I celebrated Kaleidoscope–The Center’s 21st Annual Honorarium with Raymond Wilmer and Michael Shulman at Drai’s Beach Club, honoring Patrick Duffy and Beano Solomon, both heroes of the LGBTQ community
Every city carries a certain brand awareness, built on years of history and industry, topography and reputation. Which is to say, when you think of Las Vegas, you probably think less about our civic engagement than you do our dancing girls.
But no matter how tirelessly we’ve labored to earn our Sin City moniker, I’ve recently been reminded of all the ways in which Las Vegas is skillfully diversifying. Most notably, of course, there was the first Democratic presidential debate, held in October at Wynn. For “fight night,” the marquee at Wynn pitted colossal images of Hillary vs. Bernie against each other in a promotional maneuver that nearly outdid the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao match. Of course, no place is better equipped to handle the logistics necessary for a politician- and celeb-packed debate than a hotel casino whose own security rivals anything the nation’s capital can offer. Plus, attendees that ducked out a bit early could probably have made it on time to “Zombie Burlesque” in Planet Hollywood, advertising “drop-dead gorgeous zombies” dancing to big band music.
My Vegas Gives co-emcee and MORE executive producer and co-host Sean McAllister and I honored the exceptional philanthropists at our event (and broke a Vegas Gives record!)
Two nights later, I attended the third annual Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance dinner, held at Aria, where 700 business trailblazers, lawmakers, and community leaders gathered to discuss economic development, from new medical schools to Project NEON, the state’s largest-ever infrastructure project. Keynote speaker Bill Foley, who has moved the publicly traded spinoff of his Fidelity National Financial title insurance company to Vegas, spoke about his plans to deliver a National Hockey League team to the city. The dinner adjourned around the same time as Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana, and performers from the self-described “twisted acrobatic fantasy universe” mingled with local dignitaries on their way to the valet in a perplexing and hilarious gridlock.
Kaskade and I celebrated his incredible October cover with an intimate cocktail party at Andrea’s in Encore.
In other words, we’re just like Washington, DC, only better (and yes, I expect a call any moment from my friends at our GreenGale Publishing sister magazine Capitol File). While Congress works to pass a spending bill, you can take control of your own dollars and gamble them right here. And make no mistake: If we wanted a Washington Monument, we would have built one by now. (Please see our Eiffel Tower and not one, but two Statues of Liberty.) Welcome to diversification, Vegas-style. As always, we’ll do it our way.