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June 30, 2015

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j. patrick coolican:

Valet living, loving life high above the Las Vegas Strip

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Leila Navidi

Anthony Young checks out the view from the recreation room at Veer Towers in CityCenter Wednesday, June 15, 2011.

Veer Towers Valet

Anthony Young works at the Veer Towers valet stand in CityCenter Thursday, June 16, 2011. Launch slideshow »
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J. Patrick Coolican

Anthony Young is living the Las Vegas dream if there ever were one.

When he’s not working as a valet at New York-New York, he can crash at his cool, tile-floored, 12th-floor studio apartment at one of the Veer Towers at CityCenter.

In addition to his New York-New York job, three days a week he gets to work from home, sort of, as a valet at his own Veer complex.

For a grand a month in rent, he can hit the Veer pool, which offers great views to the south. Or he can work out in the gym or hang in the “residential lounge,” which offer views north, including the Bellagio Fountains and the pools at the Cosmopolitan.

“At night, it’s nuts,” he says of the views. “The amenities — you can’t beat ’em.”

Young, 31, is the picture of West Coast cool, his Oakland A’s hat slightly — but not extremely — askew, a sly grin that indicates he knows more than the rest of us.

He has friends in the building who work on the Strip, in nightclubs and such, so he never waits in line at the cool places. And at CityCenter, he’s a local, so no problem there either.

His social life had died down when he turned 25 or so, but it’s been revived since living in the …. what do we call it? City?

“I don’t know if I can ever go back to living off the Strip,” Young says.

With the views, the convenience, the action, the price, you can’t blame him.

This probably isn’t quite what MGM Resorts International execs had in mind when they dreamed up CityCenter. They must have thought they’d attract rich folks who wanted a second or third home — a plutocratic playground.

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Anthony Young goes up to his apartment at Veer Towers in CityCenter Wednesday, June 15, 2011.

But ride the elevators here, and it seems the place is a real community of sorts, with industry workers who love the convenience of walking to work and their proximity to fun.

It calls to mind an uncomfortable truth of the housing crash and the recession more generally — for some people, it has worked out great.

Of course, there are downsides. Young looks down on the construction of the giant new Walgreens — because this is what the Strip really needs? — and says he hopes it will carry some groceries, especially produce.

As far as eating goes, “It’s not bad — you just have to hit the happy hours,” Young says.

He occasionally goes to Whole Foods, down the street at Town Square, for groceries.

He hasn’t driven in a month, which is a little curious when you see his car.

Deep in the bowels of Veer, past the tiny dog park and the rich people carrying shopping bags, there it rests, taking up three spaces. (He parks the cars, after all.)

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Anthony Young's car, which he rarely needs to drive anymore, parked at Veer Towers in CityCenter Wednesday, June 15, 2011.

It’s a 1970 Chevelle, one of several classic cars he owns and works on at his dad’s small custom shop. The others are Jags and a Rolls-Royce.

Back to the Chevelle: It’s sunburst yellow with black stripes on the hood and would have fit perfectly in a scene in “Dazed and Confused.”

“I had to get it,” he says casually. “It had the manual transmission.”

The only problem?

“It’s an old guy magnet. Everybody has a story about how they drove cross country in one or lost one in a divorce. Never fails. It’s like, geez, c’mon.”

Someday Young will have stories of his own, about living on the Strip, high above the lights.

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