“Voice of Las Vegas”: Steven Striker’s “Rules of Las Vegas”
It’s no surprise that nearly 3 million people a month visit Las Vegas! It’s also no surprise that on any given weekend, most of the restaurants, shows, clubs, concerts, boxing events, spas, golf resorts and other premier Vegas attractions are completely booked up or worse – sold out! Part of the excitement of this place is its uniqueness and exclusivity. The town is constantly evolving, and there’s always something new. But what most folks don’t know is that behind-the-scenes lurks a protocol that controls who has access to what! Simply put, if you’re not on the “inside” track, you’re out! But, as journeyPod’s Voice of Las Vegas Steven Striker – CEO of Vegas’ premier five-star concierge Striker VIP – will tell you, there is hope! “Don’t peer through windows at others already on the inside, and forget languishing in a nightclub entry line for what seems like forever – inner sanctum access requires just a bit knowledge and assistance from an insider connection,” notes Striker.With that in mind, here’s Striker’s unofficial Las Vegas rules and “code of conduct”:
Rule #1: There are Rules
Written and unwritten, there are rules in this town. Some are the obvious rules, such as those laid out for gambling by the Nevada Gaming Commission, or the dress codes for restaurants and clubs. The hardest game to play here is not found at any table. It is the challenge of winning at something where the rules are not obvious. Follow Rules 2-9 and you might just have a chance. Disregard this hidden rulebook and you will surely be disappointed.
Rule #2: The Bank Roll
Remember playing board games where the banker handed you a stack of bills to play with? Vegas is no different. However, you may need to sweet talk the banker for a few more stacks of money to finance the ultimate Vegas experience. Outside of gambling and tips, you won’t realize until you get here just how many amazing ways there are to spend money – quickly and in large quantities. It could be tickets to a show, a fabulous handbag, a custom-made suit, or a special day on the links or at the spa. Cash is the international language of Las Vegas. It’s what talks, shakes hands, and opens doors.
Rule #3: Start Gradually or End Tragically
The average trip to Vegas is 3.5 days. The excitement builds at home on Thursday with many visitors already starting the celebration while they pack, with a cosmopolitan or martini in hand. When they hit the airplane, knowing there is a limo awaiting them in Vegas, the drinks continue to flow. By the time they land, many have already passed the “one too many category.” This can all end tragically by Friday due to a lack of sleep, too much alcohol, and not enough money. Take it easy and pace yourself. Otherwise, you will be physically, mentally, and monetarily spent.
Rule #4: Time is an Illusion
Proximity in Vegas is like a Hollywood backdrop. Many think that walking is in the cards for them. They don’t realize how far it is from Caesar’s Palace to the Wynn Resort. Locations that appear close are actually miles away. And, if you opt to drive in this town, parking can be a challenge. Make nice with the valet (See Rule #5) in hopes of getting a spot nearby or end up parking in what seems like Arizona. A better choice would be to hire a limousine so that your chariot drops you off and picks you up at the door without having to wait or negotiate for that prime parking spot with the valet.
Time is an illusion. With no clocks anywhere to be seen in a casino, it’s easy to lose touch with reality. Despite the fantasy feel, Vegas operates like clockwork so don’t forget your watch. There is no such thing as being “fashionably late”. Grace periods are unheard of here and there is no margin for error. By 10:31, your 10:30 table is someone else’s and you’ll have to go to the bottom of the list or try your luck at another restaurant. Get there early and plan for more time than you think you’ll need by factoring in lengthy waits for transportation, congested streets, and clogged sidewalks full of gawking tourists. And don’t try to rely on your cell phone to hold that reservation because reception is poor and phones and PDAs are not allowed at gaming tables.
Rule #5: It Pays to Tip
Tipping can be confusing in some cities. Not here. It’s easy: tip everyone – and be generous. That means 20 percent. It’s your ticket for advancing farther around the board. Tipping gets you more service, more information, and more attention. The valet will find you that prime parking spot. The cocktail waitress will stop by more often to refresh your drink. The waiter will give you a hot “tip” on the best places to go that the guidebook didn’t mention.
Rule #6: Eye Candy is the Flavor of Choice
This is the land of beautiful people. There is no politically correct way to say it: eye candy rules. While there are many different wrappers, men and women must look their best. Qualifying for this beauty pageant is tough when your competitors are Paris, Britney, and Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends or Leo, Ben, and the cast of Ocean’s 13. If you think your best is not good enough, invest in a makeover. It’s all about the right look. For men, this includes a collared shirt, black shoes and nice jeans or trousers. A jacket is essential for most restaurants. Women need to dress the way they feel best for that air of success. That means wearing attractive, tasteful clothes that are appropriate for your age range. Tennis shoes and flip flops do not qualify in the category of “daywear that becomes nightwear”. “Bling” is the thing so bring your jewelry and elegant watch. Confused about what to wear? Stop by the Ted Baker store in Caesar Palace’s Forum Shops and they will outfit you for a night out in Vegas just like they do for the hit HBO-series, Entourage.
Rule #7: Respect the Natives
Vegas is a big city with a small town mentality. Word travels fast among those who work here about disrespectful, unruly, or belligerent visitors. That means your reputation can precede you if you are demanding or arrogant. Love goes both ways in this town, so be courteous and respectful to everyone – from the bellhop to the dealer to the club host. As a player in the game, be cognizant of your behavior. Do not engage someone who has made the rules in a situation. All that will get you is a one-way ticket out of town. And, even if you may be dissatisfied with the service you receive, skipping the tip is not the way to prove your point. Take care of who you interact with and they will ensure you are treated well.
Rule #8: The Gatekeeper Holds the Keys to the Kingdom
Vegas has the best of everything. It never fails that everyone wants to go to the hottest, hippest places all in the same weekend. Most will not end up at their first choice. Don’t assume that money would have gotten you past the gatekeeper. Here, your “dough does not mean go”. You may have deep pockets but someone right behind you has just the same – if not more. Stack the chips in your favor by aligning yourself with someone whose connections can get you where few can go. If you don’t plan on gambling $500,000 to get what you want from the casinos, then try a premium professional VIP concierge service for that ultimate experience. Oh, and by the way, everything about this rule can be trumped by the Power Broker Rule. Those who own the casinos are considered the masters of the game. They can change the rules at any time and make whatever exceptions they want to on an impulse. As the ultimate gatekeepers, what they say goes.
Rule #9: What Happens in Vegas Doesn’t Necessarily Stay There….
It Winds up on YouTubeThe town’s best known tag line used to be true before YouTube and MySpace became so popular. These mediums have made it easy to document what you never thought would be seen outside of Vegas. If you don’t want your friends, colleagues, and family to see your weekend “gone wild,” think about what you are doing while you are here.
Rule #10: Counterfeits vs. the Real Deal
Be careful of the numerous counterfeiters. You will see them at the airport or in the hotel lobby. They tell you they know a guy who knows this other guy who can get you in to the hottest spots. You agree and pay $150 for a package of line passes. These are really just tickets to another line where you will end up watching everyone else in the line you were trying to avoid pass you by. Some of these hot shots even sell fake tickets. While many claim to be hosts, all they have are a couple door contacts, a cell phone, and the motivation to make a fast buck. There are a select few that are considered real VIPs… check it out as we go on the inside with one of them…
Now that you know the rules… the game is on! Come play!
Listen in this week as Striker interviews Anthony Crivello who currently plays ”The Phantom” in the Las Vegas PHANTOM Spectacular!
Check back next month for the newest installation of journeyPod’s “Voice of Las Vegas”.
“The Ultimate Las Vegas Insider” and journeyPod’s “Voice of Las Vegas” Steven Striker can be reached through his Web site at www.StrikerVIP.com or via toll-free telephone at 866-VIVAVIP.
For a full list of hot spots in Vegas check out our Las Vegas Destination Guide