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The Strip’s ambassadors honor their favorites at the Concierge Choice Awards

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Terry Fator, the Mob Museum and chef Akira Back were among the winners at this year’s Concierge Choice Awards.
Molly O'Donnell

There are people in hotels who seem to have magical powers. They can get last-minute reservations at Il Mulino, send flowers to your mom that arrive on her birthday (instead of the day after), score balcony tickets to the latest show at the Smith Center and accomplish any number of other crazy things you dream up. When you need these people, they seem like your own personal superhero: the hotel concierge.

And Vegas concierges also wield a lot of power. They can boost a business by steering tourist dollars toward worthy shows and restaurants, or direct their clients away from attractions that don’t quite impress. So when the concierges of Las Vegas get together to collectively award their local favorites, well, people pay attention.

On Sunday, the 2014 Concierge Choice Awards gala honored everything from the Best Comedic Act to the Best Air Tour, with 200 concierges from properties across the city voting on the winners, who accepted their awards in a sparkling ballroom overlooking the Wynn golf course. After red-carpet arrivals and a Champagne reception, guests enjoyed a sumptuous three-course dinner and ceremony that included performances from Terry Fator (Best Comedic Act winner) and dancers, singers and contortionists from Le Rêve (Best Production Show). Celine Dion, winner for Best Headliner, couldn’t make it.

The real stars of the night, though, were the concierges’ less-famous selections, like chef Akira Back of Yellowtail and Kumi. He said that he left everything he thought he wanted (daily snowboarding in scenic Colorado) for the urban life, because of people like the concierges, who’ve given him lot of support. Winners from the Mob Museum, AWG Limos and the Fountains of Bellagio also seemed particularly grateful for the honor.

But perhaps Shannon McCallum Crawford, executive director of hotel operations at Aria, best summed up the evening when she leaned over to say, “Nights like this are what everyone here lives for.” It’s clear making people happy isn’t just an occupational requirement for this group, it’s part of their collective DNA.

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