In this daytime program, historian and preservationist Peter Moruzzi will explore the rivalry between Havana and Las Vegas for the title of “Monte Carlo of the Americas” before Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution occurred and removed Havana from the competition.
The author of the illustrated book, Havana Before Castro: When Cuba Was a Tropical Playground, Moruzzi notes the two locations were both alike and vastly different. Cuba was exotic, tropical, wild, and close by the eastern seaboard. Las Vegas was dry, dusty and remote. In Cuba, the Mob invested heavily in fabulous hotel-casinos such as the Nacional, Capri and Riviera. Some of these same investors were also among Las Vegas’s biggest boosters, including Moe Dalitz, Sam Tucker and front man Wilbur Clark.
This event is held in partnership with the April 28-30 Nevada Preservation Foundation’s Home + History Tour. The mission of the weekend is to celebrate Nevada’s history by fostering an appreciation of historic and important architecture within the Las Vegas Valley.