The Riviera Hotel & Casino is one of The Strip’s most renowned landmarks. It is a historic hotel that marked an important milestone for being the first high-rise building in The Strip; plus, it was the best hotel & casino in the area by the time it was opened. It had such fame that famous people like Liberace – which was the hotel’s sponsored headliner for several years – were also visitors. It was one of the pioneers of the Las Vegas we know today, filled with gambling, shows and other performances, as well as high-range hotels and entertainment. The Riviera is a symbol of classic Las Vegas, the city that acquired national and worldwide fame in little time.
Was the Riviera Hotel & Casino haunted?
The Riviera, along with other old hotels in The Strip, was believed to be haunted according to several commentaries. Most believe that it is only another common myth, but others have firmly testified that the Riviera is haunted because of their own livings in the hotel: encounters with ghosts or other supernatural creatures and strange happenings.
Why do some believe that the Riviera is haunted?
The Riviera’s connection with mafia promotes beliefs of being haunted. Let’s consider that the first proposal to build the Riviera was made by a mobster from Detroit called William Bischoff, who intended to name the hotel as the Casa Blanca. Although he withdrew from the project later on, the Riviera was always believed to hold some relation with mobsters.
For example, little time after being inaugurated, the Riviera casino went bankrupt. That was when Gus Greenbaum and other former Flamingo Hotel’s managers took over the domain of the property. The curious fact is that Greenbaum had recently retired, but popular rumors say that he was forced to get back to work by Tony Accardo, a Chicago mob boss. And the entertainment director that worked among Greenbaum’s staff, William Nelson, was later discovered to be Willie Bioff, a mob informer. He was murdered in November 1955, the same year the Riviera was inaugurated. Greenbaum soon fell in corruption because of his drug and gambling addiction, which led to defalcation from the casino. Shortly after, in December 1958, Greenbaum was murdered along with his wife in his home in Phoenix, Arizona.
Several other Riviera-related people were murdered because of their connection to mafia, some of them killed in the hotel.
These reasons are enough to believe the people that witnessed supernatural events in the Riviera. In fact, many workers heard frequently voices that came from nowhere in the stairwells. Besides, others said they witnessed the presence of deceased people while doing maintenance in the top story floors. Some brave hearts dared to investigate about these happenings and found out that supernatural creatures lived in the ninth floor and came out by night.
If you are afraid of ghosts, don’t worry: the good thing is that this hotel has already been demolished to make way for the Las Vegas global Business District from 2015 to 2016.