Who would have thunk it? That one day there would be a museum in Downtown Las Vegas that tells the real stories (the good, the bad and the ugly) of the birth, rise and fall of Organized Crime in America. And now there is one and it opened today, St Valentines Day, 2012.
To kick everything off, The Mayor was there with his showgirls. After all, this was one of his pet projects as Las Vegas Mayor, that actually came to life!
The real Mayor, Oscar Goodman (and wife of the former mayor) of Las Vegas was there with her “Showmen” (her words). Actually they were the men from the San Diego Police Historical Museum. They even brought over some really cool vintage police vehicles for the occasion…
Since this was for mobsters and law enforcement, even a few of the mobsters themselves were in attendance. Including Andrew DiDonato and Frank Cullotta. I also saw Henry Hill and a few others wandering in the crowd.
About the Museum
You know that mob “attraction” or “experience” or whatever it was/will be called, down at the Tropicana? Fugetaboutit… Also, screw the critics who bitched about the cost and the idea behind a museum that “glorified” the Mob. They are mostly local idiots who forgot what it was like to be a tourist and forgot why they wanted to come here in the first place.
You have to go see this Museum. It’s the real thing. And it is very well done. It lives up to its hype and does not glorify anything except that crime really doesn’t pay. Unless you are a paper pushing lawyer who happens to get a few of them as your clients… Then its a different story!
As Vegas attractions go, it’s also very affordable. $18 for adults. $10 for Nevada residents. Law enforcement, Military and teachers also get a discount.
The official title is “The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement“. So they keep it pretty even. Telling the good and the bad of both the law enforcement and the mobsters.
As you walk thru three floors of interactive displays, wallboards and storyboards, you get the whole gritty story. How it was formed, how it thrived and survived and how it died (or at least lost a considerable amount of its power) . They even admit that the bad cookies were on both sides of the badge.
The whole thing is even housed in a very historic courthouse/post office. Built in 1931 and at one point, you are sitting in the very courtroom where Senator Kefuver held one of his hearings on Organized Crime, back in the 1950’s.
I’ll add more to it later, in an actual review. Just remember to put this on your “todo” list the next time you are in Las Vegas and want something different to do. Go see what really made Las Vegas, Vegas.