THEpoll


Do You Care The Riviera Is Closed?

And poof... like that, The Riviera is vapor, gone forever to make way for a convention center.

Do you care that the Riviera is closed?

Yes, my heart weeps. [46%]

I'm really going to miss David Letterman. [54%]




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Comments & Discussion:

Voted "Yes". And not for completely sentimental reasons (oh, that neon...)

The Riviera was a Tropicana-type refurb, two solid restaurants and a headliner away from being relevant. Location certainly is a problem... now. But with the Alon and Resorts World coming, I still think their location improves if the neighborhood does. Unfortunatley they couldn't hold on that long.

I haven't been inside the Riviera since 1989 and looking at all of the photos from the past week or so... I love that classic look. The mirrors, the lights, etc., scream 1984, but that's not all bad. Clean it up and replace the carpet and you've got a selling point. Refurb the rooms Downtown Grand style and you've got a nice property.

But, you need a hook.

I am a whore to Total Rewards. Others to MLife. Still others like the style of Wynn / Encore / Cosmo... price be damned. But Riviera (like Tropicana, SLS and a couple others) are the low-rent independant that can't get people in the door. Why would I - location a consideration - leave my concentration of Caesers properties to go to Riviera? I didn't. I can eat at the finest Caesers places (Gordon Ramsay Steak and the Bacchanal Buffet are #1 and #1A on my free eats list) so the Riviera didn't offer anything there. I am not a show person, so I don't normally go, but...

And that was the rub. No hook. No celebrity chef. No Cirque show. No Broadway show like Jersey Boys or Mama Mia. They never gave anyone a reason to GO to the Riviera. And without an affiliated comp club, no reason to ever pay for their rooms.

So in the end, a tired property passed away instead of doing the major surgery needed to stay relevant. That makes me sad.

(Side note, the Riviera jobs lost in the short term are sad, too. But the construction jobs and Convention Center jobs should be close to a net-even, so in the big picture, that didn't have any bearing on why I voted "Yes".

I also voted yes, so I guess at least 4 people voted so far. (I'll also miss letterman) I've occasionally checked the Riviera dice tables and always passed (sic) - they seemed unenergetic, with dull table personal. In spite of that same vibe, I bought in last week just to get some chips, won one passline, lost every dollar I bet on a few other shooters, and ran with my souvenirs. Total cost for 10 bucks in chips? - $55. The casino seemed fine - as casinos go, also sad - so much history and people trying to put a nice face on it. It seems like a waste to me, since they had bookings and profits, and really - the last thing that neighborhood needs is another massive construction fence.

The last few years it was just a depressing old property. Queen Victoria Pub was the last decent thing they had. There wasn't a single restaurant, bar, or shop that was worth a visit. I stopped in a few weeks ago to have a goodbye drink and the casino bar was so filthy I didn't dare sit down. The flow of the property was terrible, since it was built in pieces. A complete renovation like SLS was going to be needed to save it.

Despite the Riv being where I stayed my very first trip to Vegas back in 2004, I'm not really going to miss the place that much. The last time I even set foot in the Riv was over four years ago, when I ate at the Queen Victoria Pub, and even then the place was dead. I was there on a Thursday afternoon the weekend of the NASCAR race and was one of a handful of patrons at the Queen Vic and the only thing good about the place was the beer selection and even that wasn't enough to merit a return visit. There were more employees in the casino than customers.

The Riv got caught in a bad situation not entirely of its' own making. Who would have expected the economy to tank and put the various redevelopment projects that surrounded the Riv on the shelf in various stages of construction? They even had to put their renovation projects on ice as well. This is what led to their last bankruptcy filing which brought Starwood Capital into the mix. Even if the economy hadn't tanked, they would have had to do something at the Riv to compete with the properties that would have surrounded them.

What has been interesting to watch in recent days has been Derek Stevens' Periscope postings at The Riv. He just had one earlier today showing the casino floor 24 hours after closing and they plan on having most of the slot machines relocated to a warehouse used by The D and Golden Gate (They've bought over 800 slot machines from the Riv.) and there are still some machines that the Riv leased from the manufacturer (For example, stuff like the WoF machines and the pop-a-matic craps.). Derek was asked today during his walkaround the casino floor about the job losses and said that some workers opted o go ahead and retire and rest the Riv has helped find new jobs. They aren't exactly tossing everyone out on the streets without a job. I guess this is one of those times in which being a union member has its' advantages as they also help in securing new employment for their members.

I will miss the place since it had been around so long but each time I walked into the place the last few years it had all the charm of the inside of a casket. The other hotels had passed them by (aside from Circus Circus which is now the last major dump in town) and it was time for it to go. Bad location, a lack of concern by ownership and an overall bad vibe closed the place.

I'm bummed, but it's really because of the whole circumstance of the closure. I really enjoyed the Ho and the Dust for a long time. And to some degree, the Frontier was pretty fun, too. The Riv was just one of those places we'd stroll through during our time on the North Strip.

So I will miss it because this is the place that once housed Dino's Den and was a part of the original Ocean's 11. Nick Pappagiorgio bought his fake ID in front of this place. Nomi Malone had her bag stolen across the street. And because I wonder what Derek could have done with the joint if there was a need for it to be saved. I can picture in my mind the Stardust continuing to be awesome, the Westward Ho still selling beers for less than a buck and Derek making the Riv the strip's version of the Golden Gate. Right down to Arena playing in one of showrooms as The Lord intended.

That's what makes me sad about losing the Riviera. We never got to enjoy that. At least we still have a few joints in town to enjoy. I'll get the next round.

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