Clark County was awarded on Thursday the bid for the decrepit site of the former Moulin Rouge Hotel and Casino. Opened in 1955, it marked the beginning of a new era in Las Vegas, as it was the first desegregated property of its kind in the popular gambling hub.
Local news outlet the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez decided in favor of Clark County’s bid to purchase the 15-acre site, located on Bonanza Road in West Las Vegas. The County will pay $6.2 million for the property and another $2 million to cover demolition costs.
Officials for Clark County have previously revealed that the site would probably be used for the construction of a building that would accommodate administrative offices of the Department of Family Services. They have also pointed out that only part of the whole plot would be used. Proposals have emerged that the portion of the site that remains unoccupied could be used to celebrate and memorize Moulin Rouge and its historical importance.
Other Bidders and Reaction to the Court’s Decision
There were three more bidders for the site and all three have said on one occasion or and another that they could renovate and reopen Moulin Rouge as a hotel and casino resort, thus revitalizing activity in the whole Western portion of Las Vegas. One of the interested buyers had also previously revealed plans for turning the site into an African American museum.
Here it is also important to note that Clark County was not actually the interested party to offer the highest bid. Las Vegas Moulin Rouge LLC offered to pay $8 million for the shuttered and decrepit property, excluding demolition costs. This was not the first time when the group expressed interest in the former casino. Court documents obtained by the Review-Journal said that it had not been able to make “earnest money deposits or meet deadliness.”
While Clark County welcomed Judge Gonzalez’s decision, it was not received as well by many. Harvey Munford, a former state Assemblyman told local media that he was bewildered and devastated by the turn of events. Mr. Munford has long been among the staunchest supporters of the idea for the redevelopment of the property and its reopening as a hotel and casino complex.
What Makes Moulin Rouge So Important?
As mentioned above, Moulin Rouge was the first desegregated hotel and casino property in Las Vegas. Popular black entertainers would visit the city and would perform in its multiple casinos, but would go to spend the night at Moulin Rouge.
Although the venue was closed only months after its official opening, it remained an important landmark and marker of a new era. It is interesting to note that Moulin Rouge is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was also the host to the meeting that officially put an end to segregation in Las Vegas. However, due to years of neglect, the property was eventually listed as a hazard.