by Michael J. Shapiro | February 20, 2015
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Board of Directors voted unanimously Friday morning to purchase the legendary Riviera Hotel & Casino on Las Vegas Boulevard for $182,500,000, plus an additional $8,500,000 in costs related to closing the venue. The Riviera will be razed to make way for the proposed 750,000-square-foot expansion of the convention center, a key part of the authority's $2.3 billion Global Business District development. The LVCVA concluded that a northwest expansion of the convention center - using the 26-acre parcel on which the Riviera stands - would be the most feasible option. It also gives the convention center a presence on the Strip.

The 2,064-room Riviera, which opened in 1955, was an early pioneer among Las Vegas Strip resorts. Among many Vegas performers, Liberace and, later, Frank Sinatra had residencies there. Under the terms of the purchase, which closes today, the resort operators will lease the property from the LVCVA and close the resort no more than 180 days from now. The lease period could be extended by another three months if required by gaming laws to legally shut down operations. In any case, the LVCVA won't have any part in the operation, management or closing of the resort.