Moulin Rouge hotel to make a Vegas comeback

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LAS VEGAS -- A company called the Moulin Rouge Development Corp. (MRDC) acquired the famed Moulin Rouge Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for $12.1 million, with plans to spend another $200 million reviving the property, which was damaged in a fire last May.

The hotel holds a special place in the history of Las Vegas.

Opened in 1955, the Moulin Rouge was the city's first racially integrated casino. It played host to such stars, as Sammy Davis, Jr. and other African American entertainers, who were not permitted to stay at the properties they performed at on the Strip. The hotel closed after only five months in business.

In 1960, during the heyday of the civil rights movement, city leaders chose the Moulin Rouge as the place to sign an order ending segregation on the Strip.

Then on May 29, 2003, a three-alarm fire started by an arsonist damaged the hotel and destroyed many of its historical relics and other items.

"The new Moulin Rouge will commemorate history and celebrate the future," said Dale Scott, MRDC's president and CEO.

Construction is slated to begin during third-quarter 2004 and the opening is slated for December 2005. Plans call for the new Moulin Rouge to feature 500 rooms, 20 corporate suites and a 40,000-square-foot casino.

To contact reporter Michael Milligan, send e-mail to [email protected].

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