See Me at the Mob Museum 10/28

On Friday, October 28, I’ll be taking part in the Mob Museum’s Nevada Day festivities, signing books in the bookstore (where else) from 3-4 PM. Here is more info about the event: Nevada Day at the Mob Museum.

They say it’s a book signing, but in full disclosure I’ll sign just about anything you want to bring. I’ll talk, too. To be honest I have pretty bad handwriting so the actual signing will probably not be the best thing about the event. If I don’t get people to talk with, I’ll have to stare at that creepy Henry Hill portrait for an hour, so stop by if you are in the neighborhood.

Grandissimo for sale at the Mob Museum

If you want to buy a copy of Grandissimo next time you’re in Downtown Las Vegas, you don’t have go far. Signed copies of the book—along with my Roll the Bones and Cutting the Wire—are available for purchase in the Mob Museum’s gift shop.

While I think everyone should spend a few hours in the Mob Museum while they are in Las Vegas, you don’t have to enter the museum itself to visit the gift shop. Just walk inside, make a left, and walk on in. The staff is very knowledgeably (I had  a great chat with associate Erin while I was signing the books) and there are plenty of neat items that fit any budget.

The Mob Museum is on 300 Stewart Avenue, just behind the Downtown Grand. For complete directions and parking information, go here.

The coolest thing about delivering the books was that it felt vaguely like I was a rum runner dropping off a shipment of booze. Except I’m guessing most run runners didn’t turn their flashers on while they were doing the deed. 

So books are for sale now, and will be abundantly available for my December 13-14 signing event at the Mob Museum. I would love to see you there if you are in town—it’ll be a chance to say hi and get a personally signed book. 

And even if you can’t make the event, books will be available at the Mob Museum the next time you are in town.

Big Announcement: December Reading at the Mob Museum

After an enthusiastic standing room only launch event, what more can an author ask for?

I don’t know about other authors, but I asked for another chance to read and sign books in Downtown Las Vegas. And I’ve gotten it. In December, I’m going to be spending some time at the Mob Museum:

Author’s Talk to feature nationally known, local gaming expert David G. Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, will talk about his newest book Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas, a biography of Jay Sarno, who built Caesars Palace and Circus Circus and helped inspire modern Las Vegas, at the Museum’s next Author’s Talk and book signing set for December 13-14.

So when is all this happening? On Friday, I’ll be hanging out in the retail store, chatting with folks and signing books. What better way to celebrate Friday the 13th? I’ll be there from noon to 4. 

On Saturday, December 14, I’ll be giving a talk and reading at 1 PM in the courtroom, and will be signing books afterwards. The talk is free for museum members (RSVP here) and included in the price of admission for non-members (ticket info here), so come on down if you are in Las Vegas that afternoon. 

I am very excited about this opportunity. I know that you can see me in the Mob Museum anytime thanks to the video displays (and slot machines) that I’m featured on. But this will be a chance to actually talk to me about Las Vegas, history, the Mob, or whatever else comes up. For me, the chance to give a talk in the historic courtroom—well, I’ll have goosebumps, that’s for sure. 

Did I tell you how excited I am about this?

Please show your support for a local, independent author and come to the talk. At the launch, two of Sarno’s children and a former employee showed up to endorse the book and share their stories. Who will be there at this talk? I can’t even imagine, but I promise to give you a glimpse into the life of one of the true visionaries of Las Vegas.

For more information, visit the Mob Museum's site.

Mobbing the Mob Museum in Vegas Seven

This week in Vegas Seven, I also consider the Mob Museum’s first year:

But the Mob Museum—together with the 2012 openings of The Smith Center and the Neon Museum—signaled a new era for Las Vegas’ cultural institutions, and a commitment to Downtown. These institutions have deeper local roots, and it seems more likely that they’ll have staying power.That being said, was the Mob Museum a box-office hit in its first year?

via Mobbing the Mob Museum | Vegas Seven

As you may or may not know, I show up at a few places in the museum–not as a subject, but as someone putting the history into context via video and, this never ceases to amaze me, a slot machine. But I didn’t have much to do with the actual design of the exhibits, so I pretty much was watching from the outside like everyone else.

That being said, I think they’ve done a good job of taking the difficult subject and presenting it well. I got to tour the museum again with Jonathan Ullman last week, and am still impressed–lots of material to read for those who want to, and I think it does a good job of presenting the story, particularly with the Vegas material.

Mob Neighbors in Vegas Seven

I didn’t have a chance to share this yesterday, but this week’s Green Felt Journal in Vegas Seven is about the Mob Museum’s impact on its casino neighbors Downtown:

The really interesting story in the wake of the Mob Museum’s Feb. 14 debut will be how the museum reacts to its downtown casino neighbors—and how they react to it. Usually, when people think of the mob in Las Vegas, they think of Teamster-financed Strip resorts, complete with visions of Frank Sinatra, Sam Giancana and Carl Cohen having a schwitz in the Sands’ steam room while mob lackeys bagged up money for Chicago in the count room. But downtown, even though it’s better known for characters like Benny Binion, Sam Boyd, Mel Exber and Jackie Gaughan, was just as open to mob influence as the Strip.

via Mob Neighbors | Vegas Seven.

I wanted to pull in some lesser-known historical material about the mob’s role Downtown and highlight how the Museum’s already impacted the casinos.

On a sad related note, Dennis Gomes, who helped to drive the mob about of casinos like the Fremont, passed away last night. I’ve written a short Vegas Seven blog piece about his influence on Nevada and the national casino industry.

I worked for Dennis at the Taj back in 1994-5, and, as I told someone this morning, it obviously made an impression on me since I’m still studying the industry 18 years later. I had a few nice exchanges with him over Twitter in the past few months and was hoping to record a podcast interview with him when our schedules permitted. Sadly, that’s not going to happen now, but there’s enough that’s been written about his career in gaming that there’s no danger of his legacy going unheralded. If I got a ballot for the Gaming Hall of Fame, I know how I’d be marking it this year.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Gomes’s family and friends. As I said this morning, Atlantic City–and the gaming industry–has lost a leader and a friend.