Las Vegas Sun

August 20, 2017

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Las Vegas mob museum continues to move forward

City approves more funding for the $50 million downtown project


Steve Marcus

Pedestrians pass by the old courthouse and U.S. post office, the site of the Mob Museum, in downtown Las Vegas on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009.

Mob Museum

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, left, and former Sen. Richard Bryan (D-Nev.) prepare to open the doors to the Mob Museum during a news conference at the museum site in downtown Las Vegas this morning. Launch slideshow »

The Las Vegas City Council took another step forward this morning on building a mob museum in the city's downtown.

And they also heard it is still on track to be open to the public in a little more than a year in the historic federal office building and post office building at 300 Stewart.

On a 6-1 vote, the council approved spending another $83,020 from the Nevada Commission for Cultural Affairs to continue seismic retrofit measures so the building can be used as the mob museum, officially known as the Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement.

The council had approved $330,000 for the retrofit measures in October and that work, which involves intensive construction work, is now under way, said Bill Arent, director for the city's Office of Business Development.

"This funding is meant to actually prepare the interior of the space for the exhibitry that we're going to install," Arent told the council. "So everything from electrical conduit and lighting, that's what the money is going towards."

Arent told the council that the museum, which has a total price tag of about $50 million, would open in a little more than a year.

"We don't have a hard opening date. But as early as the first quarter of 2011, we could see patrons enjoying the museum," Arent said.

Councilman Stavros Anthony was the lone "no" vote. He explained before the vote that he could not justify spending $80,000 on such a museum.

Councilman Ricki Y. Barlow said he supported it because it would help to bring a more diverse type of entertainment to the downtown and compared it to the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.

The museum has been pushed by the city's mayor, former high-profile mob lawyer Oscar Goodman, and also has the support of the FBI.

The museum would relay the tale of how federal and local law enforcers battled the mob and eventually drove it out of Las Vegas.

The exhibits would feature items and other support from the FBI, plus artifacts from mob life, including many from the children and grandchildren of top members of organized crime bosses and their underlings.

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