Thousands watch implosion of Riviera tower in Las Vegas

Posted at 7:25 AM, Jun 14, 2016

The Monaco Tower of the iconic Riviera hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip was imploded in the early morning hours of June 14.

Thousands of people gathered to watch the implosion at a VIP viewing party, parties in nearby high rises, and on the streets themselves surrounding the Riviera.

The 24-story tower was imploded at approximately 2:35 a.m. local time after a spectacular fireworks show.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority bought the property for $190 million in February 2015 and plan to expand its convention facilities on the site.

Former Nevada Gov. Bob Miller told the crowd at a VIP viewing party that it was a "...bittersweet moment for me to watch my past being blown up."

The Riviera opened April 1955 and closed in May 2015. The hotel had more than 2,100 rooms and the casino featured 110,000 square feet of gaming space.

Many famous performers performed at the Riviera over the years including the Liberace and Elvis Presley.