1,100 pounds of dynamite fails to bring down Vegas hotel, ruins demo firm’s perfect record

Updated Feb 27, 2015

Failed Vegas demolition

With hundreds of spectators gathered and even a couple of showgirls in attendance, when it came time for the Clarion Hotel in Las Vegas to perform its final number, a bit of stage fright set in.

Despite 1,100 pounds of dynamite and 24 explosive charges, when all the dust settled, the elevator shaft of the Clarion still stood, according to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Meanwhile, Controlled Demolition Inc.’s perfect record for implosions had fallen. The firm’s 12 previous implosions, dating all the way back to 1957 had gone off without a hitch. The Clarion was unlucky number 13. Thom Doud, Controlled Demolition project manager, told the paper that the building simply fell too fast.

“Basically, the debris fell so fast, it choked the base of that tower and didn’t give it the opportunity to move,” he said.

Controlled attached cables to the elevator shaft and pulled it down with a crane to finish the job.