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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Mob Museum in Las Vegas Offers Unique Experience for fans of the Classic Genre

The Mob Museum in Las Vegas will surprise you with a level of depth I've not seen in an historical presentation anywhere else. The sophistication of displays and care taken in creating the overall mood and atmosphere of the space reflects the respect the museum pays to a cultural phenomenon unlike any other in American history. While the subject is treated with candor, the museum is not above demonstrating a sense of humor, revealing the real world of violence associated with the Mob life, and simultaneously reveling in the often glorified and exploited sensationalism portrayed in fiction. The balance maintained between the two is remarkable.

When my sister first suggested a trip to the museum during my last visit to Las Vegas I was hesitant. However, it was summer, it was extremely hot, and the building located just off the beaten path of the old strip offered air conditioning. Appropriately located in what what was once a courthouse, the museum provides very reasonably priced parking ($5 with validation) AND a discount to military and teachers. What a deal! And the best was yet to come, as the secrets held within the stately edifice revealed themselves to be more than just informative, but exciting and entertaining as well. After all, we know that the mob and Las Vegas go hand in hand, but what most of us don't know about the notorious gangsters could fit, well, in a museum.

The exhibition is laid out so that you snake through each floor ascending to the next as you explore. Each level of the vast presentation is full of information about the public, private and formerly unknown lives of the men (and a few women) of the notorious denizens, and offers a behind the scenes look at how many of them were captured or killed. Along with the display of guns and various weaponry are the varied tools of the FBI, such as recording devices and surveillance equipment. There's even a section dedicated to the fictional characters who have been portrayed in the media over the years, including Michael Corleone of The Godfather movies, Tony Soprano of television's The Sopranos and Dick Tracy of the comic strips! The list is far longer than you can imagine.

Be sure to give your self enough time to appropriately admire everything there is to see and do - some of the displays are hands on or interactive allowing a deeper understanding of the often misunderstood world. I personally must have easily spent an hour on each of the three floors and I still don't think I absorbed it all. I sense another visit in my future when I can spend a little more time. Perhaps even take advantage of the in and out policy and have lunch at one of the many nearby eateries during the middle of my tour. And I'll be sure to indulge at the gift shop - yes, the gift shop! In addition to the usual swag one might expect from a tourist destination there are t-shirts from popular TV shows set in Vegas and bobbleheads of the more infamous Mob characters. But no matter what you do the next time your in Las Vegas, do yourself a favor and visit The Mob Museum. I'm telling you, at such a reasonable price, set in a convenient location, with accessible parking, it's really an offer you can't refuse.

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