What Caused the Infamous Riviera to Close after 60 years?

  • Published on Sep 15, 2018
  • What Caused the Infamous Riviera to Shut Down after 60 Years?
    Hey everyone, how's it going? In today's video, we are going to be diving into what caused the infamous Riviera Hotel and Casino located in Las Vegas to close down. The Riviera was open from 1955 all the way to 2015. During the Casino's 60 year run, the Riv would be home to World Class Performances from Celebrities like Frank Sinatra, and Liberace. The Riviera would also be home to many controversies due to murders associated with the resort.
    During the Riviera Hotel and Casino's 60 years, the now Abandoned Casino would transform the Las Vegas Strip. Before the construction of the Riviera Hotel, many casinos were built like Roadside Motor Courts. The Riviera Casino would be the first Casino to be built as a High Rise Resort on the Las Vegas Strip. The Riv was also responsible for the shift in Las Vegas Casino's focusing their marketing on the Middle Class instead of High Rollers. Without the Riv's innovation, the Las Vegas Strip would not be what it is today.
    If you enjoy this type of videos be sure to let me know down in the comments below! Also, if you have any suggestions for future videos let me know! I will most likely end up making a video on it! If you enjoy Urbex/Urban Exploration Videos, or videos of people exploring abandoned places, be sure to subscribe down below! I film both exploring abandoned places videos, as well as these Urban Exploration Documentary Videos!
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    Music Used
    "What's New Scooby-Doo" by Simple Plan
    Business Email: Jonahmstahl@gmail.com
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Comments • 584

  • Larry Bundy Jr
    Larry Bundy Jr 10 months ago +154

    That's quite sad, a legendary casino turned into a parking lot. :(

    • RoyalAl
      RoyalAl 3 months ago


    • Chris James
      Chris James 3 months ago +1

      there rumor that there breaking grown to expand there convention center which is going to connect to the drew which is schedule to open in 2020

    • Gameming Tech Project
      Gameming Tech Project 4 months ago +1

      I heard there's one largerst casino building between the resort hotel because I have heard that building have , too many ghost , of course that building have ghost adventures investigation too, after that if I'm right last 2018 1 day the government shutdown the building forever and demolished it forever because that building have too many crims indeed. Crims bad for humans for safety reasons , that's why they demolished it in the first place no that place was a total flat land.

    • materialgirl8707
      materialgirl8707 5 months ago

      I know, very sad.

    • TheLtrain85
      TheLtrain85 5 months ago

      I assume you hadnt been inside during its final few years. It looked like shit inside and was unkept. The parking lot is actually an upgrade

    WOW For TRUMP 17 hours ago

    I can’t believe the Rivera Closed! I was so sad when they tore down the Stardust!

  • Freedom Tower
    Freedom Tower Day ago

    Wait in video, why do you call it the "Riv" ?

  • MATT R
    MATT R 5 days ago

    Can you please make a video about why they closed the old Wet N Wild waterpark that was located at 2601 s. Las Vegas Blvd that closed in 2004. Great job on these videos I enjoy the content!

  • Seth Clayborne
    Seth Clayborne 5 days ago

    great video

  • Dr ZoidBerg
    Dr ZoidBerg 18 days ago

    This isn’t the only hotel turned into a parking lot, the landmark hotel which ran from 1969 to 1990 and imploded in 1995 got turned into one too and now the lot is actually being used for the expansion for the Las Vegas convention center.

  • Edlyn Masingale
    Edlyn Masingale 23 days ago

    You forgot to mention the movie casino was filmed there!

  • Stephen Thomas
    Stephen Thomas 25 days ago

    Stayed there many times in the 90s. Loved the casino. Would love to see a video on Binions Hotel.

  • Allan Fifield
    Allan Fifield Month ago

    Bishop knew what was good for him. No horses head jn his bed.

  • Edward bath
    Edward bath Month ago

    You should do a video on the Stardust Resort and Casino Las Vegas

    • Abandoned Explained
      Abandoned Explained  Month ago +1

      I have a video on the stardust :) check out my latest video in the what happened playlist!

  • KyoKonKyoChin
    KyoKonKyoChin Month ago

    Your trademark should be yelling. This is boring. Stick to what works.

  • Bobo Ayame
    Bobo Ayame 2 months ago

    Glad you don't hate the Riviera as much as the Lucky Dragon

  • GeminieCricket
    GeminieCricket 2 months ago

    SLOW DOWN....needed to yell. Identify pictures with lettering, please.

  • Smug Smugly
    Smug Smugly 2 months ago

    My grandfather worked on the construction of the Riviera.He about fell from a beam 70 feet up on 3 occasions during the same day. He was drunk, but so were some of his co-workers, he was jsut fortunate his friends were there to catch him before he fell. He had a rough life and a drinking problem but working on the Riviera was one thing he was really proud of. He said everyone was drunk in the 1950's so he thought it was no big deal to drink at work. He passed away in 1966 due to liver disease.

  • Big Braddah Bell
    Big Braddah Bell 2 months ago

    Well at least I can say I worked one whole week at the Riviera .
    She was a classy lady to walk through with all that old school art deco .
    Walking through her hallways at some points just make you feel classy !

  • Sergio Gomez
    Sergio Gomez 2 months ago

    What about Bally’s history?

    (Or MGM)

  • Vicky Wiseman
    Vicky Wiseman 2 months ago

    Can you find out why Tony Marnell sold the Rio Hotel and Casino.

  • JME R
    JME R 2 months ago

    If you saw what the rooms looked like when liquidating youd understand another reason they closed down. They rooms had furniture and decor from 3 different decades. All mismatching and UGLY. Even had old CRT tvs in all rooms. I saw NOTHING worth buying in that sale.

  • electrictroy2010
    electrictroy2010 2 months ago +1

    Other casinos built nightclubs with Hit DJs to attract people to their buildings. The north end casinos failed to do that & they lost foot traffic

  • christopher yasus
    christopher yasus 3 months ago

    Was even expensive to blow up!
    42 mil

  • MrGtoriginal
    MrGtoriginal 3 months ago

    Anything "New and Improved" usually sucks.

  • RoyalAl
    RoyalAl 3 months ago

    I know I'm late to this video, but I've been going to Vegas since 2006. I've probably been 11 times for weeklong trips so it's amazing to see how each and every time how drastic the strip has changed. You neglect to also mention the rise of the super-resorts, economic decline of 2008, and how an older casino/hotel like the Riv couldn't compete with these new super resorts. Why pay almost the same price to stay in a basically 1.5 to 2 star hotel when you can spend a few more bucks and stay center strip in the Mirage (which was just renovated ~2006 to bring it inline with modern standards), MGM, Excalibur etc. Then after 2008 all the resorts were struggling to fill rooms. My gf and I got round trip tickets and a 7 day stay at the Wynn Tower Suites for ~$900 a person. The Riv was just stuck in the past, and yes the foot traffic declined, but it didn't have much to attract people other than its history and that sensational marquee. One of the saddest things I'll miss is just the sight of the casino itself. Uptown Las Vegas moved with the times, renovated and competed with great casino odds and other offers to attract people while the Riv just sat there. It's crazy to see how different Vegas is from 2006 (wynn and encore weren't even done yet) to what it is today.

  • Dion1957
    Dion1957 3 months ago

    Look at the title of this piece. Answer: Rich Greedy A**holes!

  • Barn Casino
    Barn Casino 3 months ago +1

    Do you remember the Imperial Palace, first casino I ever walked into.

  • Terry Siedelman
    Terry Siedelman 3 months ago

    5:02 who's that' beauty'?????? Anybody.......(thank you)

  • Mike Vaughan
    Mike Vaughan 3 months ago

    I am from Bristol UK and visited both The Riviera and was astounded, i also visied Circus Circus, I was indeed shocked that it was no more.
    May i make a suggestion......well the James Bond film Diamonds are forever in 1971 featured many hotels and resorts in Las Vagas .....I thought it would make an excellent companion to your fantastically interesting series of what happened, what do you think ?? if this is the case please let me know......regards Mike Vaughan

  • Bob Crane
    Bob Crane 3 months ago

    You forgot to mention their attempt to regain popularity by offering single zero roulette (which was created to bring popularity to the game in Europe originally), single deck blackjack (1 table) and 100x odds on craps (I think the max odds bet was $5k.) The papers talked about what a genius their new guy running the casino was. Card counters probably didn't care about the 1 table of single deck, as it was reportedly always full. I wish it had worked, so many casino's offer lousy games.

  • larry grasso
    larry grasso 3 months ago

    I stayed there in 1968.. Saw the Liza Minnelli show Liza with a Z.

  • Fujiforker
    Fujiforker 3 months ago

    More landfills...

  • Anthony Anderson
    Anthony Anderson 3 months ago

    A video of Reno and it's decline would be great. Reno was full of casinos like Fitgeralds, the Sundowner, The Flamingo etc, and now all thats left is Silver Legacy and its sister casinos El Dorado and Circus Circus. Reno was a mini Vegas now it looks like a ghost town.

  • Anthony Anderson
    Anthony Anderson 3 months ago

    Can you do the history of Caesars Palace? I get it's not abandoned or failed, but it's the only old timey Casino still booming...

  • Mar Blox
    Mar Blox 3 months ago +2

    They destroy all the legendary casinos on the strip that brought people to LV.
    Now the Vegas strip looks like every other citys main street.
    LV is not what it used to be.

    • Mar Blox
      Mar Blox 3 months ago +1

      @Some Guy Yep, like an old ball park.

    • Some Guy
      Some Guy 3 months ago

      I miss the old casinos. They had a distinctive atmosphere that the new casinos don't have. They had character.

  • Smug Smugly
    Smug Smugly 3 months ago

    The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has retained CBRE Group Inc. to sell 10 acres of land it owns on the Strip (The old Riv). Maybe Steve Wynn will buy it??

  • gggggggg
    gggggggg 3 months ago

    In a nutshell, mafia stealing money before being counted and most importantly, lack of investment to modernise the building........... For the last ten years it stood it was a total shit hole, smelly, falling apart at the seams, old worn out equipment......... In short, run down and more like a toilet with a turd floating in it................... You'ld go in,have a look and turn round and leave

  • Jay Zee
    Jay Zee 3 months ago

    Being the first high rise does NOT mean that there would never have been high rise hotels on the strip if it wasn't for the Riv. All it simply means is that the Riv was the first.

  • Manuel Gomez
    Manuel Gomez 3 months ago

    It was old and run down

  • Jay Barney
    Jay Barney 3 months ago

    Just some feedback. Please slow down. You talk very fast

  • lauranorwar
    lauranorwar 3 months ago +5

    I am amazed that Circus Circus is still standing. In my opinion it’s the worst of all the old casinos that once dominated the North Strip. Yet somehow it lives on among the half finished resorts, souvenir shops, and liquor stores.

    • Allan Fifield
      Allan Fifield Month ago

      Agreed! Awful place.

    • Andrew Bartels
      Andrew Bartels 2 months ago

      Circus Circus is actually a very profitable casino to this day.

    • Some Guy
      Some Guy 3 months ago

      I have a soft spot for Circus Circus. When I moved to Vegas in 1975 I wasn't old enough to gamble. The upstairs arcade was one of the few places I could go for fun. I wonder if they still have circus acts up there. Hunter S. Thompson featured Circus Circus in his classic book "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." It must have been even more surreal on all those drugs.

  • Earl of Wickshire
    Earl of Wickshire 3 months ago

    I remember taking a dump in the casino bathroom at the Riviera. It slid right out of my butthole. Neat hotel!

  • geeksquad smarty
    geeksquad smarty 3 months ago

    Gambling is like a box of chocolates you never know what you're going to get. 😎😎😎😎

  • Marty Mahem
    Marty Mahem 3 months ago +1

    Meshulam Riklis was Pia Zadora's former husband.

  • mikeandmars2345
    mikeandmars2345 3 months ago

    Like this video good job

  • Jeffrey Oslin
    Jeffrey Oslin 3 months ago

    Now the mob is called Harrahs, MGM, Hilton, Trump,Bally’s, etc etc etc

  • RickReviews
    RickReviews 3 months ago


  • Joe Shmoe
    Joe Shmoe 3 months ago +1

    The Riv always sucked. It was destined to fail.

  • Angela Jasper
    Angela Jasper 3 months ago

    Its not there anymore

  • tom hagins
    tom hagins 3 months ago +1

    I'm so old I remember Joan Rivers at the Riviera

  • Joe Stokesbary
    Joe Stokesbary 3 months ago


  • Trent Dang
    Trent Dang 3 months ago

    I am going to respectfully disagree with your final assessment of the closure. I was part of the new senior management team brought on by ownership in 2012-2013. At the time, the property was struggling however we were able to regain and grow profitability until the time of the sale. The fact of the matter, though, was that the land was more valuable than the business and the convention center wanted/wants to expand. The business probably was worth $50M-75M if you were to sell to another casino operator and obviously the LVCVA bought it for the land at $180M so the math was pretty simple for the owners despite the fact that the business was profitable. Most anyone would sell their house on the spot if someone showed up with a check for 3X its value.

  • RETUSAF1995
    RETUSAF1995 4 months ago

    This is the new America that does not have respect for history only money.

  • Brian The Explorer
    Brian The Explorer 4 months ago

    In short greedy mobsters and bad management bought down the Riviera

  • David Gzesh
    David Gzesh 4 months ago

    I represented a US government claimant in the 1991 bankruptcy. You don't quite get the Riklas/Pia Zadora story. The Riv eventually folded because it was not able to compete with the emerging competition. If anyone wants a flavor of what it was, try the Peppermill Restaurant next door .... still thriving.

  • Joey VanOstrand
    Joey VanOstrand 4 months ago

    What's the difference between Liberace and a refrigerator?
    The fridge doesn't fart when you pull your meat out.

  • akbar41
    akbar41 4 months ago

    Thanks for a really informative channel!

  • E Martinez
    E Martinez 4 months ago

    We were there the day before they closed. It was sad, so much history here.

  • Tom W
    Tom W 4 months ago

    Try making your statements not sound like a question?

  • lovemuffin1963
    lovemuffin1963 5 months ago

    Lol it is more than a parking lot it is being turned into convention space in the coming years.

  • Metal Boy
    Metal Boy 5 months ago +1

    Would love for Abandoned Explained to also talk about the Riviera Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado with this casinos connection to the once Riviera in Vegas. Here is the URL www.blackhawkcolorado.com/riviera.php

  • 808muscle1
    808muscle1 5 months ago

    Great insightful video, love the fast talking, don't change. Music at the end rocked!

  • Ricky Louidor
    Ricky Louidor 5 months ago

    you should research the interstate 4 eyesore

  • Lance Whitford
    Lance Whitford 5 months ago

    We stayed at the riviera in 2013 and man was it a crap hole, ruined the whole Vegas experience. I remeber we ordered a pizza put it on the bed and eating on the other bed went Togo get another slice n it was completely coverd with Ants.

  • Brocounty 1979
    Brocounty 1979 5 months ago

    It was really run down in the years before it closed. It's same thing that will happen to all hotels on the strip, get rid of old and make way for new...that's Vegas!

  • brittney jasmine
    brittney jasmine 5 months ago +1

    I got a chance to stay here just a year or so before it closed. The room was out of date. But it wasn't the worst. It was priced cheap which is why i picked it. But after seeing all the history on it, im glad i got a chance to visit.

  • brittney jasmine
    brittney jasmine 5 months ago

    Do Semi abandoned Lake Las Vegas

  • Zoe Mariella
    Zoe Mariella 5 months ago

    Hey I used to work in Death Valley and I really found the town of Rhyolite a fun visit and would love to see a video or learn more about its fate!

    SONJA HARRISON 5 months ago +1

    ALWAYS posting AWESOME and informational stuff. Cool AF on all the history you put up/behind with these vids

  • Steven Torrey
    Steven Torrey 5 months ago

    Las Vegas: I cannot think of a more depressing place!

  • Doc J
    Doc J 5 months ago +1

    I enjoy your content, and I especially enjoy listening to it at 50% speed so it sounds like a tipsy 20-something is explaining it to me!

  • Buckshot Jones
    Buckshot Jones 5 months ago


  • joseph dunn
    joseph dunn 5 months ago

    I stayed at the Dunes hotel. I know the reason why it was imploded and that's to make way for the Belagio and the Monte Carlo and even further the Aria, Cosmopolitan hotels but, how about some history please.