he nitroglycerin- fueled blast marked the first nighttime implosion in New Jersey and first-ever casino-hotel implosion on the East Coast.
Today, all that remains of the Sands is more than 100,000 tons of rubble from the casino and the 21-story hotel tower, which is scheduled to be removed in 5,000 truckloads for recycling into road construction material.
"The implosion is a milestone event in the history of Atlantic City and of Pinnacle Entertainment," said Daniel R. Lee, chairman and chief executive officer of Pinnacle Entertainment. "Our plans can now move forward to develop a project that will help transform the Atlantic City gaming, hospitality and convention industry."
Kim Townsend, CEO of Pinnacle Atlantic City, said, "This celebration marks the end of our first year in Atlantic City, and underscores our commitment to the community and the region. We look forward to building a new-generation gaming resort that will add to the success, energy and excitement of Atlantic City."
More than 700 guests of Pinnacle attended the implosion, including Gov. Jon S. Corzine, other prominent state and local public officials, members of the New Jersey and Atlantic City business, labor and civic communities, and members of the company’s corporate family. Thousands of members of the public witnessed the implosion from the Atlantic City beach and Boardwalk, with hundreds of other spectators watching from the roofs and windows of nearby resorts.
The event, planned with great attention to every detail, began at 9:15 p.m. when Townsend introduced the governor and Lee for brief remarks. At 9:30 p.m., Fireworks by Grucci, the top name in fireworks entertainment, set the stage with a six-minute, state-of-the-art fireworks show, the largest rooftop fireworks display ever in New Jersey.
The countdown began following the fireworks, concluding as Lee and Governor Corzine jointly pressed a plunger for the 17-second implosion.
In preparation for the implosion, Controlled Demolition, Inc. (CDI) set 550 charges on the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 10th and 15th floors of the Sands. During the months prior to the implosion the demolition team lead by R.E. Pierson Construction Co., and also including CDI and Paulus, Sokolowski & Sartor (PS&S), undertook preparatory mechanical demolition, materials recycling and removal of debris.
The Sands covered approximately 6.5 acres of Pinnacle Atlantic City’s current 20-acre site. The Sands, which opened in 1980 as the Brighton Casino Hotel, was among the smallest of the city’s casino hotels, and was acquired by Pinnacle in November 2006.