LAS VEGAS, Jan. 1 -- The Hacienda Hotel Casino in Las Vegas came down in a bang just at the stroke of East Coast midnight, bringing to an end its 40-year history at the end of the Las Vegas Strip. The massive white 900 room hotel's destruction was at 9 p.m. PST, timed to fit the Fox TV Network's program on New Year's Eve.
About 400 to 500 thousand people were on the Las Vegas Strip to watch the historic hotel implode in a blaze of glory despite temperatures in the low 50's F. Five minutes before the actual implosion a massive fireworks display was started and choreographed to match music from local radio and loud speakers. At the appointed moment of the New Year the dynamite in the hotel's structural columns was detonated. The sound was deafening and the resultant dust cloud rose several thousand feet over the Las Vegas Strip. There was one glitch in the implosion.It took more than a minute for the dust around the site to clear enough to see what remained of the Hacienda. The extreme southern end of the building was still standing, almost in defiance against the implosion contractors, Controlled Demolitions Incorporated which has dropped five Las Vegas buildings in the last 3 years. Circus Circus Enterprises, which now owns more than a mile of Strip land, has released preliminary plans for a new billion dollar mega resort to be built on the Hacienda site. The new resort is to be called the Paradise and have some 4-thousand rooms in one 42 story tall tower. ---
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