Las Vegas Implodes Stardust to Clear Way for Megaresort

Wed April 04, 2007 - West Edition
Ryan Nakashima - Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) The venerable Stardust casino-hotel on the Las Vegas Strip was imploded early morning March 13 in a hail of fireworks to make way for Boyd Gaming Corp.’s $4.4 billion megaresort Echelon.

The property, known for its bargain rooms, friendly service and mobbed-up past, opened on July 2, 1958, billing itself as the world’s largest resort hotel with 1,032 rooms.

It also is credited with being Las Vegas’ first mass-market casino, due to cheap rates and loss-leading food and drinks.

The implosion of two towers, gutted to bare concrete and steel over the past three months, included a 32-story building that was the tallest ever felled on the Strip.

In its place, Boyd plans to build a new resort, Echelon, to open in late 2010 with more than 5,000 hotel rooms, a production theater, concert venue, shopping mall and more than 1 million sq. ft. of meeting space.