LVCVA Selling Former Riviera Land, Property Includes 10 Acres Located on Strip

Posted on: February 24, 2019, 08:00h. 

Last updated on: February 24, 2019, 08:15h.

The land where the Riviera stood on the Las Vegas Strip for decades will soon be sold for development by the city’s Convention and Visitors Authority.

Riviera Las Vegas land property LVCVA
The land where the Riviera stood for 60 years in Las Vegas could fetch as much as $300 million. (Image: Riviera Hotel)

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) purchased the bankrupt casino in February of 2015 for $182.5 million. The agency spent another $42 million the next year to demolish the iconic property.

Located at 2901 Las Vegas Boulevard between Elvis Presley Boulevard and Convention Center Drive, the land measures roughly 10 acres. The LVCVA acquired the property in part of its $935 million expansion of the nearby Las Vegas Convention Center.

However, for the Strip-facing Riviera land, LVCVA CEO Steve Hill explained to the Las Vegas Sun, “We do buildings that are big with lots of square feet, but not tall buildings. When you’ve got land that’s worth that much money, you have to build tall buildings.”

The Riviera was first envisioned by mobster William Bischoff. The resort opened in 1955 with 2,100 hotel rooms and 110,000 square feet of gaming space.

Land Assessment

Hill didn’t give a projection as to how much the land might be listed for, but Colliers International Las Vegas Managing Director Mike Mixer told the Las Vegas Sun it could be a few hundred million dollars.

Very few airport height restrictions exist at that location, as evidenced by the height of the nearby Stratosphere, which is over 1,100 feet tall,” Mixer explained. “Any new owner can maximize development to build a variety of potentially dense uses, including hotel, casino, timeshare, condos, or retail.”

Mixer says each acre could be valued as high as $30 million, or $300 million for the entire lot. The projection is a premium price.

Wynn Resorts paid $336 million in 2017 for 38 acres of land across the Strip from its Encore property. That equates to a little more than $8.8 million per acre.

The 62 acres where the Las Vegas Stadium is being built west of the Strip across I-15 between Russell Road and Hacienda Avenue cost the city $77.78 million. That comes to just $1.25 million per acre, but it’s of course not on the coveted Strip.

The Drew – the former Fontainebleau that remains unfinished – is just north of the Riviera land. Those 21 acres were sold for $45 million in 2000 to a development company that demolished the El Rancho property. With inflation, that number balloons to $66.44 million, or $3.2 million per acre.

The Riviera’s demise came as a result of a reduction in pedestrian traffic, as the northern end of the Strip became barren and eventually known as Las Vegas’ “Bermuda Triangle.” But today, progress is finally being made at Resorts World, which is just across from the Riv land. If The Drew also opens, the Riviera land would become more attractive to developers.

New Development?

There’s only been one from the ground up casino resort to open in Las Vegas since 2010. And that property – the Lucky Dragon – is now bankrupt and closed.

Resorts World and The Drew are both inching closer to becoming Sin City’s newest casino resort. Mixer says the Las Vegas Convention Center expansion, and the Riviera’s close proximity to the facility, makes it all the more valuable.