It was sad, in a nostalgic sort of way, to see another Las Vegas Strip icon close its doors for good this week after 60 years of being one of the city’s historic jewels – the Riviera Hotel and Casino.
Sinatra played a huge part, perhaps bigger than any other individual, in making Las Vegas the world-class city it is today, and that’s why every old school establishment in Sin City wants to own The Chairman of the Board in some way. The Riv certainly laid claim to a very large part his history here.
Frank stayed at the Riv for performances in 1990 and 1991, even remodelling his penthouse suite after being less than enthused about the décor during his first run, and the hotel made good use of this with a commemorative plaque and by naming it the Sinatra Suite, a little treat for high rollers.
Of course, the 1960 Rat Pack film, Ocean’s 11, starring Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, and Angie Dickinson was filmed in this casino, as were many other movies such as 1995’s Casino, 1997’s Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, 2008’s 21, and 2009’s The Hangover.
Now that we’ve mention Dino, it should be noted that he was part owner of the Riviera for a time, receiving ten percent interest for signing a performing contract with the casino. Everyone performed here, Barbra Streisand even opened for Liberace, the Riv’s first headliner.
This Saturday, May 9th, 2015 I’ll be mere minutes away performing my Las Vegas show, Sinatra Forever at the much newer and still open, truly Vegas-style venue, Cannery Hotel and Casino. This 100th birthday year of Frank Sinatra just keeps getting better and better, so I hope you have your tickets to the best Sinatra show there is, with the original charts and the musicians that backed The Voice throughout his career.