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Riviera (hotel and casino)

Riviera (hotel and casino)

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The Riviera is a hotel
Hotel
A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging on a short-term basis. The provision of basic accommodation, in times past, consisting only of a room with a bed, a cupboard, a small table and a washstand has largely been replaced by rooms with modern facilities, including en-suite bathrooms...

 and casino
Casino
In modern English, a casino is a facility which houses and accommodates certain types of gambling activities. Casinos are most commonly built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships or other tourist attractions...

 located on the Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is an approximately stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard in Clark County, Nevada; adjacent to, but outside the city limits of Las Vegas proper. The Strip lies within the unincorporated townships of Paradise and Winchester...

 in Winchester, Nevada
Winchester, Nevada
Winchester is a census-designated place in Clark County, Nevada, United States that contains part of the Las Vegas Strip. It is one of a number of CDPs in the unincorporated urbanized area directly south of Las Vegas. The population was 26,958 at the 2000 census. It is governed by the Clark County...

. The hotel has over 2,100 rooms, many located in a 23-story tower. The casino has 110000 sq ft (10,219.3 m²) of gaming space.

History


The Riviera opened on April 20, 1955 as the first high-rise and the ninth resort on the Las Vegas Strip. The Riviera is one of the oldest and most famous casino
Casino
In modern English, a casino is a facility which houses and accommodates certain types of gambling activities. Casinos are most commonly built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships or other tourist attractions...

 resorts in Las Vegas
Las Vegas metropolitan area
The Las Vegas Valley is the heart of the Las Vegas-Paradise, NV MSA also known as the Las Vegas–Paradise–Henderson MSA which includes all of Clark County, Nevada, and is a metropolitan area in the southern part of the U.S. state of Nevada. The Valley is defined by the Las Vegas Valley landform, a ...

. The Riviera also broke new ground in its design: previously, Strip resorts resembled roadside motor courts.

The opening of the Riviera, along with the Dunes and the Royal Nevada casino resorts within a month were the subject of a famous issue of Life Magazine, on June 20, 1955 with a Moulin Rouge showgirl on its cover. The headline was Las Vegas—Is Boom Overextended? and a story about how Las Vegas had built too many hotel rooms to be profitable.

The Riviera was built by a group of investors from Miami
Miami, Florida
Miami is a city located on the Atlantic coast in southeastern Florida and the county seat of Miami-Dade County, the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States with a population of 2,500,625...

. The resort has gone through many ownership changes over the years, including a period of control by owners linked to the Mafia
Mafia
The Mafia is a criminal syndicate that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century in Sicily, Italy. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share a common organizational structure and code of conduct, and whose common enterprise is protection racketeering...

 (as was the case for many Vegas resorts in the 1960s and 1970s). Harpo Marx
Harpo Marx
Adolph "Harpo" Marx was an American comedian and film star. He was the second oldest of the Marx Brothers. His comic style was influenced by clown and pantomime traditions. He wore a curly reddish wig, and never spoke during performances...

 and Gummo Marx
Gummo Marx
Milton "Gummo" Marx was an American vaudeville performer and theatrical agent. He was the fourth-born of the Marx Brothers. Born in New York City, he worked with his brothers on the vaudeville circuit, but left acting when he was drafted into the U.S...

 held minority interests at the opening. The Marx brothers also owned slightly under ten percent of the Hotel. It is said that Gummo talked his brother into putting money into the Hotel, for it would be a great place for him to perform. Harpo was easily sold. Dean Martin
Dean Martin
Dean Martin was an American singer, film actor, television star and comedian. Martin's hit singles included "Memories Are Made of This", "That's Amore", "Everybody Loves Somebody", "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You", "Sway", "Volare" and "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?"...

 once held a minority ownership stake while he was a headliner in the showroom
Showroom
The word showroom has two distinct meanings including:-Marketing location:A showroom is a large space used to display products for sale, such as automobiles, furniture, appliances, carpet or apparel. The World's most famous locations for a showroom are the Champs Elysees in Paris or the 5th Avenue...

. Gus Greenbaum
Gus Greenbaum
Gus Greenbaum was a member of the Chicago Outfit and syndicate accountant for Las Vegas casino operations.An associate of Meyer Lansky, Greenbaum joined his organization on New York's Lower East Side in the mid or late 1910s...

 was brought into manage the Riviera in 1955. He had successfully managed the Flamingo Hotel after the death of Bugsy Siegel
Bugsy Siegel
Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was an American gangster who was involved with the Genovese crime family...

. However, Greenbaum's drug and gambling addictions led to his embezzling from the casino. In December 1958, Greenbaum and his wife were murdered in their Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data...

 home, reportedly on the orders of either Meyer Lansky
Meyer Lansky
Meyer Lansky , known as the "Mob's Accountant", was a Polish-born American organized crime figure who, along with his associate Charles "Lucky" Luciano, was instrumental in the development of the "National Crime Syndicate" in the United States...

 or Tony Accardo
Tony Accardo
Antonino Joseph Accardo , also known as "Joe Batters" or "Big Tuna", rose from small-time hoodlum to the position of day-to-day boss of the Chicago Outfit in 1947, to ultimately become the final Outfit authority in 1972, until his death...

.

Meshulam Riklis bought the Riviera in 1973 for $56 million. The hotel/casino filed bankruptcy in 1984 and then again in 1991, at which time Riklis lost ownership. Ownership was then acquired by Riviera Holdings Corp.

Liberace
Liberace
Wladziu Valentino Liberace , best known simply as Liberace, was a famous American pianist and vocalist.In a career that spanned four decades of concerts, recordings, motion pictures, television and endorsements, Liberace became world-renowned...

 was the featured headliner at the resort's opening, and for many years afterward.

In 2006, Splash, a traditional Las Vegas revue
Revue
A revue is a type of multi-act popular theatrical entertainment that combines music, dance and sketches. The revue has its roots in 19th century American popular entertainment and melodrama but grew into a substantial cultural presence of its own during its golden years from 1916 to 1932...

, ended an extended run at the Riviera.

In 2009, An Evening at La Cage, featuring female impersonator
Drag queen
A drag queen is a man who dresses, and usually acts, like a caricature woman often for the purpose of entertaining. There are many kinds of drag artists and they vary greatly, from professionals who have starred in films to people who just try it once. Drag queens also vary by class and culture and...

s including Frank Marino
Frank Marino (female impersonator)
Frank Marino is a female impersonator dubbed Ms. Las Vegas for his longtime starring role as Joan Rivers in the Las Vegas drag revue Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas, playing at the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip...

 and his impersonation of Joan Rivers
Joan Rivers
Joan Rivers is an American comedian, television personality and actress. She is known for her brash manner; her loud, raspy voice with a heavy New York accent; and her numerous cosmetic surgeries...

, ended one of the longest runs in Strip history.

Bankruptcy


On Monday, July 12, 2010, in Re: Riviera Holdings Corp, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

 (Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Nevada and is also the county seat of Clark County, Nevada. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, and fine dining. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and is famous...

), No: 10-22910, Riviera Holdings Company, Incorporated, owners of the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Black Hawk, Colorado. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, together with a reorganization plan under which secured lenders, led by Greenwich-based Starwood Capital Group
Starwood Capital Group
Starwood Capital Group is a private investment firm headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut. The businesses owned by the firm include Starwood Property Trust, Inc., Starwood Energy Group Global, L.L.C., Starwood Real Estate Securities, L.L.C., and SH Group....

, would receive new debt and stock. The plan was negotiated with holders of 2/3 of the secured debt worth over $275 million, which included a $225 million term loan, unpaid interest and amounts owing on a swap agreement. Riviera Holdings Company listed assets and liabilities of $100 to $500 million each in the filing in Las Vegas Bankruptcy Court.

Under the terms of the agreement negotiated by Starwood Capital Group
Starwood Capital Group
Starwood Capital Group is a private investment firm headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut. The businesses owned by the firm include Starwood Property Trust, Inc., Starwood Energy Group Global, L.L.C., Starwood Real Estate Securities, L.L.C., and SH Group....

, the reorganization plan calls for secured lenders to receive a new $50 million loan plus 80% of the new stock. Lenders who provide $20 million in a so-called new money loan will receive 8 percent of the new stock plus warrants for another 10 percent. Creditors who provide a $10 million working capital loan are to receive 7 percent of the new stock. The last 5 percent of the new stock goes to the lenders in return for providing a backstop insuring availability fo the $30 million in loans. Existing Riviera shareholders received nothing.

The Riviera had lost $4.5 million on income of $30.8 million in the first quarter of 2010. The decline in popularity of the Riviera in Las Vegas was caused in major part by the decline of pedestrian foot traffic in the vicinity of the hotel casino. Previously, The Riviera was surrounded by The Stardust
Stardust Resort & Casino
The Stardust Resort & Casino was a casino resort located on along the Las Vegas Strip in Winchester, Nevada.The Stardust opened in 1958, although most of the modern casino complex was built in 1991. At its March 13, 2007 demolition it was the youngest undamaged high-rise building to ever be...

, The New Frontier
New Frontier Hotel and Casino
The New Frontier was a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip that had operated continuously since October 30, 1942. Actually located within the unincorporated suburb of Paradise, Nevada, USA, it was the second resort that opened on the Las Vegas Strip. The Frontier closed its doors for...

 and The Westward Ho
Westward Ho Hotel and Casino
The Westward Ho Hotel and Casino was a casino and hotel located on the Las Vegas Strip in Winchester, an unincorporated area of Clark County in the U.S. state of Nevada. The Westward Ho was the last large motel style property on the Strip...

, properties which were demolished to make room for new construction. A shutdown in the new construction in progress at the adjacent Fontainebleau Resort Las Vegas
Fontainebleau Resort Las Vegas
Fontainebleau Las Vegas is a US$2.9 billion, 3,889-room, 68-story hotel/condo-hotel/casino development under construction near the north end of the Las Vegas Strip on the site previously occupied by the El Rancho and Algiers hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada...

 and Echelon Place
Echelon Place
Echelon Place is a partially built hotel, casino, shopping, and convention complex on the Las Vegas Strip, owned by Boyd Gaming Corporation. Construction of the project has been suspended since August 1, 2008....

 contributed to the Riviera's downfall, but it could reverse, if and when those large construction projects are resumed and eventually completed later. In the meanwhile, business continues as usual at The Riviera in Las Vegas. There are 1300 employees in Las Vegas, Nevada, and 260 employees employed in Black Hawk, Colorado.

Film history


The Riviera is often chosen as a shooting location due to its history and recognition as a landmark. Portions of the following features were filmed at The Riviera:
  • Ocean's Eleven
    Ocean's Eleven (1960 film)
    Ocean's 11 is a 1960 heist film directed by Lewis Milestone and starring five Rat Packers: Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Joey Bishop....

     (1960
    1960 in film
    The year 1960 in film involved some significant events, with Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho the top-grossing release in the U.S.-Events:* April 20 - for the first time since coming home from military service in Germany, Elvis Presley returns to Hollywood, California to film G.I...

    )
  • Casino
    Casino (film)
    Casino is a 1995 crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Nicholas Pileggi, who also co-wrote the screenplay for the film with Scorsese...

     (1995
    1995 in film
    -Top grossing films:-Events:* March 22 - The Dogme 95 movement is officially announced in Paris by Danish directors Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg.* March 28 - Actress Julia Roberts and singer Lyle Lovett announce their plans for separation....

    )
  • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
    Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
    Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is a 1997 American science fiction/action-comedy film and the first film of the Austin Powers series. It was directed by Jay Roach and written by Mike Myers who also stars in the title role. Myers also plays Dr. Evil, Austin Powers' arch-enemy...

     (1997
    1997 in film
    -Events:* The original Star Wars trilogy's Special Editions are released.* Production begins on Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.* Titanic becomes the first film to gross US$1,000,000,000 at the box office making it the highest grossing film in history until Avatar broke the record in 2010.*...

    )
  • Vegas Vacation
    Vegas Vacation
    Vegas Vacation is a 1997 comedy film. It is the fourth film in the original Vacation film series centering around the fictitious Griswold family, following Vacation, European Vacation, and Christmas Vacation. Chevy Chase reprises his starring role as Clark W. Griswold, the patriarch of the family...

     (1997
    1997 in film
    -Events:* The original Star Wars trilogy's Special Editions are released.* Production begins on Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.* Titanic becomes the first film to gross US$1,000,000,000 at the box office making it the highest grossing film in history until Avatar broke the record in 2010.*...

    )
  • Go
    Go (1999 film)
    Go is a 1999 comedy thriller film written by John August and directed by Doug Liman, with three intertwining plots that happen to involve one drug deal. The film stars William Fichtner, Katie Holmes, Jay Mohr, Sarah Polley and Scott Wolf and features Taye Diggs, Breckin Meyer, Timothy Olyphant,...

     (1999
    1999 in film
    The year 1999 in film involved several noteworthy events and has been called "The Year That Changed Movies". Several significant feature films, including Stanley Kubrick's final film Eyes Wide Shut, Pedro Almodóvar's first Oscar-winning film All About My Mother, science fiction The Matrix, Deep...

    )
  • 3000 Miles To Graceland
    3000 Miles to Graceland
    3000 Miles to Graceland is a 2001 American crime film, starring Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Bokeem Woodbine, Christian Slater, and Kevin Pollak. It is a story of theft and betrayal, revolving around a plot to rob the Riviera Casino during a convention of Elvis...

     (2001
    2001 in film
    The year 2001 in film involved some significant events, including the first of the Harry Potter series and also the first of The Lord of the Rings trilogy...

    )
  • Crazy Girls Undercover
    Crazy girls undercover
    Crazy Girls Undercover is a 2008 B-movie directed by Chris Langman and starring Clive Robertson and Nikki Ziering.- Plot :The film is about a group of Las Vegas sexy showgirls who are undercover agents working with a former C.I.A. agent to stop a terrorist attack...

     (2008
    2008 in film
    This is a list of all major films made in 2008.-Highest-grossing films:Please note that following the tradition of the English-language film industry, these are the top grossing films that were first released in the USA in 2008...

    )
  • 21 (2008
    2008 in film
    This is a list of all major films made in 2008.-Highest-grossing films:Please note that following the tradition of the English-language film industry, these are the top grossing films that were first released in the USA in 2008...

    )
  • The Hangover
    The Hangover (film)
    The Hangover is a 2009 American comedy film directed by Todd Phillips and written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. The film stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Heather Graham, Justin Bartha and Jeffrey Tambor...

     (2009
    2009 in film
    The year 2009 saw the release of many films. Seven made the top 50 list of highest-grossing films, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that as of this year, their Best Picture category would consist of ten nominees, rather than five .- Highest-grossing films :Please note...

    )


The majority of the television series Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling
Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling
Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, also known as GLOW or G.L.O.W., was a professional wrestling promotion for women, begun in 1986 and continued in various forms after it left television. Colorful characters, beautiful women, and over-the-top comedy sketches were integral to the series' success...

 was shot in the Riviera Hotel during its four-year run and subsequent 1991 Pay Per View.

Crazy Girls


The resort has one long-running show:
  • Crazy Girls, a topless show. The performers for Crazy Girls, including deceased transgender
    Transgender
    Transgender is a general term applied to a variety of individuals, behaviors, and groups involving tendencies to vary from culturally conventional gender roles....

     showgirl Jahna Steele
    Jahna Steele
    Jahna Erica Steele was an American transgender entertainer and Las Vegas showgirl who was voted Las Vegas' "Sexiest Showgirl on The Strip" in 1991, "Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year, 1992," and "Most Beautiful Showgirl, 1993." She was fired after being outed as a trans woman by a tabloid...

    , are immortalized with a bronze sculpture at the front of the casino unveiled in 1997 with the phrase No "Ifs", "Ands" or.... The thong-clad buttocks
    Buttocks
    The buttocks are two rounded portions of the anatomy, located on the posterior of the pelvic region of apes and humans, and many other bipeds or quadrupeds, and comprise a layer of fat superimposed on the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius muscles. Physiologically, the buttocks enable weight to...

     on it have been worn to a shine by passers-by rubbing them. The sculpture is based on a promotional photo for the show. Riviera ads with the same photo used to appear on Vegas taxicabs, and it was restored for a shot in the film Domino
    Domino (film)
    Domino is a 2005 American action film directed by Tony Scott and written by Richard Kelly. It is inspired by the story of Domino Harvey, the English daughter of stage and screen actor Laurence Harvey, who became a bounty hunter working in Los Angeles. The film stars Keira Knightley as Domino and...

    . The Crazy Girls were the inspiration for the 2008 film Crazy Girls Undercover
    Crazy girls undercover
    Crazy Girls Undercover is a 2008 B-movie directed by Chris Langman and starring Clive Robertson and Nikki Ziering.- Plot :The film is about a group of Las Vegas sexy showgirls who are undercover agents working with a former C.I.A. agent to stop a terrorist attack...

    .

Other Shows

  • 'Sandy Hackett's Rat Pack Show' They were style with substance, swing with swagger and a non-stop party that everyone wanted access to. Now audiences can experience this critically acclaimed, hugely entertaining theatrical production which includes exciting new arrangements of the classic songs everyone knows and loves. In addition, audiences will hear original, never-before-heard songs written by the late, legendary songwriter, Ron Miller (“For Once In My Life”), and recorded voiceovers made exclusively for this show by Sandy Hackett’s father, the late, legendary comedian, Buddy Hackett. This show has moved from plenty of venues including the now closed Sahara Hotel and Casino. This shows in the Le Bistro Theater.

  • 'The Magic and Tigers of Rick Thomas ' In July 2011, the Rick Thomas theater will open in the Riviera to house the famed magician and his show. Rick Thomas comes from the now closed Sahara Hotel and Casino. Rick's website highlights his show featuring magic and tigers. http://www.rickthomas.com.

  • Starlight Theater, In June 2011 the Starlite theater reopened it's doors tailoring it's entertainment to an older crowd. Mary Wilson of the Supremes is the headliner through July 4th, 2011. The Village People and Gallagher are set to headline the theater in late 2011.

The hotel's other two venues are The Riviera Comedy Club and Le Bistro Theater, which feature several different recurring acts. Dr. Scott Lewis (Hypnotist)' performs every Monday evening at 9:00 PM in the Le Bistro Theater.

Previous Acts

  • Barbra and Frank: The Concert That Never Was (Barbara Streisand and Frank Sinatra
    Frank Sinatra
    Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer and actor.Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the...

     impersonators). This show has now moved to the off strip Las Vegas Westin Casuarina.

  • Dao - The Asian Celebration, which according to the Riviera's website offers "acrobatics, dance and martial arts in fusion with stunning costumes, exquisite stage design and beautiful music... mind and body in motion". Closed.

  • ICE, an ice dancing
    Ice dancing
    Ice dancing is a form of figure skating which draws from the world of ballroom dancing. It was first competed at the World Figure Skating Championships in 1952, but did not become a Winter Olympic Games medal sport until 1976....

     show featuring Russia
    Russia
    Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

    n skaters. Was cancelled in early 2011.

  • Greg London's ICONS, September 2, 2010, according to Riviera President Bob Vanucci, the resort has secured Greg London
    Greg London
    Greg London is an American singer, entertainer and impressionist. After a solo hit show in London's West End, he enjoyed a lengthy residency in Reno, Nevada before announcing his move to the Las Vegas Strip in mid 2010.-Early life:...

     starring in Greg London's ICONS which opened for previews June 17, 2010 with a Red Carpet Media event September 2, 2010. 2009 rewarded Greg London with two back to back adult contemporary radio hits, a Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best Adult Contemporary Song, Best Entertainer in Nevada and Best Show in Northern, NV, recognition for being the longest running Casino Headliner in Reno, NV and a Best Impersonation credit by Rolling Stone contributing editor, David Wild for a unique pairing of Ozzy Osbourne and Kermit the Frog.. This show closed in June 2011 and now shows at the Las Vegas Hilton.

Pocket billiards (pool)


As of 2010, the Riviera has a near-monopoly on championship-level North American and international amateur pool (pocket billiards) tournaments held in the United States, aside from the Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

-based U.S. Amateur Championship. The hotel's convention center hosts the Billiard Congress of America, American Poolplayers Association
American Poolplayers Association
The American Association was founded in 1981 by professional pool players Terry Bell and Larry Hubbart, although with roots dating back to the National Pool League , founded in 1979. The APA conducts a system of franchised-based local amateur leagues of pool competition, including both...

, Valley National 8-Ball Association and American Cuesports Alliance
American CueSports Alliance
The American CueSports Alliance is a non-profit league-sanctioning body for cue sports in the United States. They produce national billiards tournaments on an annual basis, in areas such as eight-ball and nine-ball....

 pool leagues' annual international championships, and various related events. BCA has scheduled their 2011 and 2012 amateur championships at the Riviera, as well as the 2011 professional U.S. Open Ten-ball Championship. APA has publicly announced events at the Riv through August 28, 2010. However, VNEA announced in May 2010 that their event would move to Bally's
Bally's Las Vegas
Bally's Las Vegas, formerly the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, is a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip. The Las Vegas resort is located within the unincorporated locale of Paradise, Nevada and is owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment Corp.. The hotel features 2,814 extra-sized...

, further down the Strip, in 2011 ACS has not yet posted 2011 event information to their website (as of June 13, 2010).

External links