Riviera SignThe weekend is not too far away and as it draws near so does the last weekend to visit the Riviera the sixty year old Strip resort that is due to close on Monday. The official time for the visitors and guests to be out of the property is by noon although a slow gradual shutdown of the property is likely to begin many hours before. If you have never been to a resort closing for good it’s an interesting experience albeit a sad one especially for the employees. I have been at the closing of many properties over the years including way back to former resorts such as the Maxim and the closings usually are very similar. In the casino employees will rope off sections of the machines as they become unused and then the security will move in to empty the change drawers and take them away. The next activity is usually the maintenance people moving in to deactivate the machines and getting them ready for moving which often takes a while; After the machines are all disconnected the maintenance people will then pick them up by hand trucks and tie them down before wheeling them off to a storage area. Over many hours the available rows of slot machines gets less and less with more areas of yellow taped off areas showing up and large expanses of open carpet appearing. The same thing happens at the table games as tables close with the money boxes removed first followed by the boxes of chips and finally the tables will start to be removed by maintenance. As the noon closing time draws near you will see groups of employees standing together often with some crying while others maybe hugging each other its always a sad time but hopefully a lot of them have already found other jobs. Right at closing the security will ask players not to deposit more money in the machines and as they play though their money they will head for the exit. After the close hotel security will also walk with housekeeping from room to room checking that everyone has vacated the rooms. The closing down of a resort has happened numerous times over Las Vegas history but its part of the constant change in a city that is always changing and reinventing itself. The Riviera has been in sad shape over recent years and might not be remembered fondly in the same breath as the Sands, Dunes, Desert Inn or Stardust but its always sad to see a little part of Las Vegas history go away.