Guide to Riviera Las Vegas Closure

John Mehaffey February 23, 2015

Riviera is set to close on May 4, 2015. It will be demolished later in the year. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is acquiring the 26-acre lot to expand the convention center to the Las Vegas Strip.

Riviera is the last of its kind on the Las Vegas Strip. It turns 60 two weeks before it is scheduled to close. All of the other casinos from that era in that block –Westward Ho, Stardust and New Frontier – were shuttered and demolished. Most of the land associated with those properties remains unused due to the recession. Sahara met a similar fate but was partially revived as SLS Las Vegas.

Riviera has become a relic on the Strip with its lighting and signage clearly from another era. That may be the only reason to check out the property for some. It offers a few more surprises inside.

Gaming Reasons to Visit Riviera

Riviera is the only place on the Las Vegas Strip that offers $1 blackjack. Sure, it pays even money, but the drink service is just as good there as it is at any other table. The house edge on this game with a minimum bet is only about $2 per hour. There are also $3 tables that pay 6-5 on bets of $5 or more.

The other table games typically have a $5 minimum bet, except Pai Gow and baccarat, which will be $10 or higher.

Riviera is still offering its new player bonus, according to signage throughout the property and its website. Table games players can receive a free $10 promo chip with a $20 buy in at the casino cage. Slot and video poker players can receive up to $100 in free play based on the action given at the machine. This equates to a 2.5% return for video poker players and a 5% return for slots. Details on how to get the most out of that offer are here.

Table game players should pick up a chip or two before leaving. The dollar chips will slowly vanish in the coming weeks. Get them while you still can.

Riviera VIPs Should Start Giving Action Elsewhere

Players that receive great comp offers from Riviera are in a predicament. It is always a good idea to give action to a single casino, especially one that appreciates it and offer appropriate comps. Riviera will be going out of business and with that comes the realization that the goodwill created through years or decades of action will be lost.

It is time to make a new relationship with a casino host at a comparable property. The most logical place to move is downtown. Plaza and Golden Nugget are the first two places that come to mind that are on the same tier. Players that prefer to stay on the Strip may want to see what their play can get them from Treasure Island, Tropicana or Stratosphere. Treasure Island offers the best game out of the three.

Taking Advantage of the Progressive Jackpot Giveaway

Riviera must pool all of its progressive jackpots and give them away before the casino closes. Sahara gave away $31,507 to 63 people on the Friday before it closed in May 2011. Riviera’s gaming floor is not quite as large, but it should still be able to scrape up at least half that amount.

If the Sahara giveaway is an indicator, no gambling will be required to enter the drawing. Players will just need to show up the day of the drawing and create an entry. Winners will be drawn at random.

Sports Book

Sports bettors do not need to be concerned about the Riviera closing. William Hill operates the sports book there. Outstanding tickets can be redeemed at any other William Hill sports book in Nevada.

Hotel

Visitors that are looking for one last old school Las Vegas Strip experience may want to plan a stay at Riviera. Make sure to reserve the Monaco Tower. It offers modern amenities compared to most other Riviera rooms.

Entertainment

Riviera is home to Crazy Girls, an adult show available since the 80’s. There are plans for this show to find another venue after Riviera closes, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The comedy club may be the best deal on the Strip. It features up and coming and comedians famous in the past. You won’t have to look far for buy one get one free deals to this show.

Many of the Riviera employees have been with the property for decades. The dealers and bartenders have stories to tell from before Las Vegas boomed. Many have seen it all. Nostalgic gamblers may want to strike up a conversation with these loyal employees.

R Steakhouse

The R Steakhouse is a hidden gem. Old school Vegas people may remember it as Kristofer’s. It is an old school, but casual steakhouse that offers a great value for its pricing. It has $22 daily specials and runs Groupon promotions on a regular basis. Check this place out before it is gone.

Implosion Party

There will be an implosion party later in 2015 if all goes as expected. It is time to start planning the best spot to watch it. There are four hotel towers and two parking decks that will need to be razed to make room for the new convention space.

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