Trip Report With Pictures: Inside The Riviera Las Vegas Liquidation Sale

John Mehaffey May 20, 2015
Riviera Nevada casino liquidation

The Riviera Las Vegas liquidation sale started last Thursday. It is the largest hotel in Las Vegas to ever be liquidated.

There are furnishings from 2,075 hotel rooms to be sold, as well as kitchen equipment from three restaurants and the food court. Chairs, table games, and slot platforms are among the items in the casino for sale.

Pictures of Riviera’s last day in business – May 4, 2015

There are thousands of items used in the former resort’s everyday functions. These include banquet and convention items. NCL Sales, the Riviera’s liquidator, estimates the value of the sale to be $3 million.

The wait to get into the shuttered casino was several hours on Thursday. On our Saturday visit, it was just 10 minutes.

The fee to enter Riviera was $10 for the first four days. In exchange for this, a slot cord with the Riviera logo was issued as a souvenir.

The hotel

Our first stop was the hotel. Access to the Mediterranean Tower, the original hotel that is now 60 years old, was viewable through the elevators. This part of the hotel has yet to be opened up for the liquidation. Some doors had been forced open by curious guests. It was a spooky scene.

The Monte Carlo and Monaco Tower were open for the sale, but only on a handful of floors. The higher end rooms were being liquidated in this first phase.

The penthouse rooms were in various conditions. Some of the wood items showed major wear, but the bedrooms were often in great shape. Guests were loading up on penthouse items. Two of the images below are of the largest penthouse suite where a scene in Casino was filmed. The others are views from the penthouse ballroom on the top floor, also featured in the movie.

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The casino

The liquidation sale also allows guests to enter areas that were off limits when Riviera was in operation. The William Hill sportsbook office was wide open behind the $1,400 counter, $125 desk, $1,075 racebook stations, and $110 seats. It was a wreck.

The Las Vegas Strip’s only sports betting window was accessible from this office. William Hill never used it. The window was built under American Wagering’s ownership, the company William Hill acquired to enter the Nevada market.

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The casino floor was bare of all slot machines. Those were acquired by the owner of The D and Golden Gate. Table games were still available for purchase.

Blackjack and Let it Ride tables were available for $750. The $3,850 craps tables were already purchased. Slot and table game seats were for sale in the $75 range.

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Unlike the Sahara liquidation, the casino cage was not open. It was still possible to get some closeup pictures of it for the first time. The casino cage bars and counter were for sale at over $3,000.

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The showrooms were still full of seats and tables for sale. The condition of the equipment varied greatly, but most of it was in average condition at best. The exception is the general seating in the Starlite. There were also several impressive sets of lighting and signs in that area of the third floor tagged for over $1,000.

Two former parts of the casino floor were reopened for the sale. There was little of value in these areas. One is located across from the pool in the corridor between the front desk and the casino. It was nearly empty and appeared to have been a storage area for slot machines that were not in service.

The other area was more interesting. It once housed the high limit slots, host office, magic shop, and multiple Dealers Angel blackjack machines. The area was sealed off by a fake wall on two sides in 2012. There were several Riviera promotional signs for sale that had not been claimed, perhaps due to the lack of visibility.

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The seating from the Versailles Theater was still mostly intact. Rows of seats, as well as the luxury booths, were still available. Blocks of the seats must be purchased in most cases.

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Hot buys

Most of the buyers were there for beds and kitchen appliances. Public bathroom fixtures appeared to be another popular item. You can buy everything down to the toilets and trashcans in the restrooms. Piles of fixtures were spread in the convention rooms.

There is a room dedicated strictly to televisions. There were some great deals on tables. The lounge behind the casino bar had $125 marble tables. The R Steakhouse had two-top tables for $65.  The lounge and food court also had tables and seating for sale.

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You can take home an entire elevator car if you can figure out how to get it out of there. Guests can purchase the contents starting at $550. This includes promotional posters with Riviera logos and rails that appear to be identical to the $350 door handles that are available for sale in the former UPS office. For some, the contents might be worth the price.

One very bizarre scene in the casino was piles of junk in the public areas. Some surveillance tapes were among this trash. This was a very odd find.

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What I bought

I acquired three lighted signs. Two were from the box office. One advertises the Riviera Comedy Club, while the other is for Dirk Arthur Wild Illusions. My wife and I enjoyed the comedy club on several occasions. We bought the Dirk Arthur one because it was a nice print.

Both have a switch that turn the light off and on and appear to be the type of sign that plugs into a standard socket. We won’t know until we pry it from the wall. We won’t get to do that for about a week as the power to these devices must be switched off.

We ventured down to the underground parking garage and discovered a sign for the Pinball Hall of Fame. It was the only one on the property. Since I used to take my daughter to play the pinball machines at Riviera, we decided to pick this one up, too.

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If you are interested in these lighted signs, I saw two for the comedy club. Most or all of the restaurant ones are also still available. The headliner’s comedy show is also still available in the box office styled signs. Anything related to the “Crazy Girls” is already sold.

Even if you are not interested in buying anything, I still suggest dropping by Riviera. It is interesting to see it in this condition.

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