The Landmark once again entered a dormant period. As it had done throughout most of the 1960s, Landmark waited for it's fate to be decided. On December 7, 1990, Lloyds Bank of London purchased the hotel for $20 million to protect a $25-million loan made in 1988 to former owner William Morris. In June 1991, the hotel's contents were liquidated via an on-site, public sale conducted by National Content Liquidators, Inc.
Landmark did, however, get some use during this time as in November of 1992 during the annual COMDEX convention when rivals Microsoft and Lotus arranged to have the tower's sides covered with 15 story banners advertising their latest products. On September 7, of the same year over 300 members of the Culinary Union, on strike at the Frontier Hotel, performed a sit-in demonstration which caused the strip to be shut down for two hours and many arrests by police. In order to process that many people, the police department took them to the closed Landmark.
In a closed bid sale on April 16, 1993 conducted by Kennedy-Wilson Inc., The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (which owns the Las Vegas Convention Center across the street) bought the Landmark for $16.7 million. The sale was finalized on September 1st of that same year. A year-long debate followed within the L.V.C.V.A. about the fate of the aged and run-down hotel. Some wanted to make the necessary repairs and re-open it to house the many convention attendees who visit every year. Others, who saw the dilapidated tower as an eye-sore, wanted to demolish the buildings to add 2,000 much-needed parking spaces for the Convention Center. In the end, only three of the fourteen L.V.C.V.A. board members voted in favor of keeping the Landmark.
In mid-1994, AB-Haz Environmental began removing asbestos insulation from the Landmark in preparation for demolition. The company was later cited for violating local air emission standards during the removal of the asbestos. AB-Haz signed a settlement in which the company agreed to pay an $18,000 fine.
In late 1994 she was lit up one last time during the filming of "Casino" in which the Landmark's entrance was used as the exterior of the film's fictional "Tangiers Hotel". The Landmark was not credited in the film. The implosion appears during the closing epilogue.
Driving by the closed Landmark in 1993
Scenes from Casino (1995)
Death of the Landmark
In early 1995, Maryland-based Controlled Demolition Inc. and California-based Iconco Inc., began clearing the property and prepping the tower with 120 pounds of explosives. The casino, shops, and room wings were cleared away leaving only the gutted out tower.
When Director Tim Burton discovered the iconic hotel was about to be imploded, he decided to film it and use the footage in "Mars Attacks!" - the film he was working on at the time. For the movie, a model of the tower was created and a large billboard was placed out front advertising the hotel (which was supposed to be under construction in the movie).
At 5:40 a.m. on Tuesday, November 07, 1995, with charges set and Tim Burton's film crews in place, the Landmark was put to rest in just 17 seconds. Lauri Perry, who was the opening performer in the Landmark's 31st floor lounge in 1969 and was now the Clark County Commissioner, pressed the button triggering the implosion. After a pyrotechnic charge was set off by Warner Bros., the charges detonated and the tower split in half as it fell. The Landmark was no more.
The way the tower came down was due entirely to the method used to build it. The octagonal column was comprised of 5 separate structures which each could stand on their own. To bring it down, the demolition team had to weaken all 5 structures individually. When the tower came down, the columns of windows which ran along the sides of the tower became natural weak points as they are what separated the individual structures. This is why the tower sheered in two along the window columns on the east and west sides of the building.
Landmark Implosion (Nov 7, 1995)
Local News Coverage (Nov 7, 1995)
Scene from Mars Attacks! (1996)
Today, the property which once housed the great Landmark is a 2,948 space parking lot for the Las Vegas Convention Center. While the Landmark herself remains intact only in our hearts and memories, she still exists in Las Vegas as the debris was recycled and used in building projects all over the city. Who knows, the concrete holding up that pedestrian walkway you used on your last trip to Vegas may have once held up the Landmark tower...
In 2009, The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada worked with local artists to add artistic enhancements to the new ACE transit shelters at eight locations in the area. The Landmark was chosen to be the theme of the shelter which occupies the property on which the hotel once stood. It was designed by Catherine Borg and incorporated the hotel's original entry sign: fully restored and mere feet from where it once was.
The second of the two exterior signs from the porte cochère was purchased by magician Steve Wyrick for display in his home in Summerlin in 2006.
The refurbished Landmark porte cochère sign in 2015