As a city known for its buzzing energy and 24-hour entertainment where anything can happen, it’s no surprise that when it’s time for Las Vegas hotels and casinos to go, they go out with a bang. There have been a surprising number of implosions of iconic Vegas buildings, each a step up from normal building demolitions, with their own characteristic style and flair. Here are five of the best.
1. The old Aladdin Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas – April 28, 1998
Neil Diamond, Iron Maiden, and Phish are some of the bands that played the Aladdin before its 1998 implosion. Opened in 1996, it was imploded to make space for the new Aladdin to be built. After being sold and renovated, the resort opened in 2007 as Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.
2. Stardust Resort & Casino – March 13 2007
The implosion of the Stardust Resort & Casino, which opened in 1958, is one of many that featured fireworks and an on-building countdown. At the time 428 pounds of explosives brought down the hotel in 2007, it was the tallest building on the Strip to be demolished. The famous sign remains an iconic Vegas image, as seen in many films — and Siegfried & Roy got their Strip start there. The Stardust held the Las Vegas Strip’s only first-run drive-in theater in the back of the resort.
3. New Frontier Hotel & Casino – November 13, 2007
The 65-year-old casino, the second property built on the famous Strip, was where Elvis Presley made his Las Vegas debut in 1956.
4. Sands Hotel & Casino – November 26, 1996
There is an iconic image of the Rat Pack — Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop, Dean Martin and Peter Lawford — standing in front of the Sands marquee. In fact, the hotel’s Copa Room was the collaboration’s birthplace in 1960. From its opening in 1952, the Sands was an important place for entertainment on the Strip, and after the original Ocean’s 11 was shot at the hotel in 1960, it quickly attained iconic status.
5. Landmark Hotel & Casino – November 7, 1995
The Landmark opened in 1969, but was ultimately unable to compete with the larger megaresorts that opened in Las Vegas. During its time open, the Landmark played host to such artists as Danny Thomas, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Freddy Fender. The Landmark’s 1995 implosion was used in the film Mars Attacks! Now, the site is home to … a parking lot.
Castaways Hotel and Casino – January 11 2006
This video of Castaways coming down is one of our favorite Vegas implosion videos. Although there are no fireworks or countdown, the building collapsing behind its sign is striking.
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