Bringing down the Riv part of giant puzzle Richard N. Velotta, Las Vegas Review-Journal · October 19, 2015 at 8:58 pm The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s plan to bring down the Riviera next year will be a critical piece of an enormous puzzle. Through a process that is expected to take several years, thousands of man hours’ planning and millions of dollars, the authority will attempt to demolish and remove 13 structures, including the 2,100-room, 23-story tower, build several new facilities and do it all without disrupting conventions that have been a part of the Las Vegas landscape for years. How the authority will pull that off is expected to be a part of what is discussed Thursday when the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee meets for the third of five fact-finding sessions leading to a report on the state’s role in bolstering Southern Nevada’s tourism resources. The $2.3 billion effort to refurbish the Las Vegas Convention Center campus is itself a massive undertaking. Add to that a strategy to tie in a prospective new stadium, streets, pedestrian amenities and McCarran International Airport and how they’ll all fit in with the Convention Center as well as convention facilities operated by Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment presents a picture of just how big all of this is. Representatives of some of the Las Vegas convention scene’s largest trade show managers also are expected to weigh in at Thursday’s session. The reduction of the Riviera to rubble is a huge, critical piece, which is why the authority’s board of directors hired Sacramento, Calif.-based Cordell Corp. as its owner representative to coordinate the process. Under principals Terry Miller and co-founder Don Webb, Cordell has overseen convention center projects in Boston, Kansas City, San Diego and San Jose and Ontario, Calif. The company also has worked on Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, Sports Authority Field at Mile High, home of the Denver Broncos, Fenway Park in Boston and stadium expansions at the University of Michigan, Oregon State University, Ohio State University and the University of California. Back in July, the authority board approved a $42 million budget to demolish the Riviera. Because LVCVA policy requires the board to approve any expenditure over $100,000, a $1.84 million project management contract amendment already in the budget had to be affirmed by the board. Now, Cordell and its hazardous materials consultant, Terracon Consultants, are developing a plan to demolish the Riviera by early 2017, in time for the Con-Expo/ConAgg construction equipment trade show to use the Riviera grounds for outdoor exhibit space on the site. “We’ve been in there for three weeks, doing survey work, sampling and performing the investigative work typical of renovations and demolitions,” Miller said. The demolition team is required to remove potentially hazardous materials in conformance with federal and state environmental regulations. Miller said crews are on schedule and on budget for preparing bid documents that would lead to the demolition of the Riviera in the first quarter of 2016. A pre-bid conference will be conducted to qualify bidders. Miller said he has received nationwide interest from contractors considering submitting bids for the job, which has a hard-cost budget of $36 million for labor and material for the remediation and demolition and for site preparation for outdoor exhibits. When Terracon completes its sampling of materials — crews expect they may find asbestos and mold in their investigation — they’ll submit materials to a lab. Test results should help contractors determine the best way to bring the building down, whether by implosion or a more conventional means. Because buildings will be removed and won’t be remodeled for future use, it’s more likely the bid would incorporate removal strategies than material preservation. What the hazardous materials experts find should lead to a decision on whether the building is imploded or knocked down with wrecking balls. Bidders may also submit options that will enable Cordell to make a decision on how the building comes down. Contact reporter Richard N. Velotta at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3893. Find @RickVelotta on Twitter.