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5 observations from the 2011 Nightclub & Bar Trade Show

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James Changefield works the crowd.

1) The 80s are making a comeback, in the form of unbuttoned shirts and indoor sunglasses. Or maybe club owners have always dressed like this.

2) Malibu Black Rum: Not bad. But can I order it without getting laughed at? (Always been a Malibu fan, always struggled with requesting it.)

3) Everybody loves balloon animals. But don’t take my word for it; ask master balloon sculptor James Changefield. “The balloons,” James explains, “get the girls, and the girls get the guys.” Makes sense to me.

4) H2O Screens (waterfalls onto which images are projected) not only look cool, they smell cool, too. Specifically, they smell like Mandalay Bay.

5) Watch out for Bolivian Coca Leaf Liqueur. I felt like a badass drinking this smoking concoction in front of the Monster Energy Drink girls, but then I inhaled a mouthful of the vapor and it sent me into an embarrassing coughing fit.

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Rick Lax

Rick wrote the books Fool Me Once: Hustlers, Hookers, Headliners, and How Not to Get Screwed in Vegas and Lawyer ...

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