BOOM: So Long Sands

In light of the pending implosion of The HarmonVegas 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 #3 on the list – The Sands.

Opened: Dec. 15, 1952

Closed: June 30, 1996

Imploded: Nov. 26, 1996

The seventh resort on the Strip opened Dec. 15, 1952. It was designed by architect Wayne McAllister.

The Sands opened with only a few hundred rooms. Through the years, it passed through the hands of several Las Vegas land tycoons, including Howard Hughes, who purchased it in the mid 1960s. Hughes added an iconic 500-room circular tower designed by architect Martin Stern Jr.

Other owners included Howard Hughes, who purchased it in 1988, and, in 1989, the Interface Group, which included Sheldon Adelson.

The original “Oceans 11” movie was filmed at the Sands in 1960. The film — including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford — inspired a meeting, known as the Summit at the Sands, and united the stars, known worldwide as the Rat Pack.

Along with “Oceans 11,” the Sands was featured in “Con Air” and “The Cooler.” In 1996, Adelson closed the famous resort and imploded it to make way for the Venetian.

 

Destroyed In Seconds
Destroyed In Seconds

Boom: Hacienda Implosion

In light of the pending implosion of The HarmonVegas 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 #4 on the list – The Hacienda.

Opened: June 1956

Closed: 1996

Imploded: Dec. 31, 1996

Built on 48 acres, the Hacienda had 10 buildings and started with 240 rooms. It was remodeled in 1975 and expanded in the early 1990s to 1,140 rooms to compete with booming megaresorts nearby. During its first couple of years the casino remained closed for lack of a gaming license.

Just two miles from McCarran International Airport, and for most of its years the first hotel on the highway from Southern California, it attracted an ample amount of tourists but remained somewhat solitary until the 1970s.

The Hacienda was known for family entertainment and featured miniature golf. Owner Warren “Doc” Bailey wanted to have something that kept children occupied while their parents gambled. In 1960, Bailey purchased eight small passenger airplanes for $2 million to provide customers with a package deal that would include airfare and hotel stay. In the 1970s and 1980s, tourist traffic grew for the Hacienda, due in large part to its location at the southern end of the Strip.

In its heyday, the Hacienda showroom launched Lance Burton‘s career and featured comedian Redd Foxx. Even with star attractions and a family-oriented environment, the Hacienda could not compete with the flashy resorts that grabbed tourist attention. The hotel was imploded on Dec. 31, 1996, to make way for Mandalay Bay.

The neon horse and rider from the old Hacienda sign now decorates the intersection of Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard in downtown Las Vegas.

Destroyed In Seconds
Destroyed In Seconds

POOF: Aladdin Disappears

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 #5 on the list – The original Aladdin.

Opened: April 1, 1966

Closed: Nov. 25, 1997

Imploded: April 27, 1998

Reopened: Aug. 17, 2000

The resort’s first iteration, the Tally-Ho, gave way to the King’s Crown in 1964, but because the gaming license was denied, King’s Crown failed within six months.

Purchased and renovated for $3 million, new owner Milton Prell gave the property an Arabian theme and renamed it the Aladdin. When the Aladdin first opened in 1966, entering guests were showered with flower petals.

The Aladdin became world-famous for hosting the wedding of entertainer Elvis Presley to Priscilla Anne Beaulieu.

Parvin Dohrmann took over the Aladdin after Prell had a stroke, only to sell it in 1972 for $5 million. The owners, Sam Diamond, Peter Webbe, Sorkis Webbe and Richard Daly, began a $60 million renovation project including a 19-story tower.

Las Vegas entertainer Wayne Newton was a part owner of the Aladdin from 1980 to 1982 along with Ed Torres, who later bought Newton’s shares.

After several more ownership changes, the old Aladdin closed in 1996 and was imploded in 1998.

A $1.4 billion megaresort opened on the site in 2000, keeping the name Aladdin. Eventually the new Aladdin also experienced financial woes and was purchased by Planet Hollywood and Starwood Hotel & Resort Worldwide for $637 million in 2003.

The hotel went through another renovation and was reopened April 17, 2007, as Planet Hollywood.

 

Destroyed In Seconds
Destroyed In Seconds

24 Hours of Neon

Last week I saw a video called “24 Hours of Neon” being passed around twitter. After seeing the link one too many times I decided to see what the hubub was about and was pleasantly surprised by this HDR and time lapse video of Las Vegas. It’s really pretty and worth the 3+ minute investment of time if you like Vegas as much as I do.

Before getting to the video make you make expand the view to full screen and what the creator of the video has to say.

My first attempt at HDR tone mapping timelapse.

We start off with normal timelapse and then go into the 3 and 7 bracket tone mapped HDR timelapses.

I wanted to create a sense of colour and insanity that Las Vegas gives you. All from one view point. My balcony. With that restriction can you do it? Well I did it before in my two previous timelapses…

This was harder in a way as there was no single focal point like in the Sydney Harbour piece or the Space Needle piece.

I made a virtue of the HDR tone mapping with the change of pace in the music and also my use of bookends which I love.

There is a very detailed commentary on my website which goes into each shot in detail. It’s worth a listen. philipbloom.net/​?p=13307

Music is from “Moon” by the brilliant Clint Mansell

Shot with a Gh2, T2i, T3i, 5Dmk2

24 Hours of Neon from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

BOOM: El Rancho Implosion

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 #6 on the list – El Rancho.

Opened: 1982

Closed: 1992

Imploded: Oct. 3, 2000

Originally the Thunderbird (1948-1976), then the Silverbird (1976-1981), El Rancho took shape after Ed Torres purchased the property in 1981 for $500,000. He sought to honor the property with the name of one of the Strip’s first resorts (the original El Rancho Vegas was located just across Las Vegas Boulevard).

The next year Torres hired Martin Stern Jr. to expand the hotel, adding a tower and a new entrance. Stern would again expand and remodel the hotel and casino in 1987, but the changes did little to help the casino’s success.

The struggling property was closed in 1992 and sold to a New Jersey company. The company was unable to get financing to reopen the casino and was ordered by the city to tear the building down in 1999.

In 2000, the property was sold to Turnberry Associates and imploded with 700 pounds of explosives on Oct. 3, 2000, in front of a crowd of 2,000.

The area is now occupied by the Turnberry Towers condominiums and the Fontainebleau resort construction site.

Destroyed In Seconds
Destroyed In Seconds

BOOM: Bye Bye Desert Inn

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.

Destroyed In Seconds
Destroyed In Seconds

BOOM: The Boardwalk Goes Down

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 #8 on the list – The Boardwalk.

Opened: 1969

Closed: Jan. 9, 2006

Imploded: May 9, 2006

The Boardwalk — modeled after Coney Island, with a replica of the parachute drop and facsimile wooden roller coaster on the roof — opened as a branch of the Holiday Inn hotel chain. Many tourists, not knowing the ride was fake, would come into the casino and request a spin.

The casino was purchased by Boardwalk Casino Inc. in 1994, which added a 16-story tower in 1996. Mirage Resorts purchased the Boardwalk in 1998, becoming part of the MGM Mirage empire in 2000. The casino was closed Jan. 9, 2006, and the main tower was imploded on May 9, 2006, to make room for CityCenter, which opened in December 2009.

Destroyed In Seconds
Destroyed In Seconds

BOOM: Stardust Implosion

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 #8 on the list – The Stardust.

Opened: July 2, 1958

Closed: Nov. 1, 2006

Imploded: March 13, 2007

When it opened, the Stardust was the largest casino in Nevada and the largest hotel in the world, with approximately 1,000 rooms.

Howard Hughes moved to purchase the hotel in the 1960s, along with many other Strip casinos, but the U.S. government blocked the deal, fearing a monopoly was taking shape. Instead, Delbert Coleman purchased the hotel and later sold it to Argent Corp.

In the 1970s, members of Stardust management were implicated in skimming cash from the casino’s cage in a Nevada Gaming Commission investigation. Officials believed the operation was run by mobster Franky “Lefty” Rosenthal, setting the background for the film “Casino.” The mob reign behind the Stardust ended in 1983 when federal agents conducted a raid on the property and Rosenthal was banned from Nevada casinos for life.

The casino’s next owners, Las Vegas businessman Al Sach and Herd Tobman, were also suspected of running a skimming operation after acquiring the casino. They too were removed as owners and fined $3.2 million, a state record at the time.

In 1985, the Stardust was sold to Boyd Gaming, which closed it in 2006 to make way for a $4 billion project called Echelon. That project stalled before major construction got underway, but not before the 32-story Stardust was imploded on March 13, 2007, with 428 pounds of dynamite.

Destroyed In Seconds
Destroyed In Seconds

BOOM: New Frontier Implosion

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’ll start with #10 on the list – New Frontier.

Opened: Oct. 30, 1942

Closed: July 16, 2007

Imploded: Nov. 13, 2007

When the New Frontier met its demise in 2007, it was one of the few remaining Strip hotels to have witnessed the transformation of a portion of Highway 91 into one of the most famous streets in the world.

The property began as the Pair O’ Dice club in 1930, built by British theater owner R.E. Griffith, the second property on what is now the Strip. It underwent several transformations and saw many owners, including Steve Wynn, who had a small stake in the operation when he first started out in the city.

In 1942, the Pair O’ Dice was remodeled into the Western-themed Last Frontier, becoming one of the Strip’s first themed casinos. After a renovation, the casino was renamed the New Frontier in April 1955. Billionaire Howard Hughes purchased the property for about $14 million in 1967 and the Western theme was dropped, along with part of its name, becoming simply The Frontier. In 1999, after a few more changes in ownership, the name was changed back to the New Frontier.

As the era of the megaresorts ushered in an evolution on the Strip, the New Frontier took on a different role. It was sought out not as a Las Vegas destination but as a hotel that offered cheap room rates the newer attractions. Its glory days as a classy establishment that hosted Elvis Presley’s first Las Vegas performance, as well as the final performance of Diana Ross and the Supremes, were quickly forgotten. It became a place known mainly for its mechanical bull, often ridden by bikini-clad women, inside the Gilley’s cowboy bar.

The 16-story New Frontier was imploded just after 2:30 a.m. Nov. 13, 2007.

Destroyed In Seconds
Destroyed In Seconds

 

Daniel Tosh Breaks Down Batman Beatdown on the Vegas Strip

By the time I saw the clip of the video of a dude beating up Batman on the Las Vegas strip, I was already bored by it.  As soon as anyone saw it someone would pass the video on with some kind of comment.  Some funnier than others.  Last night on Tosh.0, Daniel Tosh broke down the video with some funny commentary.  I know I’m not funny, so I’ll leave the fun to the professional.

Tosh.0
Tags: Tosh.0 Videos,Daniel Tosh,Web Redemption