It’s said that Vegas is a place that hates to dwell on its history and nowhere is that more evident than on the Strip. Hotels that would be considered historic in other cities are imploded faster than it takes you to say “Sinatra” to make room for the latest megaresorts. And in true Las Vegas fashion, even the implosions of a hallowed landmark is cause for a celebration. I’ve compiled nine videos from YouTube of implosions on the Strip.
Castaways was known mostly as a locals casino and claimed to have the “largest bowling alley in the world” with 106 lanes. Unfortunately that tagline wasn’t enough to keep the hotel out of bankruptcy and it was imploded in the early morning of January 11, 2006.
8. The Hacienda
December 31, 1996 brought upon the demise of the Hacienda to make room for Mandalay Bay. The Hacienda was built in 1956 at the south end of the Strip which made it a bit too far from the action that the hotels in the center and north end of the Strip were receiving. That changed in the mid 90s with the arrival of Luxor and Excalibur and the land beneath the Hacienda became too valuable for a hotel with a mere 500 rooms.
7. The Aladdin
The Aladdin was imploded in 1998 after a sordid history to make room for, umm, The Aladdin. It’s the only time in Vegas’ history where a hotel was demolished and rebuilt under the same name. Keeping the name may not have been such a good idea since the new Aladdin had similar problems that the old Aladdin had and was bought by Planet Hollywood and rebranded in 2006.
6. The Boardwalk Casino
The Boardwalk started out as a Holiday Inn on the South Strip. The tower was built in the 70s when it was also given its circus/carnival theme. It was bought by MGM/Mirage and was imploded in 2006 to make way for Project City Center.
5. The Desert Inn
In 1966, Howard Hughes was a received as a guest in the top two floors of the D.I. His stay lasted longer than management expected and asked him to leave so that they could use the rooms for their high rollers. Hughes, not happy that his stay was interrupted, decided to buy the hotel and stayed in seclusion on those top two floors for the next several years. The Desert Inn was bought by Steve Wynn in 2000 who soon closed and condemned it so that he could build the Wynn hotel on the D.I.’s grounds.
The Landmark may have been the strangest looking hotel on the strip but when it was built in the 1960s it was supposed to look futuristic. Although not the most successful hotel, it remained open until 1991. In 1993 the empty hotel was sold to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority who imploded it to build a parking lot for the Convention Center. The implosion was used in the movie “Mars Attacks”.
For decades, The Sands was the epitome of cool on the Strip. The Rat Pack performed together for the first time on the stage of the Copa Room while filming “Ocean’s Eleven” during the day. For over thirty years it was one of the most recognizable hotels in Vegas. It took less than 30 seconds for it to come crashing down on June 30, 1996 to make room for The Venetian.
2. The Stardust
The latest implosion on the Strip was of the Stardust that took place on March 13th, 2007. The Stardust first opened in 1958 on the North Strip and would remain open 24/7 for the next 48 years until it was bought by Boyd’s Gaming Corporation and doomed to make room for their Echelon Place which is scheduled to open its doors in 2010.
1. The Dunes
The Dunes is another hotel that just couldn’t keep up with the new megaresorts being built on the Strip in the late 80s. Steve Wynn bought it in 1992 for the land underneath it and in 1993 it became the first hotel on the Strip to be imploded.