Las Vegas Casino Implosions

If there’s anything Las Vegas is known for is being flashy and spectacular about the most mundane, unglamorous things you’d imagine. Even taking down an old building turns into a festive event, complete with fireworks and dazzling shows.

In spite of their nostalgic value, many Vegas hotels were cleared out of the way to make room for newer, bigger buildings. The controlled demolition method used to make them go away is called an implosion, and some of the most spectacular implosions ever viewed took place in Vegas, as can be seen in one of the best and most moving Vegas movies, The Cooler starring William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin, and Maria Bello, which shows a beautiful sequence of implosions during its closing credits, including the Aladdin, the Sands, the Landmark, and the Dunes.

An implosion can be described as an explosion in reverse; although it takes several small explosions to make the building come down, it crumbles into itself instead of blowing out. The inward collapse of a construction is achieved by breaking or weakening key elements that hold the structure together. By placing the explosives in strategic locations and timing the blast correctly, the demolition team can minimize the damage to the surroundings of the building.

The sight of massive building turning into a pile of rubble within a few seconds can be quite mesmerizing when seen in person, and no wander then that implosion ceremonies attract thousands, and even tens of thousands of spectators. The movie industry too doesn’t miss out on a chance to show such visions on screen, and the implosion of The Landmark Hotel and Casino was used in the movie Mars Attacks!. While in most cases buildings about to be imploded are stripped from the electrical wiring and lights, here the lights were kept on to make it look like the UFOs are attacking an active casino.

The implosion ceremonies of famous casino hotel resorts, which are often televised, are made of a funny mix of nostalgic sentimentalism and pure entertainment. When The Dunes was imploded back in 1993, the ceremony included a melancholy shutting down of the famous sign, along with exciting cannon blasts from the pirate ship of the next door neighbor, Treasure Island (staged to seem as if they caused the collapse) accompanied by extravagant fireworks display that left the crowd cheering in enthusiasm.

The implosion of the Dunes:

When it came to demolition of the Stardust on March 2007, the orchestration of the ceremony was inspired by New Years Eve parties, with an exhilarating countdown performed beautifully by large pyrotechnic effects, creating undoubtedly the most impressive Vegas implosion to date.

Watch the complete Stardust implosion with the fireworks show, including a slow motion and reverse versions:


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