Riviera Casino Closes; LVCVA to Expand Convention Center

After six decades on the Las Vegas Strip, the Riviera Hotel and Casino has officially closed. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), which in February bought the 2,075-room property and the 26-acre site for $182.5 million, will tear down the building and expand the Las Vegas Convention Center to the Strip as part of a $2.3 billion Las Vegas Global Business District initiative.

This is the largest economic development initiative the LVCVA has undertaken since the Las Vegas Convention Center was built in the late 1950s. It is hoped that the project will attract more trade shows, conventions and visitors to the city.

“The Las Vegas Global Business District is the single most important economic development project in the state…this strategic acquisition of land gives us the much-needed space for expansion, while also providing a highly visible presence on one of the most famous streets in the world—the Las Vegas Strip,” said Rossi Ralenkotter, president/CEO of the LVCVA, in February.

The Riviera site will designate the entrance to the Global Business District. Phase One of the revitalization project will be a 1.8 million sq. ft. expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center that will add 750,000 sq. ft. of new exhibit space and 187,500 sq. ft. of new meeting space. Phase Two will focus on renovation of the existing convention center. When complete, the facility will grow from its current total footprint of 3.2 million sq. ft. to nearly 5.7 million sq. ft. The project is expected to take 5-8 years.

Las Vegas icons Frank Sinatra and Liberace both performed regularly at the Riviera. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval said, “For the better part of 60 years, this historic property has created memories for millions of guests and will always have a place in the history of this great city. As the storied resort makes way for the Global Business District, this site will continue to play an integral role in the attraction of visitors to Nevada.”

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