Want VIP status? Secrets of Sin City revealed
June 21, 2007
By Jennifer L. Leo
If you're really rolling in Vegas, you're being hosted. Highly liquid guests are assigned casino hosts who make certain things disappear (lines, doormen) and other things appear (tables, perhaps some company). But if you're not wealthy enough to score the V-VIP area - that's not a typo - at JET, it pays to be crafty.
Just ask Jack Colton, a local Vegas hero who reveals the secrets of Sin City nightlife on his Web site to everyday players who aspire to VIP table status. One of his tips: if you're waiting in line in a large group of men, try scattering yourself amongst several groups of ladies. Divide and conquer.
And once you're inside, it's not a good idea to start throwing too much money around - at least not literally. Floyd Mayweather Jr. celebrated his win over Oscar De La Hoya last February by showering the dance floor at the Hard Rock's Body English with $100 bills, causing quite a ruckus.
Not that excessive consumption isn't celebrated. Most nightclubs make an effort to let others know when an expensive bottle is being ordered. At JET, when a customer orders a bottle of Cristal, waitresses present it with sparklers. At Moon, the Palms' newest nightclub, certain bottles come with special escorts - Playboy bunnies from the club next door.
"It's all about building a buzz for the nightclubs as well as a clientele, not just celebrities but also brands. In Vegas, a club is only as good as their last event," said Andrea Sun, one of the nightlife experts at Vegas.com.
European-style tableside bottle service is becoming more and more de rigeur - in return for a nice table, guests are obliged to purchase bottles of alcohol at astronomic mark-ups. And nightclubs and their marketing departments are heavily invested in customized experiences, especially when it concerns celebrities. Managing Partner of PURE Management Group, Steve Davidovici says, "We have such high-end clients, ranging from Marc Cuban, Paris Hilton, or a player that has spent a million dollars in the casino, that we personalize their whole trip. A limo picks them up, makes dinner reservations, and our hosts find out what kind of music and drinks they like before they get to town. Waitresses will send thank you cards after their visit."
There are bottles, and then there are bottles. The Light Group, who own Light and JET nightclubs, pride themselves in serving exotic sizes like Jeribaum- and Methuselah-sized bottles. A Methuselah (six liters) of Dom Pérignon Champagne ($25,000) and a Rémy Martin Louis XIII ($14,500) are available for those with the courage, and bankroll, to ask for it.
So, which club should you choose? If you're looking for a high-energy mega-club, we suggest JET, Studio 54 or Rain. If you're looking to impress some clients with a Vegas experience they're likely to go home and brag about, don't miss TAO, Moon or PURE. And for more of a mellow, airy evening, we suggest Tryst, at Wynn Las Vegas, with its 90-foot waterfall.
As with other leisure pursuits, timing is crucial. On Fridays and Saturdays, Vegas nightclubs are filled with tourists, while on select weekdays the clubs host industry nights for the locals. Tryst invites local exotic dancers to relax (fully clothed) on Sunday nights, while Moon hosts a Tuesday "industry night" that's popular with other club employees.
"Clubs thrive on weekends and industry nights," said Sun. "Both options are strong and well known."
Take a look at our list of Las Vegas's most coveted VIP tables, then call your casino host or one of the club's hosts to make a table reservation. Jack Colton also warns that while dozens of "VIP hosting companies" promise access to exclusive clubs, you're usually better off tipping the doorman directly. And by tipping, we don't mean five bucks.
A few other words of advice:
Ask about the bottle minimum before you show up.
If you're splitting the bill between friends, collect the money upfront (to make sure you're still friends at the end of the night).
Don't get hustled - make sure you're obligated to buy more bottles so you won't "lose your table."