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Friday, May 8, 2009

Historic Moulin Rouge Now a Pile of Rubble

Las Vegas NOW TV posted this story on its Website:

May 7, 2009 08:56 PM EDT

One day after the Moulin Rouge burned to the ground, news has come that the historic casino may officially be gone forever. Investigators continue to comb rubble and there is no word on what may have started a blaze.

All that's left of the Moulin Rouge is memories buried beneath the rubble. For years there has been a lot of talk about re-inventing the property. Coincidentally, it was up for auction on Tuesday for $10 million. No one bought it.

By Wednesday, the Moulin Rouge was gone forever -- over 50 years of Las Vegas history is gone.

"I'm sure once the findings are found, they'll be made public because the public is entitled to know when something is established," said Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman.

Goodman says a full investigation is underway to find who or what may have caused the fire. He says there is an indication the fire may have a suspicious origin, but nothing is confirmed yet.
"My reaction was I better get a plane ticket and get down to Las Vegas and take a look at our property," said Jon Hoss, President of Olympic Coast Investments.

Ironically, Hoss became the new owner on Tuesday. Moulin Rouge was on the auction block and since there were no bidders, by default, Hoss became the owner.

Thursday, Hoss saw his property for the first time. "I wasn't surprised. It's been a strange story, the Moulin Rouge," he said.

It's a strange story indeed. The Moulin Rouge has a history of fires -- four of them in the past six years. In 2003 an arson fire destroyed the facade of the building leaving only the familiar sign.
Hoss says he has no plans of bringing back the past and the heyday of what once was. "You'll have to speak with next owner. This property is going to go for sale shortly and we won't be part of the development," he said.

Hoss says his firm is in contact with three potential buyers, however he would not disclose who they are or their plans for the property.

Slick had his own experience with the ill-fated casino years ago. This excerpt is taken from the book,Thief. It was the 1970s:

"I passed by the old Moulin Rouge, a black and white club, closed long ago. Back in 1947, when I was in the Air Force, you saw more prejudice in Las Vegas than in Mississippi. Colored people had to stay in their own neighborhood on the West Side and all the hotels and casinos were strictly off limits to them except when they were entertaining. It was years later during the Rat Pack era when Sammy Davis, Jr., became the first colored guy allowed to stay in a "white" hotel on account of Frank Sinatra's pull. Sinatra threatened to take the Rat Pack elsewhere unless Sammy could stay at the Sands. Sands big shot Carl Cohen reconsidered when he thought about the revenue he'd lose.

Bitsy also told me that Joe Louis, the ex-boxing champ, was host at Caesar's Palace, one of the ritziest places in Las Vegas. Boy! Things really were changing."
It wasn't long after the above incident that the Moulin Rouge had one of its 6 fires. Somebody said the competition proved too much for other casinos and a sore loser had it torched.

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