Go Gangster at the New Las Vegas Mob Experience
Editor’s Note: Think you know all there is to know about Las Vegas? Read our Vegas series this week as we celebrate a city that continues to reinvent itself year after year.
A few weeks ago, the sensationalist headlines seemed like they were from another era: Huge Mob Takedown! Giant Dragnet Rounds Up Mafia Suspects! It was like something out of the movies, but it was happening in real life, and, judging by the big headlines, the nation was riveted. In popular culture, we’ve always had a bit of intrigue with the bad guys—that’s why we praise movies like Goodfellas and The Godfather. And it’s why we lose big chunks of time on Facebook to games like “Mafia Wars.”
So it comes as little surprise that a Las Vegas resort is launching a new attraction based entirely on gangsters and the city’s notorious crime past, the history that helped lend the nickname “Sin City,” and the fortunes won and lost that gave rise to the desert wonders that visitors can take in today.
The new attraction, called the Las Vegas Mob Experience, will chronicle everything from the days when the city was no more than a few wisps of tumbling tumbleweed down dusty streets to today’s mega-casino, restaurant, hotel, and entertainment empire. The attraction will be opening soon at the revamped Tropicana, which has been outfitted in a glamorous South Beach style (also fitting, since Miami has its own mobster history to tell).
The interactive “experience” will utilize technology, first-hand accounts, and over 1,000 artifacts to outline the rise and fall of organized crime in the city. Part of its appeal will be that you can go through it in a choose-your-own-adventure style, and in the end you find out whether you “get made” or “get whacked,” so you better make your choices wisely, buster!
The Mob Experience’s creators relied heavily on advice and historical recollections from the family members of some of the city’s most famous crime bosses, some of whom you’ll get to meet in hologram form as you make your way through the attraction. You’ll also be able to see everything from home movies to personal diaries of notorious characters among the likes of Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky (I love the image of some big tough bulldog-faced gangster sitting down each night to sweetly write “dear diary…”).
Next time I head to Vegas, I’ll be sure to check this new attraction out. Wish me luck on “getting made!”
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My name: Rachel Berg.
Favorite way to get around: By Venetian gondola during starlit high tide, gliding past decaying and slightly spooky palaces, with perhaps a bottle of prosecco placed between the gondola seat cushions.
View that took my breath away: Unable to sleep in the mystical city of Sfat in Israel, I wandered outdoors predawn and was treated to a purple-on-purple sunrise below the mountaintop that seemed to emerge feet-first through ground-level clouds.
Greatest travel lesson learned: Sunny weather isn't everything. Some of my best travel memories involve go-karting through a deluge turned mud-fest in Mexico, drinking tea in the cold Denali tundra, and watching electric thunderstorms roll through national parks out West.
Most challenging travel moment: Getting leveled by altitude sickness in Cuzco and realizing that my body was forcing me to slow down and rest despite the fact that there was so much to do and see.
Travel ambition: To see the northern lights.