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     Remembering Stardust

The Implosion of the Stardust
3/13/07  2:33 p.m.

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The spotlights that had been illuminating the tower all night, went dark as the tower fell. This unfortunate happenstance foiled the many attempts to capture the collapse in photos and videos.

Implosion Gallery






A tidy pile of concrete, rebar and dust is all that's
left of the famed resort. Remaining are a few rooms from the oldest section of the hotel. Those rooms were built in 1955 as the Royal Nevada Hotel.

In the background you can see the relocated trees from the Stardust. These will be used again in the landscaping of Echelon.

Click image to enlarge



On November 1, 2006, the legendary Stardust closed her doors forever, to make room for Echelon.  Please enjoy the photo images of this historic resort. I was very close to the Stardust and its great staff (to whom I wish the best of luck). They will be missed much more than the building. 

Boyd will now ready the Stardust for her impending implosion Tuesday morning, March 13, 2007 at 2:00 a.m., to make room for Echelon. Ironically, the main tower is only 16 years old (built in 1991).


From Dust to Dust
(The Demise of the Stardust)


A fire broke out at the demo site on Tuesday, 2/13/07 around noon. I just happened to be at the Wynn parking garage, taking photos of Encore.
Photo by Mark E. Adams

Two shots (right) from Joel at
Leaving LV




The tower is now see-through and the sports book
is truly history. At this rate there should be nothing
but the towers left in two weeks.
Joel Rosales of Leaving LV.net provided these photos.

Click images to enlarge



The demo crews are working fast to ready our lady for her demise.
Joel Rosales is busy documenting the progress for his new Vegas history website, LeavingLV.net.  Here are some of his photos. Click images to enlarge



Windows are being removed from the Stardust to ready the tower for its pending March implosion.

Photo Mark Diederichsen

Click image to enlarge


Joel Rosales captures a once in a lifetime shot of the gutted casino.

Click image to enlarge


A Brief History

The Stardust opened on June 2, 1958 with 1,065 rooms (worlds largest hotel), a 16,500 square foot casino (largest in Nevada) a huge neon sign as its facade (worlds largest electric sign) 216 feet long and 37 feet high, the sign contained over six miles of wiring, 7,100 feet of neon tubing and 11,000 lamps. There was also a large round free-standing sign on the strip.


In 1959, the Stardust absorbed the neighboring Royal Nevada Hotel (which opened in 1955)

In 1964, the county abandoned the road between the two hotels so that the Stardust could use the area to incorporate the properties and add its first tower, the nine-story East Tower. The room count increased to 1,470. A casino and lobby expansion was part of the project.

In 1965, a spectacular new 188 foot tall, roadside sign replaced the old circular sign at a cost of $500,000. The Electra-jag lettering which adorned the sign was reflective of the "the future is bright" attitude of the times. During this time the Jetsons was a prime-time TV show.


In 1977, the Stardust went through another remodeling. The "Jetsonian" theme was abandoned, though the roadside sign remained, and the façade was covered with animated red and blue neon tubing and trimmed with mirrored finish facets. The new Porte Cochere sparkled with 1,000 small incandescent bulbs.

Sam Boyd's locally-based, legit gaming company purchased the Stardust in March of 1985 which was key to ridding Vegas of the mob element.

Boyd added the 32-story West Tower in 1991, overshadowing the older East Tower. The original Electra-Jag style letters in the main sign were also replaced in 1991, by a cleaner Helvetica type face. The original Electra-Jag letters are in safe keeping at the Neon Graveyard and will most likely be used when the sign is restored.


Later in the '90s, the facade and Porte Cochere was once again remodel to a more up-to-date, subdued look, removing the red and blue neon. Some interior remodeling was also done at this time.

This is how she looks in 2006

Around 2002, they brought back the nostalgic Electra-Jag style logo to their print material, room keys, slot cards and menus. They probably wished they had never changed the sign. 





The famous Stardust sign will be moved to the Neon Museum on Fremont Street. It's going to cost $80,000 to move it to the museum. This will be the largest sign downtown (once restored).

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