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Nightlife

[2009 Nightlife Issue]

Meet the Las Vegas lifers: It’s their kinda town!

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DJ Michael Toast, in Vegas since 1997

This is it! This is the town. Contrary to what Galileo preached, for these Las Vegans, Sin City is the center of the universe—everything else simply revolves around it in jealous awe. Oh sure, they love to escape—exciting vacations take them far abroad. But … flying home into McCarran, they still get a thrill as the tourists around them oooh and ahhh over the very sight of their city! They know every inch of this town, and everyone in it … who matters. They can describe in detail the interior of every nightclub and casino in town, past and present. As far as they’re concerned, we’re going to have to cart them away, because they’re not going anywhere! They are Las Vegas for life, baby!

Vegas is the best possible place to reinvent yourself. … Only in Vegas can you ride a roller coaster, take a helicopter to see the Grand Canyon, have a dinner cooked by Kerry Simon, see a Cirque show and dance all night in less than 24 hours. … Before I moved to Vegas, I never would have dreamed or thought that I would ever be kissed while having my mohawk pulled by Pamela Anderson. This finally legitimized my career decision in my father’s eyes. –DJ Michael Toast; in Vegas since 1997

Only in Vegas can you have a bartender tip you $10 on a $5 drink, live down the street from a Vegas headliner, have the great chefs of the world sit next to you at your local restaurant to have lunch and talk to your mayor everywhere you look on a daily basis. … The only thing that disappoints me about Vegas is the people who talk trash about our city, but cannot wait to visit and ask for special treatment and deals! … If I could change one thing it would be the amount of different soft taxes on people and small business here. I hope that Las Vegas leads the country out of this stale economy. –Adam Carmer, owner, The Freakin’ Frog & The Whisky Attic/professor, UNLV; in Vegas since 1993

DJ Lisa Pittman

Only in Vegas can you see a “corporate” employee uniform that consists of your grandma in a thong. (Thanks, MGM). I hope that the corporate thong never goes away. … Something Las Vegans know that the rest of the world doesn’t know is you can make a totally legitimate and lucrative career out of partying! … If I could change one thing it would be that the hotel-casinos could actually start to take some social and cultural risks that could potentially encourage more diversity and dimension to the city. … If I were to leave, I would miss the buzz of the weekends, when the sun starts to set and your phone starts to ring about who is where, and what’s going on. … I’m so “Vegas” that I even have an Ed Hardy bedazzled something, somewhere in my closet, and so does my dog “Lucky”. … When I die, please bury me at Lake Mead with the other Vegas gangstas. –DJ Lisa Pittman; in Vegas since moving back after college in 1997

Adam Gould

Before I moved to Vegas I never would have dreamed I would ever meet as many good people as I have. I have been lucky to meet some very real, honest people out here. Not what I expected for a very dishonest, fake, fantasy-world-type city. … I’m not so “Vegas”: I am very East Coast. However, I love being who and what I am in a huge crowd of people that are so “Vegas”! … When I die, please bury me under the Bellagio water shows. I could listen to Ol’ Blue Eyes and rest in peace. –Adam Gould, director of marketing, Crazy Horse III/The Playground Las Vegas; in Vegas since 2003

I knew I made the right decision when I hit my first royal flush within a month of arriving ... also my last. … Something Las Vegans know that the rest of the world doesn’t is that Las Vegas has all the amenities of a modern society, yet in a climate that’s unfit to grow an apple. … Before I moved to Vegas I never would have dreamed I would ever walk out of a bar at 11 a.m. … I’m so “Vegas” that I tip the person who bags my groceries. … When I die, please bury me at the Sand Dollar Blues Lounge. –Jon Newton, vice president, First Food & Bar; in Vegas since 1991

Kalika Moquin

Vegas is the best possible place to experience anything and everything you have ever wanted, and do so on a daily basis. It’s nice knowing I’ll never be that person who has a midlife crisis and says “Geez, I wish I had partied more when I was younger.” … The only thing that disappoints me about Vegas is how much social drinking plays a role in what we do. My liver may not be so forgiving one of these days. Oh, and the dating scene is beyond disappointing. … If I could change one thing it would be a regulation on how many venues opened each year. I love the scene and have never been one to shy away from competition, but in recent years it’s become a little over-saturated. I think it was way more fun for everyone when we were a smaller, tight-knit industry and the clubs were more exclusive. … I’m so “Vegas” that I cut my trip to Greece short by two days due to extreme homesickness. … When I die, please spread my ashes at Bare pool. It’s been my baby for most of my 20s. –Kalika Moquin, marketing director, Bare Pool Lounge; in Vegas since 2004

Jason Shotts

I knew I made the right decision 24 hours after getting off the plane. Before I started actually working with the Light Group, I went to Diddy’s VMA party at Pure and ended up handing out glasses of Cristal with him to the screaming fans below. … Vegas is the best possible place to succeed. Vegas success has no prerequisite besides hard work, networking and a few lucky breaks. … I’m so “Vegas” that I text my parents in Santa Barbara to let me know if they know anyone coming to Vegas that they want me to take care of. … When I die, please bury me in the mezzanine at The Bank with a bottle of Patron, a carafe of pineapple juice and a cocktail waitress (if possible). –Jason Shotts, vice president of customer development, Light Group; in Vegas since 2007

Anthony Alba

Vegas is the best possible place to be a bartender. This is the mecca of food and beverage, and we have the most concentration of world-champion bartenders of any city on the planet. … I hope that Mayor Oscar Goodman never goes away. … I’m so “Vegas” that I expect every city I travel to be open 24 hours and get upset when they aren’t. … What does Vegas offer/have/do/think that other cities/countries do not?: Vegas is a town that the Rat Pack used as their playground, a place where millionaires are made overnight and broken as quickly; it’s the only place on Earth you can see a couple of Elvises renewing their driver’s licenses at the DMV. … If I were to leave, I would miss watching the sunrise from the 51st floor of the Rio hotel with a Negroni in one hand and a cigar in the other. … When I die, please bury me under the Luxor just like the pharaohs of old. On second thought, make it Caesars Palace, to go with the Italian thing. –Anthony Alba, executive mixologist, Liquidity Global Consulting; in Vegas since 1989

Vegas is like Hotel California: “You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.” –Pauly Freedman, general manager, Blush Boutique Nightclub; in Vegas since 1989

Only in Vegas can your job require you to have a high tolerance for liquor. … I’m so “Vegas” that I go to ever other club's industry night when I am not working. … I’m not going anywhere until I am in a Las Vegas show! -Robert Gamch, Executive Host, The Bank; in Vegas since 2004

Vegas is the best possible place to rage and party all night long at any one of the clubs on the Strip… unless you’re a local. Otherwise, you’re dropping your guests off at the nearest valet and racing out of there before they guilt you into sitting next to a craps table with them until 3 a.m. … The only thing that disappoints me about Vegas is no matter how hard we try to showcase the fine dining, shows, retail, spas and art, at the end of the day, most times, most people will still only want to hear about showgirls, Elvis, strippers and why foreclosures are literally through the roof. … I hope that Mayor Oscar Goodman never goes away. … I’m not going anywhere until I figure out a way to sell my home(s) that are at least 50 percent upside down! … When I die, please send my remains to Manhattan Beach, Calif. I’m done with the heat. -Marina Nicola, Public Relations Director, Wagner/Junker Agency; a Vegas native since 1974

Vegas is the best possible place to live and work in the liquor industry. … Before I moved to Vegas I never would have dreamed or thought that I would ever travel the world making cocktails and talking about booze. … I hope that free lounge entertainment never goes away. … I’m so “Vegas” that I get frustrated in other cities when I can’t get a meal at midnight. -Bobby “G” Gleason, Master Mixologist, Beam Global Spirits & Wine; in Vegas since 1985

Before I moved to Vegas I never would have dreamed or thought that I would ever see someone spend $200,000 in one nightclub in one night. … I’m so “Vegas” that I valet park every time I get to work. … If I were to leave, I would miss the customer service that this town provides around every corner, everyday. I would also miss the camaraderie of the people who work in the industry. … On the subject of leaving Las Vegas: I have never moved from Vegas, but a few times when I was thinking about it, I sobered up and realized that she really wasn't that hot. … When I die, please bury me in the champagne room at The Rhino. -Dave Roberts, Executive VIP Host, Jet Nightclub; in Vegas since 1998

Larry Edwards aka Hot Chocolate

Only in Vegas can you mingle, gamble and dance amongst celebrities from all over the world. Once you're arrived in Vegas you have already hit the jackpot! … Before I moved to Vegas I never would have dreamed or thought that I would ever receive the Key to the City of Vegas from Mayor Goodman. What an honor and a dream come true. … I'm so Vegas that I shine as bright as the Neon on the Strip. … When I die bury me under our famous Las Vegas Sign. -Larry Edwards (aka Hot Chocolate), Mood Director, Piranha; in Vegas since 1987

Rebecca Ahnert-Hayden

I’m so “Vegas” that I consider a spray tan, animal prints and hair extensions a requirement. Oops and don’t forget the cleavage and rhinestones. … If I could change one thing it would be an ocean. We gotta find some way to make Vegas beach-front property. After all, everything else has been made possible in Vegas! … If I were to leave, I would miss the lights, the smell of summertime pool parties, the slumber parties at Hard Rock and Palms, the clubs, the DJs, the glamour and glitz. But most I would miss my ability to live and work on my own 24-hour schedule in a brilliant city that never rests, alongside some of the most driven, creative a amazing visionaries I have ever met. … I’m not going anywhere until a nuclear holocaust strikes and it’s just me and a couple cockroaches left playing poker, ‘cause thanks to all the fillers, injections, plastic surgery and booze I will have consumed at that point, yup I’d wager I’ll still be here. … When I die, please sprinkle my ashes in the Tryst and XS pools. Just please don’t spill any on the floor; I wouldn’t want to end up in an ashtray with a Wynn logo stamped on me with drunken bachelorettes putting their cigs out on me. -Rebecca Ahnert-Hayden, Nightclub Photographer; in Vegas since 2003

Lisa Bigley

Only in Vegas can you do anything you can dream of in less than an hour. From snow skiing on Mt. Charleston to water skiing on Lake Mead – in little over an hour!  And of course it’s the only place on earth a 300 lb. woman can think she looks hot in gold lamé. I love this place!...I hope that getting a cocktail in Vegas means that you are getting the best in the world. ... Something Las Vegans know that the rest of the world doesn’t is that we really do have normal lives here. Yes, we have more restaurants, shows and other things that we shouldn’t probably mention other than anywhere else in a few miles of a very famous street, but most importantly we have our families, our friends (the best in the world) and the neighborhoods that house all of us. ... If I were to leave, I would miss the Strip lit up at night. It’s still a sight that takes my breath away and lets me know I am home. ... I’m not going anywhere until all the lights on the Strip shut down forever. ... When I die, please bury me under the fountains at Bellagio. Where else in the world can I be serenaded by Andrea Bocelli and Frank Sinatra for the rest of eternity? And I might need some cooling off for where I might be headed. —Lisa Bigley, Owner, UBC Enterprises/co-owner, Ultimatebarchef.com/co-founder, Ultimate Cocktail for a Cure Cocktail Competition; Vegas since 1993

Lian "Wiggles" Console

I knew I made the right decision when I realized my job is to make sure people have the time of their lives. ... Only in Vegas can you wake up and go straight to afterhours. ... Something Vegas has that no other city does: Larry from Designated Drivers AKA "Arrive Alive.” He's No. 1 on my speed dial. ... If I were to leave, I would miss the nights that turn into mornings and the friends that have turned into family. —Lian "Wiggles" Console, VIP Server, The Bank; Vegas since 2001

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