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One of the most famous and iconic Las Vegas casinos is no more. The Stardust was demolished today. However Stardust did not go quietly it went out with a spectacular show including fireworks. The Stardust will now be replaced by a large new development. The Stardust first opened its doors in 1958 on July 2. It claimed to be the biggest resort hotel in the world containing over one thousand rooms. The hotel had a long-standing reputation for having a friendly service and super cheap rooms.

It is also famous for free slots fruit smoothie (slotoff.com) its ties to the Mafia. The Stardust was once considered one of Las Vegas's most stylish resorts. It was one of the most popular hangouts for the Rat Pack and Frank Sinatra. It was also home to Siegfried and Roy. The mafia activities that are said to have taken part within the Stardust are what the book and film Casino is based on. Another note to mention about the Stardust is that it was given the credit for creating the first casino in Las Vegas to appeal to the masses.

This is not only due to its bargain priced hotel rooms but also is inexpensive drinks and food. The final day of the Stardust had a build up of three months. During this period the entire 32-story building was gutted to its bare bones. The two towers of the Stardust that were imploded were the tallest ever building destroyed on the Las Vegas strip. The new development that is planned to replace the Stardust will be called Echelon. Echelon will be an enormous resort containing over 5,000 guest rooms, a shopping mall, concert venue and over 1 million square feet of meeting space.

The new resort is expected to open its doors in 2010 and will be built by Boyd Gaming Inc. It is thought to cost around 4 billion dollars. The yearlong final goodbye to the Stardust was topped off with a demolition party in which hundreds of official guests and bystanders watched the Stardust turn into dust. The official time of demolition was 2:30am Las Vegas time. A witness from Los Angeles, Jeff Remini who spoke to the New York Times said "It's always a little sad to see these places go, but that place was so old and gross - and old and gross don't belong in Las Vegas." Remini added an extra two days to his trip when he heard about the demolition, just so he could be there when it happened.

According to Casino author Nicholas Pileggi "The Stardust was the Bellagio of its day, the most dazzling casino out there." With the destruction of the Stardust the oldest casino building on the Las Vegas strip is the Sahara coffee shop. Vegas will continue to give itself a new gloss though some locals are a little saddened like Joel Rosales, "having been born and raised here in Vegas, it's always been a rock.

In this ever-changing city the Stardust was always there. I wouldn't say I'm as upset as I am disappointed, that we as a city have no sense of preserving our past and heritage, no matter how tacky or out-of-date it may be." Sources The New York Times The Sun Online http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2007120004,00.html http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/13/us/13cnd-casino.html?hp