Gaming the Gangsters

If you don’t know by now, there are two mob exhibits in town—downtown’s Mob Museum and the Tropicana’s Mob Attraction. When they opened, I was high on the one downtown and less so on the one at the Trop. But that was before new ownership made some solid changes at the Trop spot.

The refurbished attraction begins with a succession of live actors in a storyline that has you making a money drop and then being questioned by authorities. The actors are terrific, staying in character no matter how you respond. You’ll have to decide how to play it when the cops want to know what went down during your conversation with “Big Tony.” It’s big fun.

The interactive segment concludes with your either being welcomed into the family or getting whacked, and the result is tied to how you play the game. Bottom line: Keep your wits and you won’t get wasted.

You can get out in 30 minutes or opt to spend more time in the exhibition, which is full of photos, artifacts and personal possessions of the likes of Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, Tony Spilotro and Sam Giancana. A home movie of Bugsy poolside, for example, is priceless. Another interesting element is footage of all the major hotel implosions, and you get to push the plunger to set them off. You can easily spend a few hours going through everything.

So much for the entertainment value. What about the deal?

Admission is $33, which is a reduction from the original price of $39.95, but that’s for tourists. The price for locals is $18. That’s a deal compared with the rack rate, but still significantly higher than the $10 locals charge at the Mob Museum, and you can’t apply any other offers to make that price lower. If you’re local, $18 is what you pay.

If you want to take out-of-town friends, it’s more complicated, since your locals price doesn’t extend to them. Previously available Groupons and Living Social offers are being discontinued, but steeper discounts are still possible if you go to a Tix4Tonight booth, where you can get tickets for $21 that include all Tix4 fees. If that’s inconvenient, your friends can use one of the $5 discount offers available in ads and handouts that are usually easy to find at the Trop. One more play is to look for a deal through social media, where the Mob Attraction puts out random offers that include periodic twofers. Monitor and @MobAttractionLV on Twitter, and you’ll be back at that $18 level for everyone.

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