Our pal Jeff Burbank is reporting over at the DowntownNews that the City of Las Vegas has asked that the Moulin Rouge being demolished because it is "a dangerous building." Seems the city has determined that the building is a threat to public safety and "wants the dilapidated, 53-year-old property demolished, including the former casino facade and adjacent two-story motel.
Meanwhile, the owner of the property, Moulin Rouge Properties, LLC, has filed an appeal to the city’s demolition order."
A hearing scheduled for yesterday on the matter was delayed and the matter will be discussed at the March 4th City Council hearing.
According to the article:
The city’s Neighborhood Services Department, on Dec. 8, sent an official notice and order to the property owner, listing dozens of reasons why the old Moulin Rouge casino building at 840 W. Bonanza Road and the motel at 920 W. Bonanza both qualified as dangerous buildings, including deterioration, the possibility of collapse, serving as a harbor for vagrants and criminals, a severe pest infestation, faulty plumbing and heating and a threat to local property values.
Devon S. Smith, manager of the department’s neighborhood response division, said in the letter that Moulin Rouge had 10 days to file an appeal.
In response, Moulin Rouge chief executive Dale L. Scott wrote on Dec. 12 that the company would appeal the notice and order, because it had already contracted with two firms, Phoenix Contractors and the Westmark Group, to demolish the buildings and remove “all associated materials on the parcel in question.”
“As these building are vacant, and all utilities have been disconnected, Moulin Rouge Properties, LLC and its contractors will not have to face delays in order to begin the demolition process,” Scott stated.
The Moulin Rouge, which opened as Las Vegas first integrated casino in 1955 and closed less than a year but operated of and on as a nightclub and motel.
The main casino building, with its classic script neon (but non-working) marquee sign, suffered a damaging fire in 2003. Since then, the motel part has served as a home for squatters, who have lived inside some of its many open hotel rooms.
For years since the fire, debris has covered the area behind the old casino’s façade, which is propped up by a series steel rods along Bonanza Road.
A year ago, Scott announced plans to develop the site with 700 hotel rooms, a 44,000 square-foot casino, retail stores, four restaurants and a museum. He also said that he would preserve the casino’s famous façade and merge it into the project. However, construction never got started.
No word on what would happen to the beautiful neon-script signage that still adorns the front of the building. It was designed by Betty Willis. Hopefully it will go to the Neon Museum instead of being destroyed. Though the cost of moving the giant sign will likely be in the thousands of dollars and does the Museum have space for the large sign?