(LAS VEGAS) — The opening of The Mob Museum of Las Vegas on Valentine’s Day is no coincidence: It’s the 83rd anniversary of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, when seven mobsters were gunned down in a Chicago alley. In fact, among the museum’s artifacts is the brick wall where the shootout took place.
Las Vegas has a deep history, as well as a love-hate relationship, with organized crime. One of the museum’s exhibits details the illegal skimming of profits of a casino’s earnings, which was commonplace in Las Vegas for decades.
The creators of the museum, however, are quick to deny that the museum glorifies mob culture. Instead, they say the exhibits focus on the real story of the mob and how law enforcement battled organized crime.
The $42 million, 17,000-square-foot Mob Museum is housed in the former federal courthouse and United States Post Office in downtown Las Vegas and is the second mob-themed attraction in Sin City. The first was the Mob Experience at the Tropicana, which shut down amid financial problems. It is scheduled to open again under the name Mob Attraction, but the date is unknown.
Admission is $18 for adults; $12 for children ages 5 to 17.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Susan Scutti, CNN
Stephanie Elam, CNN
Julia Horowitz, CNN