Mob Hit?

Mob Museum Wall of Mobsters Photo by Kremerbi,http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

Strange Fascinations

The American public holds organized crime in an oddly high esteem.  This pop-culture fascination continues to translate well into various avenues of commercially viable entertainment.  Everyone knows that mob business is big business.  So it should come as no surprise that Las Vegas officials are betting on the fact that tourists will part with hard-earned dollars to connect with storied mafia lore and legacy.  In addition to the relatively safe bet of the Zappos.com headquarters move to downtown Las Vegas, there’s a riskier bet being made in this long-ignored area located just a short distance from the famed glitz and glamour of the city’s Strip area.

It’s no secret that Las Vegas has been the scene of a few mob hits over the years.  Owing back to the historically signficant headline news made by the likes of criminal elites Meyer Lanksy, “Bugsy” Siegel, and “Lucky” Luciano, Vegas rose from its desert sand beginnings to occupy a prominent perch on the mantle of organized crime history.  The criminal and entrepreneurial success of these and other gangsters has been romanticized in several well-known movies including “The Godfather”(s), “Bugsy”, and “Casino.”   The long-running HBO Sopranos series is proof that we just can’t seem to get enough of this stuff.

Risky Bets & Nice Touches

Now back to this risky downtown bet.  Build it and they will come.  Double-down.  The Mob Museum opened in downtown Vegas on February 14. 2012 on the anniversary of the infamous 1929 Chicago Valentine’s Day Massacre.  The Museum is organized as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, was opened at an approximate $42 million project cost, and is located in a 41,000 square foot building that once was the site of a Federal Courthouse.  Nice touches there, guys.

Interestingly, in addition to significant amounts of private funding, a healthy portion of the $42 million project total came from funds received from government and quasi-governmental grants. The project has some dissenters including Victor Joecks of the Nevada Policy Research Institute who says, “Either the taxpayers are going to end up funding a boondoggle, or the museum will draw tourists away from privately owned attractions in the area, and that is fundamentally unjust.” (Source – Mike Paola, Bloomberg News)

“An Offer You Can’t Refuse

So,”Sin City” braces for its next mob hit.  This one would be different from all the rest.  Everyone wins.  No one gets hurt.  The guns and bullets used in this mob hit could bring a much-needed shot in the arm for downtown Vegas.  Far from lethal, this hit could amount to a very well-timed and commercially beneficial flesh wound that helps the downtown tourist trade.

In true mob fashion, Mob Museum organizers are making what they hope is an offer we can’t refuse. Reach into your wallets.  Come up with just $18 for adult tickets and $12 each for the kids. $10 for Nevada residents.  In exchange, the Museum promises a highly interactive experience that was built based on information from a team of real-deal advisors including former FBI agents including Joe Pistone (alias Donnie Brasco), as well as other suggested mob informants and infiltrators.  The Museum website proudly hails, “All the Dirt. All in One Place.”

Important Warning & Disclaimer

Enter at your own risk, as the hits may just keep coming in Vegas if this bet pays off.

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About Thomas W. Smith
Bizsinc - Bringing Business to Life

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