Monday, March 18, 2013 | 5:04 p.m.
For the next 96 hours, it’s all about drinking, dancing and making merry. It’s the biggest show of its kind in America, with 34,000 industry professionals who are signed up to take part touring more than 600 exhibitors.
The 2013 Nightclub & Bar Convention & Trade Show with more than 70 moneymaking seminars and workshops begins today, with two Happy Hour parties at Planet Hollywood in Blondie’s and DB’s Pool & Pong. The first big shindig is tonight at XS in Steve Wynn’s Encore with rapper and producer Lil Jon, named resident DJ of the Year in Nightclub & Bar Awards voting, performing a DJ set.
Our preview posted last Thursday featured “Bar Rescue” host Jon Taffer. On Tuesday, the Spike reality TV star makes the official welcome speech followed by Boston Beer Co. President Jim Koch’s keynote address. “Bar Rescue” has its Happy Hour at Lavo in Palazzo. The official kickoff party is at Caesars Palace’s Garden of the Gods pool, with parties at Hyde Bellagio, Pure in Caesars with hip-hop icons Rev Run and Ruckus and gentlemen’s club Sapphire.
On Wednesday, Nick Shepherd, CEO of TGI Fridays and Carlson Restaurants, is the keynote speaker. Music superstar, Grammy winner and Planet Hollywood headliner CeeLo Green joins Jon, president of the Nightclub & Bar Media Group, for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Las Vegas Convention Center exhibit hall. It will be followed with a red carpet walk for the winners of the Nightlife Awards to be presented afterward.
The Top Three winners that collectively earned more than $250 million last year were Marquee at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, XS and Tao in The Venetian. The Top 100 Platinum Party is at Marquee, and there are Happy Hour parties preceding at Krave Massive in The Rio, Gilley’s and Senor Frogs at Treasure Island, STK at The Cosmopolitan and DVB’s Pool & Pong.
On Thursday, Jon gives the keynote speech, followed by a tequila bartender challenge. The farewell party is at Tryst in Wynn, with Happy Hour festivities at Dal Toro in Palazzo and Bagatelle alongside the Tropicana. Check back regularly to VegasDeLuxe.com, LasVegasSun.com and LasVegasWeekly.com for reports throughout the convention.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.