Clarion Hotel and Casino

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Clarion Hotel and Casino
Logo of Clarion Hotel and Casino.png
Greek Isles Hotel.JPG
Address 305 Convention Center Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Opening date 1970
Closing date September 2, 2014
Number of rooms 202[1]
Total gaming space 7,000 sq ft (650 m2)
Permanent shows What Happens in Vegas…
A Victorious Gospel Brunch
Casino type Land
Owner Choice Hotels
Operating license holder United Coin[1]
Previous names Royal Inn (1970–1980)
Royal Americana Hotel (1980–1982)
The Paddlewheel Hotel Casino (1983–1993)
Debbie Reynolds' Hollywood Hotel (1993–1999)
Greek Isles Hotel & Casino (2001–2009)
Clarion Hotel and Casino (2009–September 2014)
Renovated in 2001
Website ClarionHotelVegas.com

Clarion Hotel and Casino, formerly known as Debbie Reynolds' Hollywood Hotel and Greek Isles Hotel & Casino, was near the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise. The hotel originally opened in 1970 as a Royal Inn, and also operated under the names Royal Americana Hotel and The Paddlewheel Hotel Casino before being purchased by Debbie Reynolds in 1992. After Reynolds sold the property in 1999, it was briefly owned by the World Wrestling Federation, and was then sold and remodeled as the Greek Isles.

It was a 202-room hotel and a 7,000 sq ft (650 m2) casino on 6 acres (2.4 ha) of land.

The hotel closed on September 2, 2014, after Labor Day weekend.

The Clarion Hotel and Casino was demolished by implosion shortly before 3 a.m. on February 10, 2015.[2]

History[edit]

Royal Inns of America opened its $3 million, 200-room hotel in 1970.[3] In 1972, Michael Gaughan and Frank Toti bought out the property's casino operations.[4]

In 1979, fast food operator (and former automat chain) Horn & Hardart agreed to buy the Royal Inn for $7.4 million.[5] By late 1980, the sale had been completed, and the property was rebranded as the Royal Americana Hotel, with a New York theme.[6] A $3.5 million renovation[7] increased the room count to 300.[8] By 1982 though, the hotel was experiencing substantial losses, and Horn & Hardart decided it to close it.[7] They reportedly agreed that December to sell the property to an investment group for $15.4 million.[9]

The property later reopened as the Paddlewheel Hotel & Casino. It had a kid-friendly atmosphere, with arcade games and amusement rides, but later shifted to an adult focus, including a male revue.[10] Horn & Hardart put the hotel back up for sale in 1990.[11]

It did not sell until 1992, when actress Debbie Reynolds and her husband Richard Hamlett bought the closed Paddlewheel at auction for $2.2 million.[12] Reynolds planned to spend $15 million on renovations, including adding a museum to house her collection of Hollywood memorabilia, and a 500-seat theater where she would perform.[13] The property reopened in 1993, with the casino operated by Jackpot Enterprises,[12] but Reynolds struggled with the financing to complete the project. She took the company public in 1994 to raise money, and the museum finally opened the following year.[14] The casino closed in 1996 after Jackpot pulled out because it was unprofitable, and Reynolds could not get a gaming license to operate it in-house because of the company's poor finances.[15] After a deal to sell the property to timeshare developer ILX Inc. for $16.8 million fell through,[16] Reynolds and the hotel both filed for bankruptcy protection in 1997, and the property was put up for auction the following year.[17]

The winning bidder at $10.65 million was the World Wrestling Federation,[18] which planned to level the building and construct a 35-story wrestling-themed hotel and casino.[19] They stripped much of the interior in preparation for demolition,[20] but ultimately decided the site was not big enough.[16] The hotel was open for a short time (including October 2000) as "Convention Center Drive Hotel." They sold it to Chicago-based Mark IV Realty Group in 2000 for $11.2 million.[21] Mark IV hoped to redevelop the site with 1,000 rooms,[21] but instead remodeled the property with a Greek theme and reopened it as the Greek Isles in 2001.[16] The Greek Isles contracted with Delta Air Lines to house flight crews during layovers.[22]

In July 2007, the hotel was sold to a real-estate developer (DI Development Group) for $48.8 million; the developer announced in January 2008 that he was pursuing financing to redevelop the site, replacing it with a mixed-use development, proposed to include 780 hotel rooms, a 77,000-square-foot (7,200 m2) casino and 71,200 sq ft (6,610 m2) of convention, retail, and restaurant space. The developer never came through, and the hotel tried expanding operations.

The hotel was forced into bankruptcy on April 6, 2009, by its creditors. Canpartners Reality (owned by Canyon Capital Reality Partners and Spectrum Group Management) took over control on August 19, 2009, taking possession of the foreclosed property.[1] As of April 2013, the hotel was branded a Clarion Hotel, the only Clarion with a casino. The 300-seat theater built by Debbie Reynolds was used for a Sunday Gospel Brunch and a nightly show.

The hotel closed on September 2, 2014, after the Labor Day weekend. Its contents and inventory were put up for sale.[23]

In October 2014, developer Lorenzo Doumani purchased the property for $22.5 Million.[24]

Demolition[edit]

The Clarion was demolished by implosion shortly before 3 a.m. on February 10, 2015.[2] Following the implosion, the elevator shaft of the building did not fall as intended, remaining mostly intact. It was pulled down about 13 hours later by cables attached to a crane.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Knightly, Arnold M. (2009-08-20). "Greek Isles changes hands". Retrieved 21 August 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Elevator shaft still standing after implosion of Clarion hotel-casino". 13 Action News. February 10, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Royal Inn open in Las Vegas". Los Angeles Times (via ProQuest). May 3, 1970. Retrieved 2012-05-16.  (subscription required)
  4. ^ Knightly, Arnold (August 20, 2009). "Greek Isles changes hands". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  5. ^ "Horn & Hardart to buy Royal Inn in Las Vegas for about $7.4 million". Wall Street Journal (via ProQuest). June 20, 1979. Retrieved 2012-05-16.  (subscription required)
  6. ^ "Hotel's name change nearly complete (Advertising supplement)". Los Angeles Times (via ProQuest). October 12, 1980. Retrieved 2012-05-16.  (subscription required)
  7. ^ a b "Horn & Hardart to close hotel". New York Times. March 2, 1982. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  8. ^ "Royal Americana Hotel and Casino renovated (Advertising supplement)". Los Angeles Times (via ProQuest). March 1, 1981. Retrieved 2012-05-16.  (subscription required)
  9. ^ "Las Vegas also feeling sting of recession". Lawrence Journal-World. New York Times News Service. December 16, 1982. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  10. ^ "Paddlewheel Hotel & Casino has new image as adult playground (Advertising supplement)". Los Angeles Times (via ProQuest). February 14, 1988. Retrieved 2012-05-16.  (subscription required)
  11. ^ "Horn & Hardart restaurant sale set". New York Times. AP. December 22, 1990. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  12. ^ a b "Debbie Reynolds goes forward with Vegas hotel". Lodi News-Sentinel. AP. June 10, 1993. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  13. ^ "Debbie Reynolds planning movie museum in Vegas". Los Angeles Times. AP. May 2, 1993. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  14. ^ Schenden, Laurie (April 1, 1995). "Reynolds' unsinkable museum". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  15. ^ Berns, Dave (July 8, 1997). "Reynolds files for bankruptcy". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  16. ^ a b c Leong, Grace (November 5, 2001). "Debbie Reynolds’ son sues IRS in casino tax dispute". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  17. ^ "Debbie Reynolds reflects as her hotel goes on the auction block". Lodi News-Sentinel. AP. August 4, 1998. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  18. ^ "Judge raises bid for Reynolds hotel". Associated Press. August 6, 1998. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  19. ^ "Wrestlers bring down hotel". Orlando Sentinel (via HighBeam). Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. February 8, 1999. Retrieved 2012-05-16.  (subscription required)
  20. ^ Weatherford, Mike (January 29, 2002). "Reynolds' former casino now has shows lined up". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  21. ^ a b Stutz, Howard (February 22, 2005). "Greek Isles sold for $52 million". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  22. ^ Green, Steve (April 7, 2009). "Creditors file bankruptcy petition against Greek Isles". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  23. ^ Katsilometes, John (September 11, 2014). "Need a few bath towels? Styrofoam stage props? A chandelier? Hit the Clarion". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved February 13, 2015. The Clarion closed Sept. 2, shooing out its final guests ... 
  24. ^ Katsilometes, John (October 13, 2014). "Lorenzo Doumani takes over Clarion: ‘We’re blowing it up,’ creating something ‘very cool’". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  25. ^ Whitelocks, Sadie; Konstantinides, Annetta (February 11, 2015). "'Lasso trick' finally topples last tower STILL standing after more than 4,000lbs of explosives were used to blow up Las Vegas hotel". Daily Mail (Australian edition). Associated Press (AP). Retrieved February 13, 2015. Demolition workers 'lassoed' the building with steel cables they attached to a crane, and then pulled until the elevator shaft came toppling down 

Coordinates: 36°07′54″N 115°09′33″W / 36.1318°N 115.1591°W / 36.1318; -115.1591