House party: a Dutch DJ wants you to ditch the Strip this weekend
Tue, Mar 22, 2011 (5 p.m.)
Photo: Beverly Poppe
Some things are just better in Amsterdam—the drugs, the waffle stands, the house parties?
“They’re both party cities,” says Dutch transplant Ramon van Meer of Amsterdam and Las Vegas. “I was a DJ back in Amsterdam, and I played at clubs. Even though the nightlife was great, I thought I could do it better.”
So van Meer threw a party. He took over a friend’s home, invited 150 people and planned what would become his first mansion party. When guests began hounding him for details about the next one, he realized he had something.
For the next five years, van Meer became a party planner, putting on wild events in various homes and warehouses around Amsterdam with an emphasis on house music and live entertainment. He advertised by passing out DJ mixes with party details and kept the events exclusive, selling less tickets than his venues’ capacities to build buzz and keep the vibe intimate. Then something crazy happened: Van Meer fell in love with a woman he met at XS while visiting Vegas, got married and moved stateside. This weekend, he’s bringing the party with him.
Van Meer’s first local Sinners & Saints Mansion Party takes place March 26 from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. at a secret location that will be revealed to ticketholders just before the event. Shuttles from the Strip will be available for guests who buy VIP packages, and all ticket sales will be completed in advance so no one shows up only to be disappointed. Van Meer says his debut Vegas endeavor will focus on nightlife in a private atmosphere that will allow guests to relax and be themselves as the party rages well into the morning.
“Sometimes I feel like when I go out, people are too much aware of, ‘I have to look cool.’ What I would like to see is a really relaxing vibe where nobody cares what other people think of them. If you want to go onstage and dance crazy, dance crazy.”
Of course, if you don’t want to become part of the show, that’s okay, too. Music by up-and-coming house DJs will fill the massive, 12,000-square-foot house, while go-go dancers, a pole-dance show, a magician, a fire show and a live violinist (playing with the DJs) add entertainment throughout the night. When you need a break, cabana-style beds by the pool make for good places to escape the intensity and chill.
“If I go out to a club and pay a fee, I expect to be entertained the whole night—not just a DJ, a couple of dancers on go-go platforms and 655 VIP tables,” van Meer says. “Vegas needs something different than the Strip nightlife. I can bring a little bit of the European style of nightlife to Vegas.”