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Riviera Las Vegas

Updated on November 27, 2010

Riviera Las Vegas

Riviera Las Vegas
Riviera Las Vegas | Source

Riviera Las Vegas has one of the most dazzling neon displays on the Las Vegas strip.

Riviera Las Vegas

Riviera Las Vegas
Riviera Las Vegas

Opened in 1955, Riviera is still in good condition and remains a popular destination at the north end of the Las Vegas strip. The 110,000 square foot casino has an "old Las Vegas" appeal to it since it lacks a gimmicky theme, yet it's been updated with modern conveniences such as printed ticket payouts at slot machines (instead of coins), self service bill breakers and self service ticket cashers.

Riviera Las Vegas

Riviera Las Vegas in the mid 1990s.
Riviera Las Vegas in the mid 1990s.

Some people indicate a preference for the old style payout... a slot machine spitting out hundreds of coins, which you'd scoop into a plastic bucket and take to a cashier to convert into paper currency... but I prefer the printed tickets as they are much more convenient. Let's say you've been playing a 25 cent slot machine and have been winning - your credits are up to 2,000 and you decide to cash in. Instead of having to deal with TWO THOUSAND QUARTERS, the machine will print out a $500 cash voucher which you can either cash in for $500 or feed into another slot machine or video poker machine and continue to play. This increased level of convenience, however, has resulted in casino jobs being eliminated. At some point, the employees who dump buckets of coins into the coin counter and hand you paper money in exchange will no longer be needed.

Riviera Las Vegas Nickel Town

Riviera Las Vegas Nickel Town
Riviera Las Vegas Nickel Town

While you could say that eliminating jobs is bad for the economy; I think it's also true that having to spend time dealing with nearly worthless coins has a negative impact on the profitability of any business. Should you pay someone $10 to count and roll 1,000 pennies ($10 worth) or just throw them in the trash? The mints spend time and energy manufacturing pennies and nickels and dimes which can't buy anything; and quarters are almost obsolete as well. After manufacturing these coins they are then distributed to banks in armored cars. It all seems rather pointless.

Riviera Las Vegas sports book

Riviera Las Vegas sports book. Near the center of the photo, you can see a mechanical horse racing game. These are pretty scarce.
Riviera Las Vegas sports book. Near the center of the photo, you can see a mechanical horse racing game. These are pretty scarce.

I've visited the Riviera many times. In addition to the large, fairly peaceful casino their food court is a convenient stop for lunch or a snack if you've been walking from the south or center strip. I will never forget the time I was sitting in the food court in August 2007 when it was about 110 degrees and an old man walked in wearing a winter jacket. You encounter all types of people on the Las Vegas strip.

Riviera is a budget property and will appeal more to lone travelers and couples than families. There is a video game arcade near the food court but the last few times I visited, about half the games were out of order. The location is near the northern edge of the tourist area of the strip but is not as remote as Sahara or Stratosphere; so if you absolutely have to choose an inexpensive strip property, Riviera is a good choice.

Riviera Las Vegas Penny Town

Riviera Las Vegas Penny Town
Riviera Las Vegas Penny Town

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