The New Frontier, the first themed casino in Las Vegas, was imploded to make way for a Plaza-branded luxury resort, continuing the trend of landmark-razing, price-pushing new development.
"The 16-story hotel tower was felled with over 1,000 pounds of explosives before a group of reporters and bystanders to make way for a multibillion-dollar resort bearing The Plaza brand, which is set to open in 2011."
"The low-key gambling hall, which opened as the Last Frontier in 1942 with a cowboy village theme and later embraced the space age before returning to its Wild West roots, had become known for bikini bull riding, cheap hotel rooms and $5 craps before it closed its doors for good in July."
"'It's another budget option on the Strip that's gone,' said David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 'The future is really high-end.'"
"The transformation has made land prices soar and elevated the northern Strip's importance."
"IDB Group and Elad Group, the owner of The Plaza hotel in New York, said the new property will include a luxury hotel with about 3,500 rooms, private residences, retail space and a casino bearing The Plaza brand, all set to reach for the highest end of the market."
"The Last Frontier was the second hotel-casino to open on the Strip, and over its 65 years it played host to such entertainers as Ronald Reagan, Wayne Newton and Siegfried & Roy. Presley performed for the first time in Las Vegas at the resort in 1956. Billionaire Howard Hughes once owned it, and [Steve] Wynn's purchase of a minority stake in the 1960s in exchange for heading up the slot and keno departments sparked his career as a casino magnate."