LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — For six months in 1955, the Moulin Rouge was the place to be - as the first racially integrated casino in the city.
"Anybody that was somebody was at the Moulin Rouge," said city councilman Cedric Crear.
But in a controversial move, the owners shut it down, putting an end to what became known as the "six month sensation" and setting up a decades-long, largely unsuccessful push to restore the property. That is, until now.
"On Friday, that transaction closed and now we have new owners of the Moulin Rouge property," said Crear.
The site sold for $3.1 million to a newly-created Nevada-based company, backed by an Australian investment firm. An attorney representing the buyer spoke at a recent City Council meeting.
"My client's very excited about doing a casino project on the property, has already engaged with some community members, understands the history of the site and my client looks forward to working with the city on planning a great project for that site," the representative said.
While many residents have expressed concern over a foreign investor who may not fully understand or appreciate the history of the property, former assemblyman Harvey Munford says he spoke to the new team and so far believes they are committed to involving the community in future plans through town hall style meetings.
"They reached out to me and that gives me confidence that they're going to concern about the future of this community," he said.
City councilman Cedric Crear says he's also spoken to the new owners and is confident they're committed to understanding the history of the property and delivering on that. And he and others are prepared to hold them accountable.
"I would've loved for someone I knew personally to come in and purchase it but that didn't happen so we're going to work with the buyers that we have and operators and we're going to make it work," Crear said.