The Las Vegas Mob Attraction

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Intentional or not, a large part of this so-called-attraction is finding the damn thing in the first place. Tucked out of the way in the basement of the Tropicana like an awkwardly spectacled step child, it was virtually void of visitors when I checked it out this past Monday afternoon. Sure, Monday isn’t exactly the busiest day on the Strip, but I’m guessing a slightly sloppy production (how do you have spelling errors on digital displays 19 months into operation??) has something to do with the meager attendance. It was either that, or the unjustifiably high cost to get in (general admission is $33).

It’s 2012, people. Spell-check has been a thing now for, like, 20 years.

The entire premise of this attraction hinges on it being an experience rather than a museum, which is probably a good idea considering it comes off as being curated by an 8th grader that learned everything he knows about the mob from The Godfather: The Game on Xbox. A modest amount of indiscriminate information is presented to the attendee, which contributes to an overly characterized presentation of “the mob.” The same presentation cyclically vilifies and praises both specific members of the organized crime syndicate, and their activities. It’s honestly just plain confusing.

Organized a bit like a choose-your-own-adventure  story, a series of roughly 20 rooms are compartmentalized to allow small groups of people to privately interact with different aspects of the attraction. Several of the rooms feature period actors that contribute to the disappointingly roughshod storyline that the attendee is actually trying to join the mob as they make their way to the exit. Nothing was more disappointing, however, than the overly hyped use of holographic interactions. This was the single largest draw for me, but the experience included only two holograms; neither of which featured any actual holographic effects. They were essentially just filmed projections. Hardly any CGI involved whatsoever.

Another notable feature of the attraction was the  “movie theater” room that continuously looped a TLC documentary of the filming of original The Godfather. To the room’s credit, comfortable black leather benches were available for seating, but the documentary’s video quality was reminiscent of early 2000’s bootlegged Kazaa movies. I wouldn’t be shocked if the attraction’s producer recorded the show as a YouTube stream and burnt it on to a DVD.

In conclusion, this attraction is a complete waste of both time and money. I feel genuine embarrassment for anyone and everyone involved in its production.

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