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May 24, 2019

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Mob Attraction moving out of Tropicana on Nov. 3 for a new home on the Strip

Christopher DeVargas: Photos from 2012

Christopher DeVargas

Cover shoot for Las Vegas Magazine, featuring The Mob Attraction, July 2012.

Tom Zaller of the Mob Attraction

Tom Zaller, new manager of the Mob Attraction Las Vegas at the Tropicana, inside the museum on Thursday, March 1, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Mob Attraction Items

Meyer Lansky's silver cigarette case on display at the Mob Attraction Las Vegas at the Tropicana on Monday, April 23, 2012. Launch slideshow »

The Mob’s work is done at the Trop.

Two-and-a-half years after opening under a different owner and management team as the Mob Experience, the Mob Attraction plans to uproot from the Tropicana and relocate to a yet-unspecified locale on the Strip. The business’s lease with the hotel ends Nov. 3, and that is to be the day the doors close on the attraction.

In a statement, Tom Zaller, a consultant with Mob Attraction owner JVLV New Holdings, said: “We have a great relationship with the Tropicana. However, this is a rare win-win situation that works well strategically for both parties. Our new location will allow us to incorporate additional elements to the show along with some awesome technology enhancements. We are looking forward to building on the success we have had at the Tropicana location and expansion of our brand.”

An experienced manager of themed attractions and productions across the country, Zaller is the president and CEO of Imagine Exhibitions Inc. and last year was charged with managing the Mob Experience as it changed ownership. Zaller worked on the “Titanic” and “Bodies” exhibitions now operating side by side on the second level of Luxor.

The Mob Attraction was initially opened in the Trop’s convention space as the Mob Experience and was perceived to be a potential rival of the similarly themed Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas. The original partnership included a link between the Mob Experience and Las Vegas Sun, in which the Sun shared photo and video content in exchange for brand placement, including a replica of Sun founder Hank Greenspun’s office.

Owned by a group of investors in a company managed by entertainment business entrepreneur Jay Bloom, the Mob Experience boasted artifacts and memorabilia provided by a host of family members of reputed Mob families (including Sam Giancana’s daughter Antoinette). But the partnership faltered amid a flurry of lawsuits, including legal disputes over possession of the attraction’s memorabilia. For months in 2011, the Tropicana (as the attraction’s landlord) held legal authority to evict the Experience because it was owed back rent payments but kept the attraction open in hopes that a new management team could make the business profitable.

In March 2012, JVLV bought the Experience out of bankruptcy and reports that it did increase attendance at the space while turning a modest profit. Now Zaller says plans for the Mob Attraction are to expand the brand worldwide while using Las Vegas as its flagship property. As Zaller said, also from a statement to be issued this week: “We are currently evaluating domestic and international opportunities with new locations to be announced in the coming months.”

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