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Vintage Las Vegas

Riviera Hotel And Casino

Known for its themed casinos and elaborate presentations, Las Vegas has been a leading destination for tourism since the mobster days of Bugsy Siegel in 1946.

The city has been known to reinvent itself every 10 years or so, in order to remain as the top travel destination in the world. Since Steve Wynn opened The Mirage in 1989, the 3,000 room, $630 million hotel casino set the standard for the mega resorts and ignited a resort-building boom that line the Strip today and has forever changed Las Vegas.

In the period from 1993 to 2007 a string of iconic resorts were brought down with explosives and with it a lot of Las Vegas' storied past.

Here is a timeline, a little history of Las Vegas hotels and some remnants of vintage Vegas.

  • 1906

    The Golden Gate Hotel and Casino opened in 1906, making it the first hotel and casino in Las Vegas.
  • 1931

    March 1931 - Gambling is officially legalized by the Nevada State Legislature
  • 1946

    August 30, 1946 The Golden Nugget opens in downtown Las Vegas

    Dec 26, 1946 Bugsy Siegel opens the Flamingo Hotel, which is considered the first luxury hotel on the Strip

  • 1948

    Clark County buys Alamo Air Field and opens McCarran Field, now known as McCarran International Airport
  • 1952

    Sahara Hotel and Casino opened its doors in 1952
  • 1955

    The Riviera Hotel & Casino opened its doors on April 20, 1955
  • 1966

    Aug 5, 1966 Caesars Palace, the Roman Empire themed resort opened.

    Tally Ho Hotel Closed in 1966 and became the Aladdin.

  • 1969

    July 31, 1969 Elvis Presley opened at the International Hotel, know today as the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. Elvis performed for 58 consecutive sold out shows, breaking all Vegas attendance records.
  • 1987

    Castaways was imploded in 1987 to make room for The Mirage.

    In 1987 Sundance hotel in Downtown Las Vegas changed it's name to Fitzgeralds. Know today as the D Las Vegas Casino Hotel.

  • 1989

    Nov 22, 1989 Steve Wynn opened The Mirage. The 3,000 room, $630 million hotel casino set the standard for the mega resorts that line the Strip today.

    Marina Hotel becomes MGM Marina

  • 1990

    Nob Hill Casino closed in 1990, and is now Casino Royale.

    Marina Hotel and Casino made room for the MGM Grand which opened in December 18, 1993 as the worlds largest hotel

    Excalibur opens June 19, 1990

    Landmark closes it's doors

  • 1993

    The 4,400-plus room Luxor hotel casino, opened in 1993, as the second-largest hotel in Vegas and the US.

    The Dunes was imploded in 1993, to make room for The Bellagio.

    Treasure Island opens October 26, 1993

    Dec 25, 1993 Mystere, Cirque du Soleil's first permanent show in Las Vegas, debuts at Treasure Island

    MGM Grand opens December 18, 1993, replacing Marina/MGM Marina

  • 1995

    Vegas World was demolished in 1995 and rebuilt as the Stratosphere (now The STRAT).

    March 10, 1995 The world's first Hard Rock Hotel opens in Las Vegas

    Dec 14, 1995 The $70 million Fremont Street Experience opens in downtown Las Vegas

  • 1996

    Hacienda was imploded in 1996, to make room for Mandalay Bay

    Stratosphere Hotel Tower opened on April 30, 1996. At 1,149 feet and 106-story high the Stratosphere Hotel became the tallest structure west of Mississippi River at the time it opened.

    On November 26, 1996 Sands Hotel imploded to make way for The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino.

    Monte Carlo opens replacing the Desert Rose Motel

  • 1997

    New York-New York opens January 3, 1997

    The Aladdin closes and is imploded in 1998, to be replaced by a newer Aladdin Hotel Casino

  • 1998

    Oct 15, 1998 The $1.7 billion Bellagio opens, on the site of the former Dunes. Staking its clam as the most expensive hotel in the world
  • 1999

    Mandalay Bay opened on March 2, 1999

    The Venetian Las Vegas opens

    Paris Las Vegas opens

    The Flamingo Hilton becomes Flamingo Las Vegas

  • 2000

    El Rancho was demolished in 2000 and was supposed to be the site of Fontainebleau which went bankcrupt and construction halted.

    In December, The Continental Casino becomes Terribles

    The rebuilt Aladdin Hotel Casino opens.

  • 2001

    Desert Inn was imploded in 2001, to make room for Wynn Las Vegas.

  • 2004 / 2005

    Wynn Las Vegas Opened April 28, 2005 and costing $2.7 billion to build. When it opened, Wynn Las Vegas became the most expensive hotel and casino in the world.

    Westward Ho closes in 2005

  • 2006

    Boardwalk Hotel and Casino was imploded May 9, 2006 to make way for CityCenter.

    San Remo becomes Hooters Hotel Casino (now OYO Hotel & Casino)

    October 2006 South Coast became South Point Hotel Casino

    Klondike closes in June

    Lady Luck (downtown) closes

    The Stardust closes in November

  • 2007

    Stardust Resort & Casino was imploded March 13, 2007. Was supposed to be replaced by Echelon Place. (Now site of the soon to open Resort World)

    The New Frontier was imploded November 13, 2007. Supposed to be replaced by the new Las Vegas Plaza which never materilized. (future plans - unknown)

    Barbary Coast became Bill's Gamblin' Hall in March 2007.

    Aladdin became Planet Hollywood in April 2007.

  • 2008

    January 17, 2008, Palazzo opens

    Feb. 29, Nevada Palace closes to later become Eastside Cannery

    Aug. 28, Eastside Cannery opens

    Nov. 11, Aliante Station opens

    Encore Las Vegas Opened December 22, 2008

  • 2009

    Dec 16, 2009 The 8.5 billion CityCenter complex which includes Vdara, Waldorf Astoria and ARIA opened. It was the largest privately funded construction project in American history.

    Vdara Hotel & Spa Las Vegas Opened December 1, 2009

    Crystals retail and entertainment district at City Center Las Vegas Opened December 3, 2009

    Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas Opened as Mandarin Oriental on December 4, 2009

    Aria Resort & Casino Las Vegas Opened December 16, 2009

    Ownership of Treasure Island changes hands

  • 2010

    In April Greek Isle becomes Clarion

    Dec 15, 2010 The $3.9 billion Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas opened.

  • 2011

    After 59 years of operation the Sahara Hotel & Casino Las Vegas closed it's doors on May 16, 2011 at 2:00pm PST
  • 2012

    January 3, 2012, the Las Vegas Hilton changed its name to LVH - Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, which today is the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino

    On January 16, The Western closed

    Fitzgeralds Casino Hotel in Downtown Las Vegas became the D Las Vegas Casino Hotel in March 13, 2012.

    O'Sheas closes on April 30, to be replaced by The Linq. Current location of the new O'Sheas

    Imperial Palace becomes The Quad in December

  • 2013

    On October 27, Downtown Grand opens at the site of Old Lady Luck

    In July, Terribles becomes Silver Sevens

  • 2014

    The 550 foot tall High Roller ferris wheel Opened March 31, 2014 at The LINQ Promenade

    On July 1, The Quad is renamed Linq Hotel Casino

    On July 1, LVH becomes Westgate

    SLS opens on the site of the Sahara Hotel

    The Cromwell opens on the site of Bill's Gamblin' Hall

  • 2015

    The Riviera Hotel & Casino which was Las Vegas Strip's first high-rise hotel and casino closed its doors at noon Monday May 4, 2015, to make room for an expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center to the Strip, ending a 60-year run on the Las Vegas Strip.

    On August 20, Las Vegas Club closes

  • 2016 / 2017

    T-Mobile Arena opens April 6, 2016 on the Vegas Strip

    Fremont Street's high-kicking neon cowgirl, Vegas Vickie rode into the sunset on Monday June 12th, 2017

    The historic Las Vegas Club which opened in 1930 in downtown was demolished Friday, Oct. 27, 2017

  • 2018

    Monte Carlo becomes Park MGM on April 30, 2018

    NoMad Las Vegas officially opened its doors on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018

  • 2020

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