Cables, cranes used to topple Vegas tower after failed implosion KIMBERLY PIERCEALL Feb 10th 2015 5:31PM LAS VEGAS (AP) - Workers hoped Tuesday that a crane and cables could finish a job that a 2-ton explosive punch didn't quite do: Reduce an elevator shaft to rubble like the Las Vegas casino-hotel around it. With no wrecking balls immediately available, demolition crews wrapped cables around the tilting structure and hoped to pull it down by the end of the day, Clarion hotel-casino site owner Lorenzo Doumani said. "It'll be knocked down some way or another because it's a safety hazard," he said. Most of the 12-story structure crumbled in a pre-dawn explosion designed to clear the site off the Strip and near the Las Vegas Convention Center for new construction. The 200-room casino-hotel opened in 1970 as the Royal Inn and was called the Debbie Reynolds - for its one-time owner - as well as the Greek Isles and the Paddle Wheel. Despite the detonation of 4,400 pounds of explosives, the elevator core only dropped about four stories and stayed standing - and leaning. Doumani said he didn't know what kept it upright. Anthony Schlect, corporate safety coordinator for Burke Construction, was investigating. Doumani couldn't help pointing out that the implosion of his casino-hotel was the 13th since 1993 in Las Vegas. Don't expect any happenings on the site on any future Friday the 13ths, he joked. "What can you say? Every implosion I've ever seen has been (of) massive buildings," he said. "And they just went straight down without a hitch." Amanda Dickerson never stayed at the Clarion or any of its incarnations, but she reveled in its demise after traveling from Ripon, Wisconsin, to check an unlikely item off her life's bucket list: witness a building implosion in person. "We don't do this in Wisconsin," she said after the dust had almost settled. "It was truly amazing." Dickerson, 35, her boyfriend, Pete Kuhn, 38, and Las Vegas local Cherie DeWilde, who first alerted her friend to the impending implosion, had been scoping out the casino-hotel Monday when they got an exclusive invite to watch the building crumble from across the street alongside the developer, his family, friends and media. "It was one of the best experiences of my life," Dickerson said. What took seconds to destroy required several months of planning, Schlecht said. That extended to covering nearby pools, including one at the neighboring Marriott hotel. Between 2004 and 2007, six Vegas properties were brought down. But in the eight years since then, the only Strip-side implosions involved a segment of the Tropicana and a parking structure. The Clarion was no marquee property on the scale of the Stardust, which was imploded eight years ago, or the Dunes, which made way in 1993 for the Bellagio. The Clarion has had several names and fell into bankruptcy nearly as many times. It was the building and rooms resembling cubicles that didn't work, Doumani said. The location itself is close to the Strip and the convention center. He hopes to have a plan in place by the end of the year to build a 60-story hotel tower without condos or a casino that could be the tallest occupied building in Las Vegas.