IMPLOSION: The search is on for six million dollars hidden in a Las Vegas hotel destined for destruction! by Carolyn V. Hamilton
Today is the day the end will begin, he thought as he drove his Lexus south on the Las Vegas Strip that early June morning.
Wearing his usual attire of Armani black silk suit, white shirt and white tie, he felt ready. He had only one agenda left to complete, but he was less confident of its outcome.
By the time “Crazy” Foxy Craig, owner of Las Vegas’ vintage Desert Palace Hotel & Casino, arrived at his executive office suite on the nineteenth floor, the outside temperature had risen to ninety-five degrees.
Inside the office Foxy saw to it that his secretary, Juniper Jachowski, kept the rooms at a cool sixty-six degrees. Foxy believed that cold temperatures kept everyone awake and on edge enough to want to state their business and leave as soon as possible. Foxy hated long meetings that began with a discussion of weekend golf scores.
“Junie, get Goodman and Cusamano in here.” The men were the Desert Palace’s top two executives, answering directly to Foxy Craig.
“Right away. You want coffee?” Juniper gestured towards the mini-kitchen. “Le Reve French roast this morning.”
“Yeah, sure. And add a shot of Black Jack while you’re at it. I’m going to need it for this meeting.”
One of Juniper Jachowski’s manicured eyebrows rose, but she didn’t ask for further explanation.
“And did you feed the jellyfish?” Foxy Craig’s newest office decoration was his jellyfish aquarium. Two lifelike artificial jellyfish floated in maintenance-free water illuminated by eighteen LEDs that changed color for different moods. A little silent pump created an undulating current that jiggled the jellyfish.
Foxy laughed. “Just a joke, Junie.”
After his secretary brought his coffee, Foxy closed the door to his office. What he had to announce had been fourteen months in planning and negotiation, during which he’d often felt frustrated by both the buyers and the bankers.
Now the reality would begin.
Juniper announced the arrival of the two men Foxy had summoned.
Al Goodman was Foxy’s Chief of Security, a chunky man with a receding hairline and a prominent mole on top of his left ear. John Cusamano was his always-exquisitely-tailored Hotel/Casino Manager.
Foxy gestured to two square-shaped, overstuffed chairs on one side of a glass coffee table. Goodman and Cusamano sat, Juniper served them coffee, left the room, and closed the door.
Al Goodman’s hefty body shivered in the big chair. “Foxy, it’s cold in here.”
Foxy Craig wondered how his Chief of Security could be cold with all that fat on his bones. Al must know every good buffet in town.
“I’ve sold the hotel,” he announced.
Cusamano blinked. “The Desert Palace?”
“Of course the Desert Palace. What other hotel would I be talking about?”
Goodman shifted in his chair. “Wow.”
“Now I know a lot of people will be surprised, which is why I wanted you to be the first to know. We’ll need to work closely together to coordinate everything that’ll need to be done in the next few months.”
“Who’s the new buyer?” Goodman asked.
“HXS World, Incorporated.”
“They don’t run casinos. They build condos.”
“That’s close,” Foxy said. “The Desert Palace will be imploded so they can build a mega-penthouse, mixed-use urban development that’ll include restaurants and high-end shops.”
“Imploded?” Cusamano said.
Foxy nodded. “As you know, we’ve struggled in recent years. Our casino and our rooms are relatively small now compared to the fancy new competition down the street. Our accountants say it would be too costly to do another expensive remodel, and my wife is pressing me to retire.”
Cusamano mumbled, “Mary Ann retired when she married you.”
Foxy ignored the comment and said, “Times have changed. The Desert Palace is dated and can’t possibly make any more money. It’s only going to cost money to maintain.”
Goodman frowned. “This is crazy.” When he saw Foxy’s face harden, he remembered that his boss took personal offense to any comment that included the word, crazy. It was why everyone called him “Crazy Foxy” only behind his back, never in his presence. “So when?” he asked.
“Unless something unforeseen happens, we anticipate a closing date of October twenty-eighth, with the implosion scheduled for the twelfth of November.”
Goodman whistled. “Less than six months.”
“Imploded,” Cusamano repeated, as if he were trying to tailor the idea, like he did his suits, around his personal lifestyle.