Visiting the Island at UNLV Special Collections

The last of my trilogy of Tropicana birthday/anniversary pieces is this blog post from UNLV Special Collections that looks at a different era of the Strip mainstay that is celebrating its 60th: For research into the Tropicana, one of the best resources is the Tropicana Promotional and Publicity Material Collection, nine boxes of press clippings, … Read more

Sixty years ago, the Tropicana opened under Mob’s hidden control | The Mob Museum

To commemorate the April 4, 1957 opening of the Tropicana, I wrote a guest blog post for the Mob Museum: It just so happened that Conquistador’s owner, “Dandy” Phil Kastel, had a long and fruitful partnership with Frank Costello, perhaps the nation’s most infamous gangster in the spring of 1957. For years, Kastel had run … Read more

The Tiffany of the Strip – Vegas Seven

In this week’s Vegas Seven, I take a six-decade look back at the Tropicana, which celebrates its 60th birthday next week: However, a piece of paper police officers discovered in Costello’s pocket while he was at Roosevelt Hospital was more eloquent. “Gross casino wins as of 4-26-57,” it read. “$651,284. Casino wins less markers $434,595.00. … Read more

The NFL used to shun Las Vegas. Why is it moving a team there? – The Washington Post

I’ve written up a few thoughts for the Washington Posts’s Post Everything on why Las Vegas is suddenly acceptable to the NFL: The gambling industry here and football have been seeing each other secretly since the 1960s. But Monday’s 31-to-1 vote by league owners to permit the Oakland Raiders to move to Las Vegas with … Read more

ROH Stars on 15th Anniversary Show in Vegas Seven

If you’re a Ring of Honor fan, you should like this. In advance of this Friday’s PPV and Saturday’s TV Tapings, I’ve got interviews with three prominent ROH personalities: Adam Cole, the reigning ROH champion; Christopher Daniels, his challenger; and Joe Koff, ROH COO: On March 10, the company, which bills itself as providing “the … Read more

WWE’s Dean Ambrose and Renee Young: Power Couple – Vegas Seven

In this week’s Vegas Seven, my interview with Dean Amrbose and Renee Young is the cover story. Great pictures by Krystal Ramirez: It’s a path that shows the world really does work in strange ways. Six years ago, Ambrose was getting forks jammed into his forehead until he was streaming blood and powerbombed on thumbtacks … Read more