Las Vegas, Nevada, March 13, 2007—
Ashes to ashes, baby. That's the traditional fate of all things in this world, including the famous Stardust Resort and Casino, which was imploded at 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday to make way for a new 4.4-billion-U.S.-dollar megaresort called Echelon.
The 48-year-old icon, which officially closed in November 2006, was once a noted hangout for crooner Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. The site was also the inspiration for the 1995 film Casino,
which built its plot around the hotel's infamous mob connections.
But over the last two decades the Stardust had been in decline, and property owners Boyd Gaming Corporation decided the time had come to revamp the site.
"It's always a little sad to see these places go," vacationist Jeff Remini, of Los Angeles, told the New York Times. "But that place was so old and gross—and old and gross don't belong in Vegas."
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Photograph by David Allio/Reuters