Residents sound off, fight to preserve Moulin Rouge history

LAS VEGAS - The Moulin Rouge opened its doors in 1955 and it was the country's first interracial casino.

Five months later, it fell into bankruptcy and since then, the property has faced its fair share of setbacks. 

A town hall meeting was held Thursday night to decide what should happen to the property. 

"It's so sad that we have to keep fighting for something that's already ours," said Barbara Crockett.

Crockett moved to Las Vegas in 1942 with her mother. 

"We need something to develop the community with and we can start with the Moulin Rouge," Crockett said.

Several fires have destroyed buildings on the site. Now, it's a vacant lot.

"When you look at a community like West Las Vegas, a lot of people have contributed blood, sweat, and tears over the years and have paid their fair share of taxes, you look at a neighborhood like this that is continuing to decline where everyone around us are prospering," said Commissioner Lawrence Weekly.

Reviving the Moulin Rouge will undoubtedly take a lot of work and money. Last year, a failed attempt to bring the hotel back proved unsuccessful.

"The people couldn't go across town so they had to build their own businesses. We had doctors, we had everything and we were happy," said Crockett.

Several groups have come forward to restore the hotel, but Clark County won a bid to purchase the property this year. 

"I ride through the Moulin Rouge," said Scott Johnson, Las Vegas Moulin Rouge LLC. "I have these visions for the properties."

Clark County originally planned to build a new Department of Family Services building on the site. 

"It's a historical landmark. The county has no right, the city has no right to do anything with that property," Crockett said. 

That idea didn't sit well with many people in attendance. 

"These are people in a community who have a voice and who feel like they've been left out of the decision making process for years," said Weekly.

For the residents who have lived in West Las Vegas for years, this fight is about something more. It's about legacy and hope.

County commissioners will meet on Tuesday at 9 a.m. to decide whether or not they'll move forward with the purchase.


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