Wednesday, March 31, 2010 | 11:38 a.m.
One of the most controversial sightseeing experiences in Las Vegas is moving along on schedule. Plans have been drawn and approved, and construction is underway on the $42 million Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime Enforcement. It’s set to open next spring and has already been nicknamed The Mob Museum.
It’s a throwback to the Mafia days of the 1940s all the way up to the 1980s before organized crime was kicked out of the Strip and Wall Street bankers moved in to provide investment dollars for savvy hotel operators. Dennis Barrie, who created Washington, D.C.’s Spy Museum and Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum, is the brains behind our new 41,000-square-foot Mob Museum.
Dennis has just announced three major 16,400-square-foot exhibit components: the Mob Mayhem, complete with the bullet-ridden wall of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago that took out Las Vegas gangsters; the Skimming Exhibit that shows how the Mob took their profits illegally off the top; and Bringing Down the Mob, which features federal wiretapping tricks that ended Mafia control of our gaming city.
It’s not just about Las Vegas organized crime because the spotlight also is turned onto today’s Russian organized crime figures and the Mexican drug cartels that also affect Las Vegas. It cost the City of Las Vegas only $1 to acquire the unused Federal Services Administration building for the museum, and Mayor Oscar Goodman hopes the attraction will welcome 500,000 visitors each year.
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