In light of the pending implosion of The Harmon, Vegas Inc. decided to list the Top 10 Vegas Strip Hotel implosions. I love implosions and figured this was a good excuse to visit the youtube archives.
For the next couple of weeks I’ll grab video of these 10 Las Vegas Strip Hotel implosions. We go to #7 on the list – Desert Inn.
Opened: April 24, 1950
Closed: Aug. 28, 2000
Imploded: Oct. 23, 2001
Originally called Wilbur Clark’s Desert Inn after the owner, a San Diego gambler and developer. When construction funds ran out in 1948, Clark traded away 74 percent interest in the property to the Cleveland mob, led by Moe Dalitz. Although Clark remained as figurehead, Dalitz and his partners were in control.
On Thanksgiving Day 1966, Howard Hughes rented out the top two floors with an agreement to stay for 10 days. After overstaying his welcome by several months he was asked to leave. Instead, Hughes purchased the Desert Inn from Dalitz on March 1, 1967, for about $14 million. The hotel soon expanded by adding the 14-floor Augusta Tower for $54 million.
In 1997, after passing through several owners including Kirk Kirkorian and ITT/Sheraton, the hotel went through a $200 million upgrade. The renovation reduced the resort’s 821 rooms to 715 to provide extra amenities. An additional tower and lagoon-style pool were also added.
Three days after its birthday, on April 27, 2000, Steve Wynn purchased the Desert Inn for $275 million. He closed it several months later and imploded its towers between 2001 and 2004. Wynn Las Vegas stands in its place.