Stardust casino imploded

Published: Mar. 13, 2007 at 12:01 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2007 at 8:42 PM EDT
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(Las Vegas) March 13, 2007 - An icon of the Vegas strip came crumbling down on Tuesday morning. A fireworks display served as a last salute to the famed Stardust Hotel And Casino.

After a flashy countdown, the Stardust came crashing down around 5:30AM Eastern Time.

It was imploded Tuesday morning to make way for a $4.4 billion megaresort complex, Echelon Place, which is set to open in 2010.

The hotel-casino was best know for its bargain rooms, friendly service and mob past. It opened in July of 1958, billing itself as the world's largest resort hotel with 1,032 rooms.

Some 428 pounds of explosives were used to destroy the casino's two towers. Twenty water cannons were on hand to control the dust cloud. It'll take about two months to clean up all the debris.

In its place, Boyd Gaming plans to build a new resort called Echelon Place to open in late 2010 with more than 5,000 hotel rooms, a production theater, concert venue, shopping mall and more than one million square feet of meeting space.

The director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada Las Vegas says many casinos nowadays make more money from hotel rooms, clubs, shows and cuisine than they do from gambling.

The hotel was closed in November of 2006.

It now joins a list of several famous Las Vegas landmarks that have been razed to make room for new construction.

Posted 7:57am by Bryce Mursch with AP