Implosion Slated for Tower at Castaways - Monday 6th of February 2006

LAS VEGAS, Nevada The stripped and gutted tower from the shuttered Castaways will be imploded Wednesday morning, wiping away the last remnants of the casino formerly known as the Showboat.

Station Casinos bought the 26-acre site on Boulder Highway 14 months ago in a three-way transaction for $33.7 million. The casino had been closed since January 2004 after its ownership filed for bankruptcy in June 2003, listing debts of more than $50 million.

The casino operator has not announced any plans for the site. Station Casinos is nearing completion of the first phase of $925 million Red Rock Resort in Summerlin, which is expected to open by the end of March.

The company has also announced plans to build hotel-casinos in North Las Vegas in the master-planned community of Aliante and off Durango Road near Interstate 215 in the southern end of the Las Vegas Valley. Station Casinos controls a 58-acre parcel that surrounds the Wild Wild West on Tropicana Ave near Industrial Road.

Station Casinos began clearing the Castaways site in July, using bulldozers and other construction equipment to bring down the low-rise structure, casino and parking garage.

Windows, furnishings and equipment have been removed from the once-500-room hotel tower, which will be demolished by explosives at 7 a.m.

Station Casino spokeswoman Lori Nelson said the company is not making an event out of the implosion and is not encouraging public viewing.

Residents along Atlantic Avenue and Oakey Boulevard have been notified of the pending implosion, she said. Traffic will be rerouted along Boulder Highway between 6 and 8 a.m.

The property opened as the Showboat in 1954 and was renamed the Castaways in 2000.

During the 1970s and 1980s, the property had been known for sporting events.

The 106-lane bowling center hosted professional and amateur tournaments while its sports pavilion, which was remodeled into a bingo hall in the 1990s, hosted championship boxing, wrestling and roller derby events.

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