Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Desert Inn


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Unlike the Flamingo and Billy Wilkerson, the Desert Inn was a dream come to fruition for Wilbur Clark.  Years of development, planning and construction made into a reality, even if everything didn’t go exactly to plan.  As with many big dreamers, ambition can sometimes outlast finances, which was the case for Wilbur Clark and his Desert Inn. 

Moe Dalitz was a man with a dream as well, legitimacy.  Las Vegas offered the opportunity to apply his gambling business acumen legally and in public.  When his friend Meyer Lansky informed him of the financial problems the Desert Inn had encountered preventing the project from being completed, he jumped at the opportunity to invest. 

The deal between Wilbur and Moe gave majority ownership to Dalitz but kept Wilbur in place as a partner as well as the legitimate face of the property.  It may be the first and only true partnership between organized crime owners and the legit front man.  In most cases, the guy out front was little more than a bullied puppet with little to no input on operations.  In the case of Wilbur and Moe, the Desert Inn partnership would go on to make them both very rich men.  

If you are interested in more information regarding Wilbur Clark, Moe Dalitz of the Desert, recommended reading would be

Monday, April 23, 2012

How the Mafia came to Vegas


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The mafia’s time in Vegas has been romanticized for so long that fact and fiction are often hard to distinguish.  While there is a tremendous amount of information about mafia’s time in Las Vegas, details are hard to find and almost impossible to verify.

As long as business has existed there has been organized crime in one form or another.  It’s hard to argue that prohibition helped to developed and fine tune organized crime into what would become known as “The Mafia”.  It also helped to romanticize the notion of a collection of charismatic business men who operated outside of the law to provide a service and a product that people wanted.  It also developed another belief, that the police and government were the bad guys, always trying to spoil every ones good time. 

To be clear, when we refer to people in the “Mafia”, the “Syndicate”, organized crime or any variation, we aren’t accusing anyone of anything.  We are referring to them as such because that is what they are most commonly believed to be affiliated with.  

We also want to make it clear that a large amount of this information is impossible to confirm.  The research we referenced to bring you this feature are recollections, investigations, stories, allegations & myths.  Unfortunately, it’s also the best collection of information available or that could be found to help tell the real stories regarding this period of time and the events and people involved in them.  This is most likely how it went down.  

If you are interested in more information on the subject, recommended reading would be 

However we do caution, while “When the Mob Ran Vegas” is full of interesting information, a significant amount of it is believed to be exaggerated for entertainment value as well as impossible to verify.  Despite that, it is a fun read.