Riviera site to be empty lot by early 2017

Traffic passes in front of the Riviera on Sunday, May 3, 2015, in Las Vegas. The casino closed at noon May 4.

By early 2017, the site of the shuttered Riviera needs to be little more than a swath of land fit to host outdoor events.

That’s when the area must be ready for a major construction industry trade show, Conexpo-Con/Agg, to prepare for its March 2017 event there, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The authority, which bought the Riviera this year for $182.5 million, plans to demolish the 60-year old hotel-casino, clean up the land and then use it for outdoor exhibit space until work on a new convention facility gets underway.

Terry Jicinsky, the authority’s senior vice president of operations, said the demolition should happen sometime next summer. After that, the site will need to be prepared for its next use, he said.

The disclosures came as the authority’s board today voted in favor of a $1.84 million, 16 month contract amendment with Cordell Corp. to oversee the process of demolishing the Riviera, which closed in May. Cordell has already been working with the authority on its plans for the Riviera for the past six months; today’s amendment relates to the project’s next phase.

Cordell will represent the authority as it manages the detailed process of taking the Riviera structures down and transforming the site into outdoor exhibit space for large trade show customers. That includes a public bidding process for the actual demolition work.

Further details on the convention facility that will eventually be erected where the Riviera stands now — namely, funding for it — should emerge from the work of a special tourism infrastructure committee recently convened by Gov. Brian Sandoval. That group has until the end of July to submit a report to the governor.