5-28-07: We ventured out to Jean today to see what was left. We parked at the Shell Station as always, and were ready to walk the perimeter, but all of the fences are gone, so we went right to where the casino was. The entrance sign came down last week and where it stood is littered with broken neon tubing and light bulbs. Walking down the former driveway and through the parking lot was surreal. All of the asphalt has been pulverized and readied for flattening. After driving through and parking there so many times, it felt like visiting an old haunt after a nuclear bomb, especially with the lack of a giant river boat in front of us. On site there's a few pipes and some rebar sticking of the ground, but the entire area is flattened. A small dip in the land denotes where the pool was. All equipment is gone, so the fate of the sign at this point is uncertain. As we retraced different areas in the casino, we came across a few things here and there; a "Spaghetti" sign approximately where the Jade Room stood, a few remnants of gold leafing around the north entrance.
But, a very rare site awaited us in the very center of the casino floor: in the remains of the foundation concrete were casino chips! They are from Pop's Oasis, the first casino in Jean, which operated on the other side of Las Vegas Boulevard from 1971 until 1988 (the year Nevada Landing was constructed!). This was a very famous motel/casino and was the original home of the Bonnie and Clyde death car now on display at the state line in Primm. Most of the chips are $25, a few $1. It's common practice to place chips in the foundation of a new casino as an homage to the old place, and good luck to the new. They were found in the demolition of the Dunes, the Sands, and more recently The New Frontier. Did they know that 20 years later we'd stumble upon them after the rise and fall of their new resort? Quite a unique find.
4-15-07: Well, we dropped the ball on this one. Apparently, the tower came down just after we left last week. The dust storms over the past few days kept us from taking pictures until this morning, and what we found was practically nothing left of this great place. The tower is gone, the last of the facade has come down, and all that's left are a few piles of debris. The sign, however, still stands. The next update, with photographs of the empty and lonely desert, will probably be the last on this page.
4-10-07: After braving a giant wind storm and having most of the Mojave blown into our eyeballs, we got a few clear shots of what little is left of Nevada Landing. The tower still stands as does the sign, but only about 10% of the building is still standing. Most debris has been cleared. The pool we spent many hot summer days at remains. More to come in the next few days. We're still waiting on word of how/when the tower will be demolished, but you can bet we'll do our best to be there and capture the images for you!
4-2-07: We stood for a bit and watched them pulverize the last of the smoke stacks and tear a pillar out of the entrance. The front facade is slowly coming down as well. No word yet for anyone inquiring about the sign or the tower, but as soon as we know you can bet we'll post it here!
3-24-07: Clauss construction has been busy out in the middle of the desert taking down Nevada Landing. The day we went out, the last of the trees were being transported off property. The front facade, which faces I-15, was still standing, but everything behind it was rubble. The smoke stacks have been toppled and lay at odd angles on the buildings and ground. The huge tower still stands though. The south casino entrance, which we've walked through countless times, was unrecognizable. A view from the other side of the property revealed that the entire building has been consumed, right up to the main entrance, where the pairs of tall white pillars still stand, except for the one that's fallen through the front doors. Very sad sight to behold. More to come.
8-28-07:A LeavingLV.net exclusive. A last look inside Nevada Landing before the maintenance crew finishes clearing the building and the bulldozers take over. The three center chandeliers were pillaged of the small surrounding chandeliers, while the outer two are still intact. They will all come down with the casino. Most areas are unrecognizable as what they are. All of the booths and fittings from the Cafe, Restaurant, and Buffet, as well as the casino cages and bars are gone. Still no clue who the demolition crew will be. It's very hard to get anyone out there who might know to even pay attention. It's actually quite annoying. But as soon as we know, you'll know!
8-10-07:Out in the middle of the desert, the bulldozers are starting to gather. A couple of them circle the casino and hotel, piling concrete that has been torn up to uproot the remaining trees and plants in the parking lot. A security truck from The Gold Strike passes around once every hour or so. Looking through the doors reveals black tarps covering the open doorways where the inside doors opened from the foyers to the casino floor. Most were auctioned off, but it's hard to say what was really auctioned and what was passed up, as all the lettering on the outside were supposedly bid on, but are still there. Looking past the doorways the casino floor is strewn with pieces of the Captain's Grill and the Bayou Cafe. The chandeliers are still lit, but the two center ones are very dim as the small surrounding chandeliers have been taken, and the large main chandeliers left in place. When sold at auction, it was thought that they were brass, but inspection afterward revealed they're brass coated aluminum, therefore were not worth as much as hoped for. Another two weeks should bring the first structural demolition.
7-16-07: Today was the day of the viewing for the auction of the rest of the fittings and furniture for Nevada Landing. I love auction days! For anyone who's never been, it's great. You get to roam around the entire property and everything's unlocked for you to explore. I found a few things I'll be bidding on tomorrow at the auction. The hotel rooms in the north wing are make-shift storage for everything you can think of from the rooms; from coffee makers and telephones to potted plants and bedding. The Jade Room has been completely dismantled and moved over to the Gold Strike. The casino floor is covered with table layouts, the huge wooden signs that adorned the property, and the "pit" is set up with chairs for the auction. Demolition should commence in early August.
5-17-07: Clearing of all furnishings and fixtures is underway. Most will be taken over to the Gold Strike casino across the road, most notably the entire Jade Room. Furniture and table games sit outside a few of the entrances, and mattresses and bedroom furnishings were being removed from the rear of the hotel. A chain link fence has been put up around the perimeter of the property and a guard sits at the entrance baring vehicle access, save for the trucks hauling everything away. Lights still glow inside, behind the locked and caution taped doors. Really not much to report. Except that it's really hot out there.
5-05-07: This is part 1 of the first series of photos. These pictures were taken on March 4, 2007. I've always enjoyed Nevada Landing. When I was young I remember stopping there at the beginning of family trips out to California and more recently, on my own trips out to SoCal. Breakfast in the cafe was always great, and the atmosphere was second to none. All bias (due to my nautical interests as well) aside, this was a really neat place. The exterior consisted of two riverboats docked at an art deco embarkation hall, which included a tall clock tower. The theme was carried on inside with a very southern, Mississippi riverboat casino feel. Anyone who's ever been there can tell you that the staff was amazing. Very loyal and friendly, always hospitable and kind. I'll be making trips out weekly, so check back for updates! Part 2 of this shoot will be interior shots.