Question of the Day March 4, 2015
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Q:Looking like the Riv will be sold, do you think the Crazy Girls "buns" display out front would be auctioned off OR do you think it could be incorporated into some type of permanent display inside the Convention Center expansion?
A:It's not just "looking like" the Riviera will be sold; it's a done deal, with the closure set for noon on May 4. We're still investigating whether or not there will be a public liquidation sale/auction of the property's fixtures and fittings, but several items almost certainly will not be going under any auctioneer's hammer. These include the historic photographs of Las Vegas that adorn many of the resort's walls, since these are the property of the Las Vegas Convention Authority, which is purchasing the hotel, and the iconic NO "IFs", "ANDs" OR.... bronze sculpture featuring former cast members of the famous Crazy Girls topless revue, which decorates the front of the building.
The life-size bas-relief, which is six feet high, eleven feet wide and, at 1,540 lbs, is the largest lifecast bronze statue in the world, was unveiled back in 1997 to celebrate the Crazy Girls 10th anniversary. Artist Michael Conine made plaster molds of the dancers' posteriors to create the statue, which is modeled after a famous billboard advertisement for the show and caused some controversy at the time, both for its portrayal of women and for the traffic accidents it reputedly caused by distracting Strip motorists. In 1998, the statue won the vote for "best public art" and "best photo opportunity" in the R-J' "Best and Worst of" Vegas contest and, over time, it became customary among visitors to rub the butts "for luck".
The reason why the statue won't be sold anytime soon is the fact that it's the property not of the hotel, but of the show's producer, Norbert Aleman, who has been bullish in the wake of the closure announcement and adamant that the show will be moving to a new Las Vegas home and taking the bronze butts with it. Aleman claims to be in talks with three different potential new showrooms and is determined for Crazy Girls to continue performing as the anniversary of its 28th year on the Strip approaches this September. As he stated recently to gossip columnist Robin Leach, "We've had the best for years, and what's great is that the best is still to come. The 'NO IFs, ANDs OR ...' statue is coming with us for the next part of the ride." Hopefully a new venue will be found, and one that's able to accommodate this iconic piece of Vegas memorabilia; if not, our guess is that it will end up somewhere at Aleman's home.
Photographs appear courtesy of Bill Hughes/ErikKabikPhotography.com and the Las Vegas Sun. Plus, anyone who's feeling nostalgic as the closing date nears, check out this celebratory video put together for the Riviera's 59th birthday, which we stumbled upon in the hotel's blog. (Who knew the Riv has a blog?!).
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