Tuesday, July 3, 2012 | 3:54 p.m.
“The D Las Vegas will hold live, open auditions on Fremont Street Experience’s Third Street Stage in a search for 100 Dancing Dealers,” read the press release. One problem: Only about 40 women showed up. And of those 40, only 13 made it to the stage. (The rest were eliminated earlier.) The good news: If you were one of those 13, you gotta like your odds!
Co-choreographer Katie Kenner worked with the girls before they took the stage, teaching them the 60-second routines they were to perform before casino owner Derek Stevens and a midafternoon Fremont crowd. It was a tricky assignment, because, ultimately, the girls will not be doing choreographed dances; they’ll be go-go-ing.
“I tried to choreograph something that wouldn’t intimidate the auditionees,” Kenner explained.
At 3:55 p.m., the emcee took to the stage and told the crowd that the D was “Picking the most beautiful girls in Vegas to be our dancing dealers.” He encouraged us to applaud, to “please let them know how good they’re doing and how beautiful they really are.”
The first heat walked out and danced to the first minute of The Wanted’s “Glad You Came.” Then the music cut abruptly, and the girls did it again, and then again. Then they freestyled. Next, the second heat. They had some trouble with the choreography, but their freestyle dancing was solid.
“With the limited time they had,” Kenner said, “I think they did well.”
And the D’s rebranding is evidenced by more than just the live auditions and dancing dealers. They’re selling D T-shirts in the gift shop, and they’ve got a cloth D sign riveted to the casino front facade. That said, and with at least 87 dealer spots open, the property still has a long way to go.
The D Las Vegas is the new revved-up name for a longtime downtown Las Vegas hotel, Fitzgeralds, which had been in operation since 1987.
Owner Derek Stevens rebranded and refurbished the hotel in fall 2012 to give it a motor city theme, using the nickname of his beloved city, Detroit, for the name of the new hotel. He also brought in two restaurant favorites from Detroit: American Coney Island and Joe Vicari's Andiamo Italian Steakhouse.
The property features 638 remodeled contemporary rooms and suites. The unique two-level casino included slots and table games. Dancing dealers are featured on the first floor. And the second floor transports guests back in time to old-school Vegas with its Vintage Casino.
The casino also features the LONGBAR, the longest bar in Nevada, where sports fans can watch games on big screen TVs. Outside on Fremont Street, D Bar invites guests and passerby alike to enjoy refreshing frozen libations and specialty cocktails as talented, trickster bartenders send bottles and glasses flying through the air.
The Showroom at the D features the interactive comedy show, "Marriage Can Be Murder," where guests can be part of the mystery.
CORRECTION: This story originally said only 13 dancers showed up to the auditions. About 50 women came to the auditions, but after initial cuts, only 13 auditioned for the audience. | (July 11, 2012)