Clarion Hotel and Casino

The Clarion Hotel and Casino is History

The Clarion Hotel and Casino was built initially for a meagre $3 million and yet had 202 rooms when it first opened in 1970. The casino itself was situated in a 650 m² area in the complex that was positioned on 2.4 hectares of prime real estate. The Clarion Hotel and Casino closed its doors permanently on 2 September 2014, straight after the American Labor Day weekend. The building was demolished by implosion on 10 February 2015. The Clarion Hotel and Casino nevertheless has a permanent place in Las Vegas, and indeed American, history.

Las Vegas Property and Development

The price of Las Vegas property means that a building needs to be highly profitable or it will be replaced. In 2015, the Clarion Hotel and Casino was the thirteenth such demolition in Las Vegas in recent times. The problem with the building, and one that extended throughout its life was that the 650 metres squared casino gaming area of the casino was just too small. Despite the casino’s popularity and excellent location within the city, it simply could not generate sufficient casino visitors and turnover to be profitable. Even when combined with income from the hotel, the room occupancy rates were insufficient to keep the casino in the black, and it has been losing money continuously over the past decades.

A History of Non Profitability

Finally things were brought to a head when the casino operator at the time, Jackpot Enterprises, terminated their contract with the hotel owners because the casino was not profitable. The Clarion Hotel and Casino were unable to get their gambling license from the Nevada State Gaming Commission renewed due to lack of income and revenue. They therefore could not engage another casino operator.

The recent history of the Clarion Hotel and Casino has been somewhat of a public affair since 1991 when Debbie Reynolds and her husband Richard Hamlett purchased it and renamed the venue the Debbie Reynolds Hollywood Hotel & Casino. The hotel was bankrupt again in 1997, when the World Wrestling Foundation bought it, they stripped the interior before determining it was actually too small for their requirements and resold the property to Mark IV Realty Group. It was then known as the Greek Isles Casino. This too proved unprofitable, and the next owners were Canpartners Reality. It was they who turned the complex into the Clarion Hotel and Casino. Interestingly it was the only Clarion Hotel in the entire chain to include a casino.

Future Prospects for the Property

In terms of future prospects for the 2.4 hectares of imploded hotel debris, it is going to be turned into a sixty storey hotel, which is expected to be completed by 2018. The hotel will not have a casino, but rather cater to the Convention Centre by providing rooms that are larger than ever before, and even include a full office workspace.

After the closure of the hotel in September 2014, developer Lorenzo Doumani purchased the property for $22.5 Million, and the implosion was conducted in pomp and a showbiz manner. The new owner of the property had showgirls at the countdown, and the ceremony was serenaded with Frank Sinatra’s songs. When imploded, the internal elevator shaft remained standing until torn down by cables and a crane a day later.