Section left standing after early morning blast.
Yet another Las Vegas hotel turned into a pile of rubble early Tuesday. Although one section refused to succumb to both explosives and the pull of gravity, remaining defiantly erect.
The 12-story Clarion casino-hotel became the 13th hotel to gain implosion infamy in a town with a reputation for exploding the old to make way for the new.
“Hopefully 13 will be a lucky number,” Lorenzo Doumani, the site’s new owner and developer, said a few hours before he and his family counted down to the Clarion’s final seconds at nearly 3 a.m., flanked by two showgirls and having listened to a pre-implosion soundtrack of Frank Sinatra.
The 200-room casino-hotel opened in 1970 as the Royal Inn and was called the Debbie Reynolds — for its one-time owner — as well as the Greek Isles and the Paddle Wheel.
What took seconds to destroy required several months of planning and 4,400 pounds of explosives, said Anthony O. Schlecht, safety coordinator for Las Vegas-based Burke Construction who said the preparation extended to covering nearby pools, including at the neighboring Marriott hotel.
It’s been a while since a casino-hotel was felled by controlled explosives. Between 2004 and 2007, six Vegas properties were brought down, but in the eight years since, the only Strip-side implosions were the segment of the Tropicana and a parking structure.
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