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Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal’s former home comes packed with history, mob amenities

Rarely on a real estate listing does one find amenities such as bulletproof doors and picture windows, a hidden gun compartment, a suspected bullet hole and spectacular views of a fairway on which federal agents allegedly landed a plane once.

The former home of Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, Las Vegas casino executive, mob-associated sports bettor and inspiration for the book and movie "Casino," is on the market. The house at 972 Vegas Valley Drive has an asking price of $649,000.

For Rosenthal's former pad, the amenities are selling points.

Jeff and Sheri Green purchased the 3,266-square-foot, two-story home in 2003. The pair were fans of the mid-century modern architecture popular in the area but checked out the house only on a whim.

"Once we walked in, we were like, 'This is exactly what we want,' " Jeff Green said.

The home is in the Las Vegas Country Club, the first guard-gated community in the city. It is a few blocks from Tony Roma's restaurant, 620 E. Sahara Ave., where Rosenthal survived an assassination attempt when his car was bombed in 1982.

Rosenthal lived in the three-bedroom house near the corner of Maryland Parkway and Sahara Avenue with his wife, Geri, and their children during his Las Vegas heyday.

Rosenthal secretly ran the Stardust, the Fremont, the Hacienda and the Marina with mob influence and without a state license, a move that made him famous and subsequently blacklisted from Nevada casinos for the latter part of his life.

He died in 2008 at 79.

Had some of the events of Rosenthal's life played out earlier, Jeff Green may have been invited to his future home back in the day.

Green, a lifelong Las Vegan, was childhood friends with Vince Spilotro, son of Anthony "Tony the Ant" Spilotro, a close associate of Rosenthal. The families celebrated holidays together, and Green has photos of celebrations inside the Rosenthals' home.

"The year I started being friends with Vince Spilotro was the same year the car got blown up," he said. "The two weren't really speaking at that point."

A few years ago, Rosenthal's son Steven stopped by the house unexpectedly and asked to look around. The Greens obliged and said Steven Rosenthal pointed out fixtures his dad selected and how much he paid.

"When Lefty redid it, it was quite a bit of money," he said.

This home was redesigned for Rosenthal in the late 1970s by famed interior designer Steven Chase.

It is believed that contractors from the Stardust outfitted the home with commercial-grade-quality materials.

The doors are thick and heavy, the windows are solid panes and fixtures around the house are steel.

Touches of Rosenthal are dotted through the master bedroom. The Greens carpeted over the former site of a safe in a closet floorboard. Jeff Green's ties hang on Rosenthal's former tie rack.

The adjoining "showgirls bathroom" has vivid lighting and marble fixtures. The carpet is long gone, though.

The large picture windows facing the golf course don't lead to a second-story balcony as in neighbors' homes. The feature was too risky for the mobster.

The entryway of the home includes a steel floating staircase with a glass wrap-around, chipped from a suspected bullet.

The original intercom system remains, despite having been quieted by age long ago.

"We left that because we thought, 'Imagine the history of the conversations had on those ?' " Sheri Green said.

There are several closets, and all have the original fabric lining installed to protect Geri Rosenthal's furs.

Downstairs, there are mirrored ceilings, commissioned art, a bar and casino-style lighting that survived renovations from three rounds of owners, post-Rosenthal.

The Greens made their own updates through the years but kept them aligned with the 1970s style.

"We've done enough work (that we know) there is nothing hidden," Sheri Green said. "We're not retiring any time soon."

The house has been on the market since July.

Heavyweights in the casino and gaming arena and Hollywood have shown interest or negotiated offers, house presenter and local Realtor Aaron Auxier said.

Former friends of Rosenthal and Spilotro have debated purchasing the home.

"This house will sell by history alone," Auxier said. "The home has always captivated the world, and it still commands the same level of global respect and intrigue. The fact it is for sale is exciting for the city of Las Vegas."

In recent history, the house has been the site of editorial fashion shoots, including one in the pool area with Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. The home was not used in the 1995 Martin Scorcese film "Casino," but the Greens have signed memorabilia from the film hanging on their walls.

The more spacious home featured in the award-winning movie is a few blocks away.

The Greens say they are parting with their piece of Las Vegas history so they can downsize and split their time between Las Vegas and Hawaii. But that doesn't mean the sale won't be bittersweet, they say.

"We've really loved it," Jeff Green said. "It has a special feeling about it."

Contact Centennial and Paradise View reporter Maggie Lillis at mlillis@viewnews.com or 477-3839.

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