Thursday, November 8, 2007

RIP, The New Frontier, Implosion Nov 13

October 30, 1942- July 16, 2007

The New Frontier Hotel is going to be imploded on November 13th at 2:30 AM. RIP, Frontier. You were a grand dame in your day. The place reeked of cigar smoke and had an old west atmosphere. It was sort of cool in that old Vegas way, but its newer competition made it seem dated and out of the loop.

The New Frontier hotel was the longest continuously run casino on the strip and the only Bingo parlor on the Las Vegas strip. In its heyday, the New Frontier was a place to see and be seen. In 1956, Elvis' first strip appearance was right here. Other headliners were Judy Garland, Juliet Prowse, Foster Brooks, Frankie Valli, Sigfried & Roy and Diana Ross & the Supremes final performance as a group. A lot of colorful characters hung out here. Lots of memories, and you can't implode memories.

Howard Hughes bought the hotel in 1976 for 14 million bucks. It has had a succession of owners, the last is Phil Ruffin. He purchased the hotel in 1998 and ended the longest culinary strike in history. I didn't visit the Frontier during those years, I have a thing about crossing picket lines.

The Atrium tower is the only part of the hotel to be imploded. The other two towers and casino will come down with heavy equipment. No word on what will happen to the sign.

Gilley's mechanical bull is long gone. It was sad to see the chain link fence go up and windows out of the building. Piles of debris were scattered about when I was there in Sept and the grounds looked dead and unkempt. The sign looked sad, I was sad. Another Las Vegas landmark gone but not forgotten. Sigh....

But in Vegas, one place implodes and a newer one takes its place. Wonder what will be imploded next?

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