current owners of The Plaza New York intend to build The Plaza Las Vegas.
According to recent rumors, the next casualties will be the Imperial Palace, Sahara’s Tunis Tower and Bally’s East Tower adding to the long list of dead business ventures while making way for the future.