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From Star to Dust.
March 13, 2007 2:43 PM   Subscribe

2 July, 1958 - 13 March 2007. The Stardust Hotel/Casino was reduced to dust (youtube) at 2:30 am this morning. Initially opened in 1958 as the first low-budget property on the strip (rooms cost $6 a night), it (and the Westward Ho nearby) has been demolished to make room for a 5,300 room $4B ultra-luxury resort named Echelon, currently the second most expensive property development in Nevada (behind Project City Center down the road). One of the few remaining remnants of old Vegas, it was mob-owned/operated until at least 1984 (when the gaming commission levied a $3M fine for skimming), and is probably best known as the setting for the mostly nonfiction book/movie Casino. Over the years, it could lay claim to having the largest casino, the longest pool, the most rooms (twice), the largest neon sign, the only drive-in theater, the largest fine ever levied by the gaming commission, and the most consecutive live performances by Wayne Newton. It was also one of the last properties on the strip to use the more expensive metal-centered gaming chips. Arrivederci.
posted by toxic (39 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
See also: Las Vegas Casino Death Watch.
posted by toxic at 2:45 PM on March 13, 2007


$$$
.
posted by phirleh at 2:49 PM on March 13, 2007


The YouTube link needs fixin.'

Also:

.
posted by brundlefly at 2:51 PM on March 13, 2007


ha, the first thing that came to mind when i thought about the stardust was bobby berosini beatin' up on some apes

las vegas eats its past. when they gonna blow up circus circus, that's what i want to know. h.s.t. said of it: "what the whole hep world would be doing on saturday night if the nazis had won the war"
posted by jcruelty at 2:52 PM on March 13, 2007


i used to play cards there. most of the dealers there remember rosenthal being taken out in cuffs. that shit happened like over 25 years ago - but that was party of the charm of that place.
posted by phaedon at 2:58 PM on March 13, 2007


the video is dreadful. you can't see the collapse.
posted by Frasermoo at 3:01 PM on March 13, 2007


I love the demolition video, but I think Toxic loved the Stardust. Thanks for a great post.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 3:01 PM on March 13, 2007


Well I guess building implosions are somewhat of a spectacle, but they really went for it this time. Still, you couldn't even see thing as it fell. They should have left at least some fireworks in there so you could actually see it.
posted by delmoi at 3:02 PM on March 13, 2007


I've stayed there. It really was the Strip's last hope.
posted by roll truck roll at 3:05 PM on March 13, 2007


Ugh, didn't know this was coming. I'm actually sad, Stardust was possibly my favorite hotel in vegas. Also, i was comped suites there on several occasions and after the remodel in the late 90's it really was quite nice in the hotel.

What a shame.
posted by efalk at 3:26 PM on March 13, 2007


Whoever made that video had no respect for my time. 2.5 mins of a fireworks display that I could give a crap about, followed by an implosion that you couldn't even see.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually wish that I had spent that time doing work.
posted by Afroblanco at 3:45 PM on March 13, 2007


That implosion business is all bullshit. I know for a fact it was hit by a hijacked plane.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:48 PM on March 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


Sorry about the quality of the youtube clip. There's a somewhat better video here, but given that it's dark at two in the morning, and that the tower wasn't lit, it's only marginally better.
posted by toxic at 3:49 PM on March 13, 2007


(aside: I threatened Spilotro when I was a wee lad. He was a short guy and, being a kid, I mentioned that. He didn’t much like it and - yes, jokingly - told me to watch it or some such. I told him to watch it because someday I was going to grow up bigger than him. He said something like ‘if your lucky.’ And I told him I was already meaner. Bit later he was found in a cornfield. The kids at school stayed the hell away from me after that. Funny, the FBI never asked me about it...although Indiana is a bit of a hike on a big wheel. Lefty’s wife gave me my first hard-on.)
posted by Smedleyman at 3:49 PM on March 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


I know for a fact it was hit by a hijacked plane.

Tool. It was a cruise missile. Where are the wings? WHERE ARE THE WINGS?!?
posted by Cyrano at 3:55 PM on March 13, 2007


does vegas have to do everything stupidly?

they illuminate the building up until the point at which it gets fucking -interesting-, at which point nobody can actually see it implode.
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 4:18 PM on March 13, 2007


"...at which point nobody can actually see it implode."

uh huh, mighty fishy.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:36 PM on March 13, 2007


Arrivederci? Do you know something we don't? Secret plans to rebuild the Stardust elswhere? Do you hope it's gone to hell/heaven/wherever you'll go after you die?

Ohhh, I get it! The whole implosion think was a fake! Like Copperfield making the Statue of Liberty vanish! That explains the crappy video.

Sorry, pet peeve of mine the misuse of foreign idioms
posted by Dataphage at 4:37 PM on March 13, 2007


I was there!!! it was awesome.

what wasn't fun was getting out of there, fighting traffic thru a cloud of dust. couldn't see a thing.
posted by Afreemind2007 at 4:46 PM on March 13, 2007


That's a lot of pomp and circumstance for tearing down a building. Also, Dataphage beat me to the idea that Copperfield made it disappear (given the darkness during the actual implosion.)
posted by davejay at 5:16 PM on March 13, 2007


Better video, if you can tolerate the guy who shot it (much better video, though).

I love/hate the way Vegas does everything, and this fits right in with everything else. Blowing up a perfectly good building that's only 50 years old, but doing it with such style I just want to love it anyway!

30 years from now maybe I'll post a wistful FPP of my own the day they blow up the Mirage.
posted by pinespree at 6:07 PM on March 13, 2007


The best part was the guy yelling "Do it again!"
posted by Foosnark at 6:16 PM on March 13, 2007


I along with my parents was invited to a top floor suite at the Stardust, at about 5 in the morning to watch an atom bomb exploding at the proving grounds about seventy miles north of Vegas. The flash, lit up the whole town and seemed to last for minutes. You could look down at the empty streets and it was like a ghost town at high noon. Then the orange cloud, catchiing the early morning sunlight began to rise up and eventually form a magnificant mushroom against the dark blue sky. There must have been a sound or boom or something but I don't remember that. For a kid of 16 or so it was fabulous. Later though I began to wonder how much radiation we might all have absorbed through those plate glass windows.
posted by donfactor at 6:28 PM on March 13, 2007 [4 favorites]


And that's that.
posted by mazola at 6:50 PM on March 13, 2007


Very sad. We stayed there in 2004 when my husband and I got married.
posted by web-goddess at 7:05 PM on March 13, 2007


That was the lamest implosion I've ever seen. Give me Fred Dibnah any day!
posted by Chuckles at 7:06 PM on March 13, 2007


*angry donfactor fries demolition crew with laser eye beams from six thousand miles away*
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 7:30 PM on March 13, 2007


.
posted by moonbird at 8:14 PM on March 13, 2007


This made me sad.

Thanks for the excellent links.
posted by mmrtnt at 8:31 PM on March 13, 2007


.
posted by mmoncur at 8:49 PM on March 13, 2007


A professional photographer friend was the only still shooter allowed up on the crane with the official videographer - he posted this short but very well exposed time-lapse of the finale.
posted by twsf at 10:39 PM on March 13, 2007


A professional photographer friend was the only still shooter allowed up on the crane with the official videographer - he posted this short but very well exposed time-lapse of the finale.

Loading to Adobe GoLive 6

heh. what a crappy link.
posted by phaedon at 11:17 PM on March 13, 2007


Bah. I'm still pissed about the Sands.
posted by DonnieSticks at 1:12 AM on March 14, 2007


So they ran out of dynamite and took it down with fireworks instead? Las Vegas is a strange town.
posted by pracowity at 2:22 AM on March 14, 2007


I love how everything in Vegas just keeps getting bigger and bigger at a seemingly exponential rate. In five or ten years some dude will be building one of these things in attempt to try and prove he has the biggest johnson.
posted by fusinski at 5:59 AM on March 14, 2007


In the desert, and especially to house people who don't know or care what the weather is like, I would build underground, not up. Maybe build an underground ring-shaped casino around a roofed amphitheater -- dig a large hole in the ground and line it with seats and casino space. Design it for boxing and Wayne Newton concerts and special shows where they punch Wayne Newton in the face. Maybe fill it with water for aquatic punching of Wayne Newton in the face shows.
posted by pracowity at 6:24 AM on March 14, 2007


I had to stay at the Westward Ho in the mid 90's for Comdex. Ewww. You'd have to be a ho to want to stay there. Glad it got blown up too, although I have to admit I had better luck at the Stardust's casino than in any of the bigger name places.
posted by darren at 8:19 AM on March 14, 2007


In defense of the Westward, the one-pound hot dog was pretty amazing.
posted by roll truck roll at 8:43 AM on March 14, 2007


I took this picture a couple of weeks ago. It seemed very eerie that even though the sign had been taken down, I could still make it out.
posted by etoile at 12:34 PM on March 15, 2007


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