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More Bad News from Las Vegas - The Frontier
Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 12:21 pm
The Las Vegas Review Journal is reporting new plans for the Frontier Hotel:
Plans for the next version of the New Frontier are revealed in documents recently filed with Clark County. The 62-story, 671-foot high hotel will have a major feature fronting the Strip and a 256-foot high Ferris wheel with 32 specially designed passenger capsules, each able to hold up to 25 people.
In addition, the Riviera is in talks with a company that, if the deal goes through, would ultimately own the majority shares of the stock of the company. If that happens look for the Riv to go a major make-over.
I'm convinced that by 2010 there will be no trace on the Strip of its former self.
Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:51 pm
Yeah, I heard about that. I also heard that plans where now up in the air on what to do with the Westward Ho property??? I hear a rumor there was talks of putting another giant ferris wheel there. What's up with ferris wheels? LOL.
Yeah I seen artisit renderings a year or so ago of possible Riviera rennovations. I think it was on Paul Steelman's website, but now you can't get direct access to it without filling out an application. He had concept designs of a Playboy Casino and a new Dunes Casino and a new Sands Casino. I have no clue what the deal is with those plans.
I noticed for the first time while starring at the Riveria exterior from across the street last year that it appears you can see like 2 or 3 different decade's worth of architecture design (50s/60s, 80s). Like when they expanded it over the years or rennovated it they really didn't put effort into making it match lol. The silver facing on the front never was appealing to me. What were they thinking? I got to see the back side of the Riviera for the first time last year on Paradise Rd. and I LOVE that huge Riviera sign/marquee that is still standing. How far does that sign date back to?
Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:29 am
Yes, the architecture of the Riv is a mishmash of different decades. Rising above the silver front (and you are right, what were they thinking), you can still see the original high rise tower built back in the mid-1950s when the Riv was the first high rise (all nine floors, I believe) to be built on the Strip.
As for the silver front, that was done back in the 1970s and if I recall correctly it was built to extend the front of the Riv and enlarge the interior.
Caesars Palace in 1966 and then the original MGM Grand in 1971 were both wildly successful and many of the original properties updated and modernized to stay in the game. The Flamingo underwent it's transformation from the champagne tower with bubbling neon to the Raul Rodriquez designed pink flower neon.
The neon on the silver front of the Riveria was designed by Marge Williams. Besides Betty Willis, she is the only female neon designer I know of working in Las Vegas during those years. She also designed the Riv sign at the back of the property that you admired. I believe that sign went up in the early 1970s as well.
Dean Martin had his Dino's Lounge at the Riv during the 1970s and Shecky Greene was at the top of his game in the Lounge at the Riv during those years so the Riv was a jumpin' joint.
There are still remnants of the old fashion mall inside the Riv. Old signs for Marshall Russo (a well known clothier in town) could still be found down a deserted hallway as late as a year ago.
The Riv today knows its audience and caters to it quite well but I think the writing is on the wall for all the original properties on the North Strip.
As for what's happening at the old Westward Ho, perhaps Roadside Pictures has an update?
Re: More Bad News from Las Vegas - The Frontier
Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:39 am
Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:48 am
From what I hear the Trop is accepting bids for demolition. Over the last few years there have been reports of not accepting room reservations after a certain date but that always fell by the wayside.
Putting the demolition out to bid is a big step and very foreboding. The Trop property is huge. May be bigger than the Stardust property or at least equal.
Roadside Pictures has some postcards on the Stardust Thread that show how big that property is. I think it's like 62 acres.
The original Garden Rooms are still available at the Trop. They're the motel rooms that surround the pool. Part of "The Godfather 2" was filmed there under the stain glass window.
Las Vegas, one giant mega-resort from end to end. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I ever imagine I'd live to see that.
Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:34 pm
Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:00 pm
So whats left
Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:09 pm
of the 'classic' Vegas strip all I can think of is the Sahara everything else is gone or will be or it's something else.
Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:26 pm
The family that owns the Sahara has been approached by a number of companies to sell. According to news reports, they have turned them all down. But I think with the Stardust going and if the Riv and Circus Circus go, the family will ultimately sell.
They also own the empy lot across the street where the original El Rancho Vegas sat until it burned down in 1960.
The guy who owns the Wet and Wild Park next to the Sahara on the South side of the property is talking about building a new resort hotel there. With the Turnberry Towers on one end and the Sahara on the other, he may be make an offer himself on the Sahara property.
Either way, I have a bad feeling about all the remaining original hotels and don't see any of them lasting into the next decade.
Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:12 am
Sad but true, a LOT of the older Casinos are being targeted now [even Downtown as the LADY LUCK shut down for remodeling last year] .... and to think this month the SAN REMO HOTEL became HOOTERS HOTEL [oy vey what is the LV Strip becoming?] ....
Exotic World Burlesque Pagaent happening Downtown @ the Celebrity Theatre Memorial Day Weekend
Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 9:03 am
I have high hopes for the Lady Luck remodel. The guy who bought the Luck also owns the Celebrity Lounge, the sidebar, the Triple George Grill and hogs and heifers which are across Third Street from the Luck.
Am hoping he follows the decor of the sidebar and Triple George when redoing the Luck. Walking into the Triple George is like walking into another world Downtown. The lounge has a piano player and they put out a spread each evening complete with chef. The chef was fixing shrimp the evening I was there.
Roadside Pictures was raving about the desserts when I had dinner with him later that night.
It's a big departure from the majority of places Downtown but I hope it does it well. It's nice to have a place like that which doesn't have a casino attached it and require walking a football field to find it.
Valet Parking will be available on Third Street during the remodeling of the Lady Luck which makes it incredibly easy to get in and out of.
Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:30 pm
Exotic World Organizers were very pleased with the Celebrity Theatre [and so am I as I will see Reverend Horton Heat there next weekend] .....
Yes, the new owner of the LADY LUCK has done well in revitalizing 3rd Street and Ogden Avenue in trying to keep it similar to Old Vegas while cleaning the place up [that's more than I can say for Steward and Las Vegas Blvd] .....
I hope to see anyone here in Vegas @ the BUNKHOUSE this Saturday night [124 S 11TH St Las Vegas (702) 384-4536] for some great live music + food
I agree, for as much as I appreciate Local Casinos, it is nice to go to a BAR or VENUE and not have to park in a parking garage then walk a mile [or more] just to get to where you need to be .... Valet Parking on 3rd Street is the original parking for the LADY LUCK [sometimes people are reluctant to valet park, I'm greatful anytime I can find safe parking Downtown - like @ Neonopolis on 4th Street] ....
Have a Nice Day Everyone
Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 3:10 am
Jayne Mansfield Prince:
The Tropicana pool area and casino were totally renovated in 1985 when the second tower was completed. My dad built a display cabinet for a lady who owned a jewelry shop inside the new addition. I couldn't believe how much the place had changed. The tiki heads were in front of the hotel from 1991-96.
The tall Riviera sign in the back used to be alot shorter and the Riviera sign itself was on the top. Here are a couple of postcards showing the sign in its original location (top-1960's, bottom-1970's):
The sign was built around 1967. They moved it to the back of the property when the facade was remodeled bringing the casino out to the street in 1990.
I sure wish I had taken a picture of the sign that used to be in front of the cabins next to the Bunkhouse. I think it said "Auto Court" or something like that. What kind of food do they have at the Bunkhouse?
Have you heard anything about Circus Circus and Slots-A-Fun?
Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 10:34 am
I'm starting to hear alot of buzz that Circus Circus may go to Strip Hotel Heaven sometime in 2007.
Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:29 pm
Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:43 pm
In the late 80's, The Las Vegas Tropicana had it's front redone where the PARADISE TOWERS and work completed in the back [where they built the ISLAND TOWERS towards the Convention area].
Other changes included remodeling the 12,000 square foot Main Pool [Swim-Up Coconut Grove Bar + Las Vegas' first Swim-Up Blackjack], as well as a 1,500 square foot heated indoor pool [separated by glass partitions].
Surrounded by a tropical setting, you will find the Lagoon Pool, the Garden Pool, three Spas, and the Island Wedding Chapel [one of my favorite wedding chapels].
One of those large tiki heads ended up @ SUNSET PARK off of Sunset & Eastern [it sits in the middle of a small island within a pond]. The front of the Las Vegas Tropicana is now dominated by two pedestrian bridges [one crosses Las Vegas Blvd South to Excalibur, another crosses Tropicana to MGM Grand]. The aerial shot of SUNSET PARK kind of shows you where one TIKI HEAD is located
About the ONLY think the Tropicana and the Riviera share are extensive use of mirrors/lights + comedy clubs [those tall Riviera signs can be seen from the back on Paradise as you drive past the Hilton, the front of the Riviera facing the Strip is like one giant mirror with a Riviera logo on top].
This next photo makes me sad, this is what happened to the PEPPERMILL after it's awful remodeling [why? I don't know]
Some pictures of the BUNKHOUSE [they serve typical coffee shop food - it's not bad + the drinks are swell inside that rustic cowpokery western decor inside] was a neighborhood dive known as Peyton Place.
It would not surprise me of SLOTS OF FUN + CIRCUS CIRCUS face the wrecking ball [slots of fun has been run to the ground, circus circus gets more people to take their kids to Adventure Dome than adults just gaming]. Next time you watch JAMES BOND - DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER try to check out all the Casinos on Fremont - Paradise - The Strip [see what's left today].
It really pains me to see these old Casinos just get trashed, removed, then replaced with some sort of multiplex [a huge lot with parking, shops, dining, condos, etc]. I'd welcome the idea if they were EPCOT modern themed with monorails [or people movers] but they're crap.
Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:48 pm
Regarding the Sahara...
Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 8:16 am
Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 5:01 am
Of all the stuff that's going away are there any parts that there is efforts to save as much of the signage or other architectural components?
Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 7:04 pm
Thanks for the info on the Tropicana and the Riviera. Thanks for all the info
I still have alot of questions about locations of once existing or perhaps still existing rooms in these places. I am preparing for another trip to Vegas this summer. I'll be staying for 13 days and I want to see all the vintage origional stuff I can that's left. I know there's not much on the Strip but there is still some left.
Anyone know if the Tiffany Theater (the theater that hosts Folies Bergere) in the Tropicana is the origional Showcase Showroom theater? I assume it is because of the unique celing design and the large round booths mixed into the seating arrangment. Anything else I should know about the Trop before they start ripping it apart?
I found some interesting info on a famous photographer by the name of Bernard of Hollywood. It said that one of his studios was in the salon penthouse suite of the Riviera. Still there? If so where? Also, I assume where the hotel lobby starts is where the origional sections of the Riviera start? I know that the pool is origional and I am planning on seeing it in person for the first time. Anything else I should know about the Riviera?
The Sahara. Can anyone point me to cool original stuff worth seeing in there if anything still survives? Did I hear correctly that they still have the origional camels that use to stand on the lawn out front in the era of the 50s when it first opened? If they still have them where exactly are they? Where did legends like Keely Smith & Louis Prima, and Bobby Darrin use to perform in there? In a lounge? In a showroom?? Where are the locations of these areas today? I notice by looking at the exterior you can see which is the old hotel tower structure. I noticed thru searching the web that the origional suites have a unique celing design and cool sliding doors and balcony area. Anything else I should know about the Sahara?
The Frontier... I am dying to find out which original structure still remains of when it was called the New Frontier. I am aware that before the Frontier was the Frontier it was a small night club called the Par-A-Dice Night Club. Does that structure still exist within the current structure? If so where is it? Also, is the pool the original shape? Anything else I should know about the Frontier and see before it is gone?
One other building I am really interested in is Downtown's Fremont. Talk about a cool design. It cringes me to see the changes to the exterior. I like the old 50s pink color of it better. I was researching some things about it and noticed some things such as the Sky Rooms. This room was on top of the building and they supposedly used it for a place to go dancing. Anyone know whats in there now? Also, I noticed Wayne Newton performed there in it's Carousel Showroom. I am aware it is now gone. Anyone know the location of that? I am guessing it was where the $5.49 Paradise Buffet is now because the enterance to the buffet sorta looks like a theater enterenace set up with the line rails and the counter. And the booths inside are those large circular booths. Not sure if they were origional booths that were reappulstered? Anyone kow anything about the Fremont?
Sorry about all the questions but I am dying to do some exploring this summer for remains of vintage Vegas. Thanks for all the help!
Las Vegas Sites Then and Now
Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:33 pm
Bernard of Hollywood did have a studio at the Riviera but it is likely that the area it was in was remodeled years ago. RoadsidePictures may know for sure.
At the Sahara, Louie Prima and gang used to perform in the Casbah Lounge. The camel statues, I believe, are long gone.
As for downtown, we have started brief history on downtown here:
http://classiclasvegas.squarespace.com/ ... n-history/
Once we finish up downtown, we will begin one on the history of the Strip.
Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 2:55 pm
Thanks Lynn! The link to all the Fremont Street history on your Classic Vegas web site is impressive. I can't wait till you continue on to 2nd Street because I am very interested in the Fremont
Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:09 pm
Lotsa great images of the Fremont in my new book "The Leisure Architecture of Wayne McAllister"
Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:10 pm
We should have the Fremont corner posted by the end of the weekend!
Thanks for checking Fremont Street history out!
Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:29 pm
Nichols: WOW! @ that photo of the Fremont in your book! That's so cool! I never seen pics that close up of it's origional look under the overhang. Sweeeeeet!
Lynn: Ok, I'll keep an eye out on your site for it! Thanks! I found a 50s match book of the Fremont on eBay and it confirms the building having a sun deck and olympic size swimming pool. I seen every angle of that building except for behind the lower hotel tower that runs parallel to Fremont Street. I guess that's where the pool might have been hiding? It definately wasn't on the roof top because I have a diagonal ariel shot of it and it doesn't show a pool there. Also in that matchbook it lists the name of a showroom (don't know how many the Fremont had): The Fiesta Showroom and Restruant "Showroom of stars".
Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:22 pm
Posted: Fri May 04, 2007 8:53 am
Wanted to let you know that our brief history of Fremont Street has been completed.
Up next, we will be doing a brief history of the original hotels on the Las Vegas Strip.
The Fremont Street History is here:
http://classiclasvegas.squarespace.com/ ... n-history/
Posted: Fri May 04, 2007 9:36 am
What a great website, Lynn! I can never read enough about the history of Las Vegas...and your site certainly has plenty to offer!
I can hardly wait for your next installment.
The Frontier Reportedly Sold
Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 10:30 pm
Posted: Wed May 16, 2007 8:04 pm