Michael Jackson set in stone—er, concrete
Wed, Feb 2, 2011 (4:05 p.m.)
Photo: Courtesy Nate D. Sanders Auctions
Snow globes, shot glasses and Criss Angel magic sets are for amateurs. If you want the ultimate Vegas souvenir, you have to wait until February 15, when the bidding at the Nate Sanders Auction house closes on a 500-pound piece of concrete that sat around the Riviera for more than 20 years. But it’s not just any hunk of concrete—this one’s got Michael Jackson’s handprint, footprints and signature in it. Back in 1984, the Riviera planned to set up its own Walk of Fame. When red tape and construction difficulties halted the project, the MJ slab found its way to the casino basement. After 21 years, Riviera management raffled the slab off to some old guy named Johnny, who gave it to auctioneer Nate Sanders, who might now give it to you, if the price is right. How much does Sanders think the slab will go for? Well, let’s just say, it’s more than a snow globe, a shot glass, and a Criss Angel magic set ... combined.
With its glass, star-lit exterior, visitors can't miss the Riviera when driving down the Strip. As the first high-rise to open on the Las Vegas Strip, featuring a nine-story hotel, the Riviera has seen more than 50 years as an entertainment destination in Las Vegas. Top bill acts like Liberace, Dean Martin and the long-running Splash revue (closed in 2006) have graced its showrooms over time.
The Riviera still offers its share of entertainment options with topless revue "Crazy Girls," a comedy club and "Illusions," starring Jan Rouven.
The 100,000-square foot casino has been featured in many films like "Casino," "Austin Powers" and "21." Although the hotel has passed through a long list of owners over the years it has always held on to it's unique theme (for Las Vegas) in that it lacks any particular theme. It also features a William Hill Race & Sports Book walk-up betting window right off the sidewalk on the Strip.
The Riviera has dining options well covered, from seafood and steaks at R Steak and Seafood, a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner fare at Banana Leaf Café to an international cuisine at the R Buffet.