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Moulin Rouge To See New Life As Restored Hotel-Casino?

Where: 900 West Bonanza [map], 89106
June 11, 2014 at 2:58 PM | by | ()

For the first time in a long while, a press release in our in-box had us doing a double take. The media announcement proclaimed a return for the famed Moulin Rouge. In its heyday, the west Las Vegas casino attracted the top African-American entertainers of the time, including Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, and others. These days, security guards watch to make sure what's survived of the landmark property doesn't attract squatters.

The site of a four-alarm fire in 2009, there's not much left of the Moulin Rouge today. For as significant as its role was in the history of Las Vegas, it's actual lifespan was short. It debuted in May 1955 as the first racially integrated casino in the country, but closed in November of the same year. The hotel rooms were later converted into rentals before it was officially shuttered in 1997.

Now, GCA Leisure, LLC wants to bring the Moulin Rouge back to its former glory:

GCA Leisure has extensive plans to develop a new and vibrant Moulin Rouge Resort and Casino on more than 15 acres of this landmark ground, promising to be one of the premier entertainment, hotel, dining and gaming destinations in Las Vegas. The project also will include online and mobile gaming, music and film recording venues, a digital content creation facility and an institute of learning.

The intentions sound great, but the chances of this project becoming a reality (and a successful one at that) sound daunting, to say the least. The press release states that GCA Leisure is "currently in discussions with several potential partners" which implies, to us at least, that financing still needs to be put into place. Even if financing comes together, Moulin Rouge resides in a section of town that has long been depressed and one that has a high homeless population. If they build it, they will almost certainly need to lead the way in addressing the area's challenges. Based in New York, GCA Leisure is a subsidiary of GCA Capital Group, which describes itself as a diversified financial services, business development and advisory firm.

This isn't the first time there's been talk of bringing the iconic name back to life. In 2008, a year before the devastating fire and resulting demolition, there was an attempt to restore the property that went unrealized after a failure to find financing.

The Moulin Rouge was placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. In order to keep its gaming license, the casino "opens" once every two years via a temporary on-site trailer and today is that day.

(Postcard: VegasTodayAndTomorrow.com; Photo: VegasChatter)

Archived Comments:

It's not going to happen

It's away from FSE, the Strip and everything else tourists are interested in. Locals won't go because of the crappy location and the prevalence of local's casinos closer to their homes. If it does happen, it will close in two minutes like the original.

Same old story

Like the story says not the first time someone has talked about rebuilding the Moulin Rouge. Would be great if it happens..but I doubt it. All talk but no investors

Moulin Rouge

Looks like it will be a beautiful landmark building upon completion.