Can I shout to the rooftops? If I could, I would. When in Las Vegas, a trip to the new National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, the “Mob Museum”, is a must. The museum opened on Valentine’s Day, and word-of-mouth has been positive. Six of us decided to visit the museum last Wednesday afternoon.
Everyone in our group has either lived or spent lots of time in the Chicago area; therefore, all of us have been to many great museums. Yet, we all agreed: the Mob Museum is fascinating, and its overall quality brings credit to Las Vegas. Translation: The Mob Museum deserves an enthusiastic 12 thumbs up.
A short video accompanies this story,but one MUST visit the museum in person. Allow at least a two-hour time frame and even then, you may be talking about making a return visit. Elevators are available when visiting the museum’s three floors, and the prices are reasonable:
Adults 18 and over: $18.
Children 5-17: $12
Students 18 to 23 with ID: $12
Seniors (65 plus), Military, Law Enforcement and Teachers: $14
Nevada residents: $10.
Note to Nevada residents and others hope to visit to the museum more than once: save the receipt for your ticket because the ticket price can be applied toward a $25 individual annual pass. With an annual pass, your return visit is always $10 and any out-of-town guests will pay the $10 ticket price as well. You will also get a 10 percent discount at the gift shop and on the food cart.
What’s so great about the museum? Plenty of signs are available to explain everything. Places to sit and watch interesting films provide a nice mini-getaway from standing and walking. Captioning of film dialogue is available in case of crowds, noise or other difficulty hearing. The law enforcement component is just as interesting as the story of crime families. Many exhibits are interactive. Docents are conveniently stationed to give directions and answer questions. Fascinating tidbits of history are everywhere.
I talked with Mike Doria, Mob Museum Public Relations Specialist. He confirmed that museum comments thus far have been very positive AND that attendance has “hit the marks we need”. The museum is actually run by the non-profit “300 Stewart Ave. Corporation”. The governing board is headed by Ellen Knowlton, former FBI Special Agent in Charge, Las Vegas Division. Those of us who live in Las Vegas know that former mayor (and former mob attorney) Oscar Goodman is also ”a key Mob Museum visionary board member”.
As to the best times to visit the museum, clearly our group had the right idea. I was told that the least busy times are late in the afternoons of a Tuesday or Wednesday. Even then, the museum has a comfortable number of visitors. The museum is open Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The location of the museum is Stewart Avenue and 3rd Street in downtown Las Vegas. The building is the former federal courthouse and United States Post Office. Completed in 1933 and listed on the Nevada and National Registery of Historic Places, the building was one of the 14 courthouses in the nation used to hold the Kefauver Committee hearings on organized crime. The courtroom where those hearings were held is preserved intact.
The 41,000-square-foot Mob Museum includes approximately 17,000 square feet of exhibition space (wear comfortable shoes) in addition to a gift shop, special event area, educational areas and office space.
Nearby are a number of downtown restaurants. We made the short walk to the Triple George Grill, had drinks and dinner, and give Triple George a another thumbs up as well.