In light of the pending implosion of The Harmon, Vegas Inc. decided to list the Top 10 Vegas Strip Hotel implosions. I love implosions and figured this was a good excuse to visit the youtube archives.
For the next couple of weeks I’ll grab video of these 10 Las Vegas Strip Hotel implosions. We go to #6 on the list – El Rancho.
Imploded: Oct. 3, 2000
Originally the Thunderbird (1948-1976), then the Silverbird (1976-1981), El Rancho took shape after Ed Torres purchased the property in 1981 for $500,000. He sought to honor the property with the name of one of the Strip's first resorts (the original El Rancho Vegas was located just across Las Vegas Boulevard).
The next year Torres hired Martin Stern Jr. to expand the hotel, adding a tower and a new entrance. Stern would again expand and remodel the hotel and casino in 1987, but the changes did little to help the casino's success.
The struggling property was closed in 1992 and sold to a New Jersey company. The company was unable to get financing to reopen the casino and was ordered by the city to tear the building down in 1999.
In 2000, the property was sold to Turnberry Associates and imploded with 700 pounds of explosives on Oct. 3, 2000, in front of a crowd of 2,000.
The area is now occupied by the Turnberry Towers condominiums and the Fontainebleau resort construction site.