Demolition Video of the old Las Vegas casinos being demolished
Las Vegas needed to expand to meet an overwhelming demand. Whilst land was readily available to build it was not in the heart of Las Vegas. The optimum solution was demolition of the old Las Vegas casinos and rebuilding on a larger scale. So that’s what they did in spectacular style. This demolition video captures those often implosive moments.
Demolition of the casinos often took place in confined spaces so great attention was paid to safety.
Often memorabilia collectors were given the chance to bag a few souvenirs before the final act.
Usually the demolitions were carried out at night preceded by spectacular firework displays and most were filmed by numerous TV crews. The 10 second countdown filled the air with excitement and anticipation before the structural explosions followed by the ground rumbling and the inevitable dust clouds. Gravity is undeniably a powerful tool.
We looked at a lot of Las Vegas videos before we found this demolition video by Richard S. Dargan. So, credit to Richard who stitched together these demolition video clips of the main casino demolitions. We hope you enjoy this demolition vdeo as much as we did.
The Las Vegas Sands Hotel and Casino
The Sands Hotel was a historic landmark building which opened in 1952 and closed it’s doors in 1996. It was the seventh resort to be opened on the strip having been designed by Architect Wayne McAllister. It started out as a casino with a few hundred rooms.
When Howard Hughes purchased it in the mid 1960’s he added a 500 hundred room tower block. This tower block made it the landmark building it became.
Sheldon Adelson took over the building recognising the potential for redevelopment. So on 26th November 1996 it was imploded much to the disappointment of former casino employees and Las Vegas fans. It was an old favourite with so many past visitors. An auction of memorabilia was held prior to the final act of demolition.
The Palazzo and Venetian Casino Hotels now stand where the Sands once was located. Las Vegas casinos definitely make progress.
The Dunes Hotel and Casino
The Hotel and Casino opened during May 1955 having been built with an Arabian theme on the corner of the Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road. It was built a time when Las Vegas was expanding almost out of control.
It was the tenth resort complex at the southern end of the strip but despite the bold plan it closed within a year due to too much competition. Ironically the casino opened with the announcement of a 500 room expansion plan. It became a motel but 1965 fortunes had changed because Las Vegas had eventually taken off.
After a change on ownership, the Dunes was given an 18-hole golf course and 800 new guest rooms. A 24 storey hotel tower was also built. Despite that the Dunes struggled pay an investment return through the 1980’s. Further changes in ownership took place with many hopeful revival schemes.
The original needed renovation which would have been costly. Along came Steve Wynn during 1982 and he purchased the whole development. He had the foresight to demolish the buildings and redevelop the site which was now in prime location. The first tower suffered demolition during 1993 and the second in 1994.
The Bellagio Casino and two large hotels now occupy the site. Las Vegas Casinos reborn on the site.
The Aladdin Hotel and Casino
The Aladdin Hotel and Casino was not the first building on the site. It replaced the Tally Ho non gaming resort constructed in 1963.
The Aladdin was opened in April 1967 complete with a golf course but failed to make money. The only noteworthy thing to happen was Elvis and Priscilla Presley tied the knot at the Aladdin during May 1967. During the 60’s and 70’s the resort fails to make money. During the 80’s there were many changes of ownership and it suffered debt problems.
By April 1997 the end of the line had come and the Aladdin suffered a spectacular demolition. Las Vegas casino have a short life.
By August 2000 the new Aladdin casino resort was opened with 2,600 rooms, a shopping centre, conference center and a 7000 seat theatre. The Aladdin Casino had 2.800 slot machines and 87 gaming tables. The resort now employs more than 7,000 workers and is successful.
The Stardust Hotel and Casino
The Stardust Resort Casino in 1958 and had a 32 storey tower added in 1991. It officially closed during November 2006 and sadly demolished during March 2007.
The casino is remembered for is famous and iconic sign. The sign used 2,200 metres of neon light tubing and was 57 metres high. Such was the light intensity it could be seen from 60 miles away. The sign was actually a beacon for all Las Vegas casinos.
The resort was the brainchild of Tony Cornero. It was a 10 million dollar 1065 room hotel complete with 1530 m2 of casino area. Sadly Tony died before the construction was completed. The room count was increased to 1470 after the new 9 storey east tower was built. During 1991 the 32 storey west tower was added giving the resort more than 1500 rooms, the bungalows had already been demolished.
The casino was generally successful over its life and changed ownership many times. After demolition it was going to be a new Echelon Casino Resort but the plans for that changed in 2008. Plans change quickly with Las Vegas casinos.
Currently Resort World are constructing a new 3,500 room Chinese themed casino resort due for completion during 2018.
The Hacienda Hotel and Casino
The Hacienda Hotel and Casino opened it doors in October 1956. It included a hotel with 266 rooms and the largest swimming pool at that time. Of course there was the new casino aswell. The total cost of the development was 6 million dollars which was a lot of money at the time.
The owner Warren Bailey ran travel packages from Los Angeles with a fleet of 30 aircraft.
By December 1995 the Hacienda had been bought by Circus Circus Enterprises and it suffered demolition during January 1996. The site was later was later sold to MGM.
The Mandalay Hotel and Casino was constructed on the site of the Hacienda. With 3,309 rooms and a convention centre it was one of the largest developments on the strip at the time.
The Frontier Hotel and Casino
The Frontier Hotel and Casino was opened. The design of the building was futuristic at the time with a bold canopy. In 1967 the new skyward iconic sign was added.
The design of the building followed a western theme with some classic entertainment being offered. Elvis Presley, the Supremes and Liberace all performed there. Ronald Regan was also a Frontier performer.
The Frontier Hotel and Casino changed ownership many times during it’s life. Howard Hughes owned it at one time. The business suffered from industrial disputes. During 1991 a strike hit the Frontier with 550 employees staging a 61 month walk-out.
The Frontier followed the same fate as many old and faded building in Les Vegas. The 65-year-old casino suffered demolition during November 2007 like many other Las Vegas casinos.
The site was subsequently redeveloped for the Plaza Hotel.
The Castaways Hotel and Casino
The Castaways Hotel and Casino was formerly known as the Showboat Hotel and Casino, constructed during 1954. The name changed during the year 2000. It was a 19 storey tower with 445 rooms plus the casino constructed during the mid seventies. It also included an RV Park.
A bowling alley was added during 1959 which hosted national PBA tournaments. it was then extended to 106 lanes making it the third largest in the US.
The business was successful until the mid nineties when it is suffered the same fate as other down-town casinos. Business was being lost tow the new mega-resorts of the time. During 1998 it was sold to Harrah’s and it was renamed the Castaways.
The business did not go well partly due to the turn-down in tourism following 9/11. As a result the casino got into debt. At one point Holiday Inn were considering a 57 million dollar renovation and expansion plan but that did not happen. After several failed takeover attempts the building were closed and later suffered demolition on 11th January 2006.
The site had been acquired by Station who were interested principally in the gaming licence. They still own the site but it has never been redeveloped. Could this site eventually see the birth of more Las Vegas casinos.
We hope you enjoyed the demolition video which serves as a historical record.