Thursday, August 7-Hot Havana Nights
This summer, an unmistakably tropical vibe will come to downtown Las Vegas when The Mob Museum hosts “Hot Havana Nights.” On Thursday, August 7, from 6 to 10 p.m., guests will celebrate everything vibrant about Cuban culture, including its delectable cuisine, the sounds of Latin Jazz by Space to Pace Cuban Latin Trio and traditional Cuban dances such as the Tango and Conga. Exhilarating casino games including blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat will be available, as will tropical cocktails and a cigar bar from The Spirit of Cuba.
Major Sponsor for Hot Havana Nights is Johnson Brothers. Supporting Sponsor is El Tiempo/Review-Journal. The evening is presented in collaboration with Land Rover Las Vegas, Cuban Heritage Foundation and the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce.
The evening is inspired by the decadent Havana resorts of the first half of the twentieth century, which attracted everyone from celebrities and scions of industry to middle-class vacationers. Cuba is known today for sultry music, exotic drinks, high-quality cigars and the communist dictatorship of Fidel Castro. But in the 1950s, the Caribbean’s largest island rivaled Las Vegas for the title of gambling and entertainment capital of the world.
During the reign of Fulgencio Batista, prominent American organized crime figures such as Meyer Lansky and Santo Trafficante invested millions of dollars in hotel-casinos and nightclubs in the capital city of Havana. Cuba appealed to the Mob because it could operate close to American shores but beyond the prying eyes of U.S. law enforcement. It appealed to visitors because it offered a liberating contrast with their button-down lives on the mainland.
The party was short-lived. Political upheaval in 1959 turned the Mob’s dream of a Monte Carlo of the Caribbean into a nightmare. Practically overnight, Cuba went from tourist paradise to Cold War enemy.
A variety of items from Cuba’s heyday as America’s playground are on exhibit at The Mob Museum. Objects on display include photographs, a 1958 issue of Life magazine containing an exposé on the “U.S. Gambling Mob in Cuba,” artifacts from legendary Havana hotels, casinos and cabarets such as the Nacional, Tropicana, Sans Souci, Casino de Capri and Hotel Habana Riviera.
Tickets for the event are $40 for non-members, and members receive a 10% discount. To make reservations, please call (702) 229-2734 or click here.