Former Park Place Hotel in Kansas City demolished

Former Park Place Hotel in Kansas City demolished

June 25, 2018 10:25 AM
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A Kansas City Hotel that served as an important part of the plot for the essential Las Vegas-centric 1995 movie “Casino” was demolished early Sunday, reports the website, kansascity.com.

The former Park Place Hotel, located in a business park near Front Street and Interstate 435 had become blighted since the hotel closed in 2016.

In the 1970’s, the hotel was the site of an FBI wiretap on a lobby payphone that helped expose an elaborate scheme in which crime families in several U.S. cities, among them Kansas City, skimmed money out of the Las Vegas casinos they covertly controlled.

Many Kansas City residents remember the hotel, operating under different names, for numerous wedding receptions and other events over the years, according to kansascity.com

Its historic connection to organized crime came in 1978, when FBI agents followed Kansas City mob underboss Carl "Tuffy" DeLuna to the hotel, where he regularly used the public phones in the hotel lobby. 

The Kansas City Star reported at the time that agents discovered that DeLuna was using the payphones to call Joseph Agosto, his contact at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, to discuss the crime family's interests in the casinos.

Retired Kansas City police detective Gary Jenkins in his book "Leaving Vegas," said the FBI had agents and secretaries stage a pool party at the hotel, then called the Breckenridge Inn, to eavesdrop on DeLuna and get a warrant to tap the payphone he used. In 1983, a Kansas City grand jury handed down the indictments in a related casino skimming investigation that took down leading gangsters in Chicago, Milwaukee and Cleveland.