12-18-08: These pictures are a day late. We took them yesterday about 20 minutes before the snow took over the valley. Only pieces left. As they remove the letters from the sign, the original paint scheme is revealed. We've included a photo of the sign being erected in 1967 so you can see the color. The side you're seeing is the side that's left with the 0 T and I. Still no word on what's in the bone yard.
12-15-08: Phone calls have gone unreturned so far. We braved the rain and snow and drove down to check on progress around 10:00 this morning, just as a truck loaded with pieces of the sign was pulling out. A few pieces that looked like the upper marquee, but definitely pieces of the lower marquee which we all knew would be trashed, anyway. On a whim, we decided to follow it to make sure it was heading to the bone yard. We followed it from the Frontier site to Industrial (where, by the way, the other sign is still standing), and due to an accident took a detour down Sahara and subsequently down Las Vegas Boulevard. All was looking good until we got to Charleston and took a left toward the 15, instead of going straight to the bone yard. Sure enough, the truck entered I-15, dropping pieces of the sign on the freeway, and we followed them all the way to Lamb where we exited, but it kept going. The pieces are surely on their way to the YESCO yards in Salt Lake City to be scrapped. The whereabouts of the other pieces, including the rotating F are yet unknown. It's looking likely that the museum will receive some of the lettering, but that the rest of the sign will be scraped. It was very sad watching the truck disappear into the rain and fog.
12-14-08: Without warning, the main sign of the New Frontier was dismantled this week. Steve Wynn asked that it be taken down in preparation for the opening of his new resort, across and down the street, because it competes with his signage and distracts from his monument to himself. (Are you kidding?). ELAD, the property's new owner, allowed Wynn's crew on site to handle the dismantling/demolition. The neon museum was not notified until a day after demolition began, and we didn't even find out until yesterday. Different groups had been working on locating photos of the sign being erected to see how it could be successfully dismantled and preserved. However, when we arrived at the site this morning we found a tangle of metal and pieces of signage haphazardly strewn on trucks and on the ground. When asked what was going to the bone yard, a worker pointed to one E laying on the ground and simply said "this". We're hopeful more will end up there, but as far as preserving whole pieces for future restoration, it looks like, other than the main FRONTIER marquee, it may be a loss. We'll update you with more in the coming days as more info comes in.
5-10-08: Today's update is an inventory of the signage that still stands. Conclusion: All three still stand, in disrepair. New word on what will be done with them, or when yet. Neon tubing lies strewn at the base of the marquee as ignorant tourists and hoodlums throw rocks at it.
1-23-08: The last of the Frontier Tower is being broken down and taken away, while on the other end of the property excavation and demolition of the basement level and tunnels that once connected the Frontier to The Desert Inn across the street and the Silver Slipper next door continues. No word yet on the sign, but it still stands.
1-7-08: This video footage was shot by LeavingLV.net contributer Greg Clarke. By his own description: "the last bit crumbled about 1PM on Jan 4th.....and it nearly clobbered the back-hoe operator when it fell the WRONG way!... caught everyone by suprise who was watching. The dude backed out in full power reverse when he saw it coming and got out of harm's way...."
RIP old girl. As old, malfunctioning, and smelly as you were, you will be missed world-wide, that's a certainty.
1-5-08: The last of The Frontier Tower came crashing down yesterday afternoon. What we found this morning was a very dismal scene, made gloomier by the weather in the valley. Just a big pile of rubble that lays on top of the bottom one or two floors of the tower, while the rest of the property is being excavated and cleared quite fast. No word yet on the fate of the sign, but it still stands and will likely stand for a while longer as it is not contracted for demolition or (hopefully) disassembly by Clauss. It will stand watch over the empty lot as did the El Rancho sign for so many years just down the street. On the north end of the lot where the original part of the building used to sit, a basement level has been revealed that was unknown to this author or his friends. We heard a story once about a tunnel that led from The New Frontier to the original Silver Slipper (which sat on what is now the north parking lot). It was closed off due to a deadly collapse, or so the story goes. Perhaps this is proof??? ...or perhaps just a basement. Anyway, here's some last pictures. Enjoy.
12-31-07: We close the year with some photos of what's left of The New Frontier, which isn't much. Piles of debris dot the foundation of the historic property. Bases of bars and ramps and stairs are the only markers to orient yourself if you're trying to see what was. No work being done today. The machines paused halfway through the mid-section of the Frontier Tower. Inside the tower those western elevator cars that we used to get stuck in sit at the bottom of the shafts open and broken, the paneling and mirrors still intact. Happy New Year!
12-28-07: Just a few pictures we took this morning on the way to work. The backhoes are using the lower levels of the tower to travel further in to demolish the upper levels. It draws quite a crowd around the Fashion Show.
12-26-07: Christmas is over so back to work, and back to work Clauss went. Work began on the 7 story Frontier Tower today, the only part of The Frontier that still stands. Starting at the west end of tower, backhoes started ripping away at the walls, bringing girders, floors, and everything in between crashing down. On the other side of the property, more machines are eating away at the strip side facade fast. Nothing is left of the Atrium Tower. All debris has dissolved into small piles of materials being hauled away daily, and most of the trees are gone. Looks like we're on track to see this resort become a part of history by mid-to-end of January.
12-22-07: The end is drawing near. Work started on what was left of the casino. The front facade is coming down fast. The porte cochere is down and scrapped and the walls are tumbling down all along Las Vegas Boulevard. The palms in the garden/pool area are coming down. It looks like they're being carefully removed to be preserved and used elsewhere. Looking at the other side of the carnage, an office is visible on the second floor, complete with desk, computer, fridge, and filing cabinets teetering on the edge. As we were walking along the sidewalk, we found a memo that must have blown out of one of these offices. I remember seeing it on a bulletin board upstairs and posted around the resort, next to a memo about final paychecks. Happy Holidays to all!
12-19-07: Just a few pictures this time. There's really not much left to photograph. The Frontier Tower is almost completely stripped, but no sign of equipment for it yet. Out front, the entire casino is gone and the Porte Cochere is being stripped and readied to come down. As we were leaving the shoot, after having lunch at the Fashion Show, the "F" on the south side was already coming down. Information on the new resort to be built on this historic site details it to be the largest resort on the strip. Find out more at VegasTodayandTomorrow.com
12-12-07: Today, there was a large group of tourists standing on the strip talking about the Frontier and what a shame it was to "lose the old ones". We hear that a lot when walking down the street past these properties, and it's nice to know that we're not alone. Only the strip side facade is left. The north end of the building toppled this week and beyond the walls there's not even much debris left. The Frontier Tower looks to be about ready for the heavy machinery to take it down. It's surreal looking at the main entrance where the "One armed Bandits" and bar once stood, and see Palace Station. Only three more days to vote for LeavingLV.net on vegastripping.com!
12-05-07: Our shoot today was another cold one. Activity was sparse while we were there, but work over the past week has progressed to where the Frontier Tower connected with the casino. The casino is mostly gone, with only the perimeter walls left standing, surrounding a pile of debris. The second floor offices closest to the strip are next, and looking through the main entrance, there's nothing left of the casino. The Frontier tower has a few more floors to be cleared before it's ready to come down. The pool still stands in the middle of the property as do the palms and other trees. Work's definitely on schedule to be done by mid-January. Don't forget to go vote for LeavingLV.net on vegastripping.com
11-29-07: The cold weather makes for an appropriate atmosphere around The New Frontier. The casino is mostly gone, demolition having reached the original outside wall (The building was extended in the early 90's). Looking through the doors and windows you can see the piles of rubble that are left, while on the other side, a clear view of the entire property is afforded by the lack of any exterior walls. The Frontier Tower still has three floors to go before it's cleared and ready for demolition, while the Atrium Tower is dwindling to rubble. Someone's decorated a little palm tree in front of the main entrance. It's cute, haha. Don't forget to go vote for LeavingLV.net on vegastripping.com
11-21-07: It's been over a week since the implosion, and work on demolishing the rest of the property is progressing rapidly. The pile of rubble that was The Atrium Tower is shrinking into smaller sorted piles, and everyone will be sad to know that Gilley's is officially no more! Almost the entire rear portion of the casino has been taken down, including the sports book, Gilley's, The Cheyenne Room, Margarita's, and The Orchard (Sorry Chris!). Peering through the main entrance doors on the strip side affords a sun-lit view directly into the carnage in the middle of the resort. More to come soon. Don't forget to go vote for LeavingLV.net on vegastripping.com
11-14-07: The dust has settled on the Atrium Tower. The crown lies twisted in the middle of all of it. Over to the south, the Frontier Tower is still being gutted and to the North, the Lanai Tower is just about gone. Gilley's is next! Clauss' time table has the entire property cleared, save for the sign, by February. Thanks for all the great emails and guestbook entries guys, but if you really wanna thank us, go vote for LeavingLV.net on vegastripping.com! More later.
11-13-07: The Atrium Tower is no more. It took five seconds and 900 pounds of TNT. Quite the fireworks show too. Right at 2:30 the fireworks show began, and the tower toppled over to the north five minutes later. It went down very gracefully (for concrete) and sank into the plume of dust. The dust cloud was big and high, but the wind kept it from spreading too far, and it dissipated fast. Bravo to Clauss and CDI for a spectacular show and a proper send off to another classic ("old dump" or not) casino. Just a pile of rubble left, surrounded by the Frontier Tower and what's left of the Lanai Tower, both of which will follow very shortly, via heavy equipment. Had a great time at the Riviera before and after with Mark of vegastodayandtomorrow.com. More later, now it's bedtime!
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