Tag Archives: Las Vegas mob museum

Mob Money Flows in Las Vegas

Recession?  Las Vegas, apparently, is in the money when it comes to anything related to the M-O-B!  

Yep, we didn’t want to let this one get swept under the rug or becoming the cause for another concrete casting. (Sorry, a bad mob-ism.) 

The Nevada Commission for Cultural Affairs in mid-March awarded a $220,000 grant to the new Mob Museum planned for Las Vegas. 

The commission allocated $3 million to 23 projects that week, with the Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement by far getting the biggest single award. 

State Historic Preservation Officer Ron James says there is an additional $97,000 in reserve that was allocated to the project. 

The museum is set to open 2011. It has already received – are you sitting down? -$3 million from Nevada over the years.  

We guess it doesn’t hurt the project if the current Las Vegas Mayor, Oscar Goodman, is a strong proponent and also a prior mob lawyer. 

Don’t fret about the sifting off of your hard-earned money for a mob edifice:  Officials from the Mob Museum have reportedly told the commission this is the last time they’ll ask for money from the state.  Yeah, right.

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Las Vegas Mob Museum is Groundbreaking “Hit”

It has been long anticipated for years, fighting one financial hurdle after another, but finally the groundbreaking for the long awaited mob museum took place yesterday.  Keeping true with the mob theme, the doors to the museum were actually busted in. Armed with a baseball bat, Las Vegas Mayor Goodman took a hefty swing and officially knocked in the doors to the museum. OscarGoodman2

The colorful and jubilant ex-mob lawyer promises the museum will provide a unique and entertaining experience when visitors step through the doors. The museum will allow visitors to travel back in time and take part of what it was like to live in the era of the mob and even be part of the law enforcement that brought the mob down.   

Mob memorabilia for the exhibits has been pouring from all over the U.S., much like oozing cement for stylish “cement shoes.” 

“This is a great day for the city of Las Vegas, celebrating the start of construction on our next great attraction, the Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, which will be commonly known as the mob museum,” Goodman said.

One anticipated attraction to the museum will be the actual wall that was part of the St. Valentines Day Massacre back in 1929. 

Mayor Goodman says he has been getting plenty of calls from people all over the country who are interested in coming to museum once it’s open. Goodman says once open, they expect to earn $600,000 to $800,000 a year. 

Construction on the building will start now and then will move to the actual museum. In all, they anticipate having the museum open and ready by 2011.

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‘Mafia Princess’ Plans Las Vegas Museum

Former mob lawyer and now Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman has added competition for his planned $50 million downtown mob museum.  It comes from none other than the daughter of murdered Chicago mob chief Sam Giancana, Antoinette Giancana, who is also now planning a mob shrine. 

Giancana, 74, was in Las Vegas over the weekend at Capo’s restaurant on Sahara Ave. for a meeting with backers of the proposed museum, Las Vegas investors Jay Bloom and Charlie Sandefur, who reportedly are in negotiations with Las Vegas Strip properties for their joint business venture. AntoinetteGiancana

She’s moving to Las Vegas this summer to take a hands-on role in the project and is excited about “following in the shadow of [her dad’s] footsteps.” 

Her father controlled the Chicago mob in the late 1950s and 1960s and was killed at his Chicago home on June 19, 1975, four days before her birthday. 

Some say Las Vegas hit man Tony Spilotro was the top suspect for her father’s death, but she is convinced the culprits were the CIA.   

In 1984 Giancana wrote a book titled “Mafia Princess,” that was a made-for-TV movie in 1986, starring Susan Lucci as Giancana and Tony Curtis – currently a Henderson, Nevada resident – playing her father. 

Then, in 2005, she co-wrote the book, “JFK and Sam:  The Connection Between the Giancana and Kennedy Assassinations,” which made the case that her father ordered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. 

The exhibit is “going to be a first,” Giancana said.  Bloom, she said, is “bringing in millions of dollars [worth of stuff] from various [crime] families that have never, ever been seen” by the public.

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Las Vegas Mob Museum & City Hall Projects Face Hard Times

Las Vegas tourism and business development efforts were dealt more crushing blows this week.  The $11.5 million proposed Mob Museum (on the current old post office site, right) — aka the Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, which was supposed to chronicle the influence of organized crime on Southern Nevada and the law enforcement effort to drag criminals into courts of law — became the focal point in a contractor bidding dispute Wednesday on one of the final phases of the planned construction project. 

The matter could head to litigation, tying up the museum’s originally planned 2010 opening for years. 

Las Vegas is in protracted litigation with one of the contractors over a separate project. Furthermore, Las Vegas City Council members criticized city staff for inadequate bid specifications, worrying that disputes like this one will increase because of intensifying competition for construction work. 

The contract was scheduled to be awarded Wednesday to APCO Construction. After a lengthy hearing on a protest filed by Flagship Construction Co., a competing bidder, the matter was rescheduled for July 1, but some expect the fight to continue beyond that date. 

At issue is the full disclosure of contractor litigations, specification on removing hazardous materials, a seismic retrofit, interior remodeling and the historic restoration process. 

“I suspect litigation may flow from this,” said Las Vegas City Attorney Brad Jerbic. 

Las Vegas Mayor Pro Tem Gary Reese was even more pessimistic: “We’re going to have a project here in the city of Las Vegas that’s going to be detained for a couple of years.” 

The news was a real downer for prior mob lawyer and current Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, a top-tier pet downtown development project of his.  On top of that, the always outspoken mayor had to remain silent, recusing himself from the discussions because he shares an interest with one of contractors, APCO in the Apex Industrial Park. 

“I’ve been the driving force, I guess. I hope it’s complete while I can still enjoy it in public office,” says Goodman, who is considering a bid for Nevada governor as an independent in 2010. 

However, work continues on the Mob Museum exhibits that are planning to be located inside the retrofitted 1930s-era former courthouse on Stewart Avenue downtown, across the street from City Hall.

The museum is being funded by a mixture of private donations and grants, with the bulk of the money to come from city Redevelopment Agency bonds used to boost downtown Las Vegas development. 

Wednesday’s bad business development news was a prelude to more bad Las Vegas news on Thursday. To add salt to the oozing wounds, the controversial new city hall project, the touted savior catalyst that could jump-start the next wave of Las Vegas development, is also stalled and in jeopardy, according to Goodman in his Thursday news conference. 

Goodman blamed skittish financial markets, saying the city originally planned on an interest rate of around 5 percent. As of Wednesday, it appeared the best the city could do was 7.5 percent. “That’s a difference of millions of dollars,” Goodman said. 

cityhallAlthough the city received final approval to seek up to $267 million to finance the construction of a new city hall, left, now Las Vegas has run into the brick wall reality of financial markets, said Chris Bohner, research director for Culinary Local 226.  “I think the financial markets have a better understanding of risk than the City Council,” he said. “The financial markets have said, ‘We don’t think your project’s feasible.'” 

The next step for the city hall project would appear to be to seek bond financing for what is known as a “lease-purchase” agreement in which investors put up the construction money and are paid back through annual appropriations by the city. Such financing is considered a much riskier method than general obligation bonds because it’s not tied to a specific funding source.

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