The short goodbye
Jeff Beacher is heading for the sticks, but he plans to come back big
Thu, Mar 12, 2009 (midnight)
Jeff Beacher, showman and icon of Vegas success as excess, held a “farewell” party as a host at Tao recently. The attendees at the intimate dinner beforehand included executives from the Hard Rock and Mirage and almost a dozen attractive young women.
But, as with most things Beacher, first appearances were deceiving. Beacher and his troupe are heading off on a six-month tour of medium-size cities. So he’ll be back. (A non-farewell farewell is in keeping with a man whose recent few years include a broken vow of celibacy, a failed plan to run the Las Vegas Marathon and an aborted attempt to roll himself into a vat of ketchup.)
These are recession times, and even this showman is feeling the pinch. “People in Vegas can’t afford me now, and that is a problem,” he manages.
But in fact, while Beacher may be expensive, he does not see himself a symbol of excess at all. That is a misperception created by journalists confused by his frequent hours spent hanging out with Paris Hilton. This is Beacher 2.0, recession-ready:
“What I love about this economy is that I have been training for this my entire life. I love operating on no budget. I don’t need money. I was born to do this. I have been selling things since I was 13.
“You have to change with the times. Peter Morton [the former owner of the Hard Rock] is not giving me $75,000 a week to put on a show and a $250,000 budget to advertise with.”
So Beacher is taking his Vegas fame and cashing in with audiences in the provinces: “To me they aren’t real cities. But they are cities with people, places like Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida. They eat us up there. They love the Vegas show.
“I am making a lot of money on the road now. It is a traveling nightclub meets the circus. People love the fake-orgasm contest and anything with little people. We are entertaining 1,000-4,000 people nightly, and people will pay top dollar because they want Vegas. We will have two buses and four trailers by May.”
But there’s a long-term point to all of this touring: Beacher’s return to Vegas in six months.
“I’ll come back to Vegas, and the town will still be broke, but I will have money. I am mentally ready to run my own show. With the money to produce my own show from touring, and I already have television producers ready to do a show on my Vegas return, I’ll be able to run things myself when I come back. Vegas is going to see bigger and sicker stuff from me than ever before.”
And if you were wondering why he’d hold an advertised “farewell” party when the departure is so temporary: “Marketing, and to have dinner with hot girls.” Beacher departs a few days after his farewell party; first comes a weekend with his cast hosting a birthday party for Hilton at the Hard Rock.
Same old Beacher?