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VEGAS LANDMARK IS DEMOLISHED

The Desert Inn's 15-story Augusta tower, a symbol of old Las Vegas on the city's famous Strip, was demolished Tuesday with staccato-controlled explosions and a cloud of dust.

The implosion of the 50-year-old building, which once featured Frank Sinatra and was home to Howard Hughes, clears the way for developer Steve Wynn to build a new hotel on the same site.

Wynn has filed plans with the Clark County Planning Commission for a 45-story, 514-foot glass tower with 2,455 rooms. It would be called Le Reve, French for "The Dream."

Wynn is credited with starting the megaresort boom on the Las Vegas Strip in the 1990s. Among the hotel-casinos he developed before selling them to MGM Grand Inc. last year are the Bellagio, Mirage and Treasure Island.

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