Las Vegas Sun

October 24, 2014

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Guest Columnist:

SBE Nightlife VP Mio Danilovic: Creating memories to last a lifetime on the Strip

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Mio Danilovic celebrates his birthday at the season opener of Vegas XIV Sessions on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, at Hyde Bellagio. Danilovic is vice president of operations for nightlife of SBE, which owns Hyde and is renovating the old Sahara into SLS.

Double Barrel Roadhouse at Monte Carlo

Launch slideshow »

Brody Jenner Spins at Hyde Bellagio

Brody Jenner, with DJ William Lifestyle, makes his DJ debut Friday, July 18, 2014, at Hyde Bellagio. Launch slideshow »

It’s a dazzling, glamorous, multimillion-dollar and legendary weekend for the opening of SLS Las Vegas, and chart-topping “Fancy” pop-princess Iggy Azalea is the first of the superstars to celebrate the opening of the first Strip hotel in nearly four years. There will be another surprise big-name guest onstage, too, and then DJ Erick Morillo will open the hotel’s Life nightclub.

Our guest columnists today in our Vegas DeLuxe salute to Style, Luxury and Service are Mio Danilovic, VP of nightlife operations for SBE (the parent company of SLS), and chef Danny Elmaleh of Cleo at SLS Las Vegas. Guest columns by SLS President and COO Rob Oseland and SBE Senior VP of Restaurant Operations Matt Erickson were recently posted, and our preview of the grand-opening party was posted Wednesday. Here’s Mio.

The landscape of Las Vegas nightlife is ever evolving. Some would say our local industry is defined by the constant changing of trends, but I like to think that innovation is a much more appropriate descriptor for the wheels that make this city spin.

In a market of fierce competition, I’m proud to say that SBE has flourished not only by keeping creativity flowing and consistently producing innovative new offerings, but by delivering everything we do to the guest through unparalleled customer service. We measure our success in providing guests once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Whether it’s the feeling they get when thousands of pounds of confetti blast overhead or the opportunity to operate the Bellagio Fountains with the click of a button, our guests remember their time with us long after their Las Vegas vacation — and wild night out — ends.

We’ve solidified our reputation as a Strip nightlife innovator through the one-of-a-kind and interactive programming at our premier Las Vegas venue, Hyde Bellagio. Now we’ve upped the ante with Double Barrel Roadhouse. By partnering with MGM Resorts’ incredible resorts to open these Strip-side venues, we’ve been able to elevate guest experiences in incredibly unique ways.

When Hyde opened on New Year’s Eve 2011, it’s fountain-side opulence instantly made a mark among locals and tourists alike. At the nightclub overlooking the fountains, nights at Hyde evolve from a sophisticated lounge featuring craft cocktails and small plates to a high-energy party that doesn’t let up until early morning hours.

January 2012 saw the debut of our monthly Sunday night XIV Sessions at Hyde, a reincarnation of a notorious Los Angeles party with a distinctly Las Vegas vibe. The outrageously imaginative themed parties take place from dusk to dawn with outrageous costumes and continuing champagne showers. The party really transforms as the night goes on, and I love to see people having the time of their lives.

Although bottle service is a staple in any Las Vegas club, our approach continues to surpass the ordinary. It’s a nightly norm here for guests to drop thousands of dollars on standard bottle-service packages. Hyde takes service to a higher level, including a secret selection of packages for our most elite clientele.

With prices ranging from $5,000 to $250,000, our packages transcend standard-delivery methods by entertaining the entire club while also catering to the VIPs who purchase them. It isn’t a bird or a plane that’s bringing your enormous bottle of champagne: It’s Superman — or perhaps the Pink Panther or Super Mario Bros.

If you prefer sexy girls to superheroes, you can order an alcohol parade with a procession of hot bodies, sirens and flashing lights. The possibilities are really as endless as your imagination. Together with energetic Live Music Thursdays and unbeatable special guests such as John Legend, Hyde continues to set the bar incredibly high. You’ve heard the term “only in Vegas.” We like to say “Only at Hyde.”

In opening Double Barrel, SBE’s second Las Vegas operation, we created a unique dining-and-nightlife venue built around infusing fun into each and every element of the guest experience. Very few companies can successfully deliver a hybrid restaurant-and-nightlife concept, but we were able to take on the feat with Double Barrel and didn’t go into the process blindly thanks to our successes at Hyde and SBE’s proven portfolio of destinations that meld nightlife and dining experiences.

Once again, our invaluable partnership with MGM only heightened the amount of expertise and dedication that went into Double Barrel’s opening. Like Hyde, Double Barrel boasts an incredible location, a stunning indoor-outdoor space at the Monte Carlo overlooking the Strip. The venues also share a focus on quality and creativity.

George Clooney at Hyde Bellagio

George Clooney at Hyde Bellagio on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »
Click to enlarge photo

Mio Danilovic.

An inspired beverage program with craft beer, wine, specialty cocktails, reimagined classic drinks and signature sips served in mason jars cap friendly service. The kitchen serves up delicious American classics with a Southern twist thanks to an oversized wood-burning grill. Even dessert, such as our Pie in a Jar and Deep Fried S’mores, isn’t your typical dessert.

Better yet, Double Barrel has 25 flat-screen televisions streaming all major sporting events, prime real estate for kicking back and catching a game. But Fridays and Saturdays after 9 p.m. is when the space evolves into a nightlife venue. You can go from a bar/restaurant to a true Las Vegas nightlife experience through the lens of the Double Barrel brand. Double Barrel’s atmosphere truly lets loose, becoming a haven for enlightened nightlife fueled by live bands, bar rituals and the beautiful “Double Barrel Girls” performing choreographed dances on elevated catwalks.

SBE strives to elevate our guests’ experience at all of our venues. Guests can expect even more signature nightlife when SLS Las Vegas opens this weekend. We will bring the right music paired with performances that are visually impactful.

The best and worst thing about Las Vegas is it is the most competitive nightclub market on the planet — the best nightclub-operating groups, the best nightclubs, the biggest budgets, the biggest artists — so when you’re stepping into this market, you really have to fight for it. It’s difficult to do something different in a market where people have seen it all.

If which club you’re at has become a blur, you’ll never forget where you’re partying at Life at SLS, as its name is spelled out in giant marquee letters front-and-center upon entering (a perfect photo op for the #selfie set). Look opposite the DJ booth and check out the projection mapping on curtains that conceal the former theater’s front-of-house balcony (though if you’re a total baller, we bet they’d figure out a way for you to throw a party up there).

For those who like numbers, there are three bars, 70 VIP tables, 460,000 pixels on the walls/DJ booth and one rooftop pool, which we’ll see more of next year with summer pool season already almost over.

Life will have the big-name DJs Las Vegas clubbers crave, such as Erick Morillo for the grand opening Saturday, followed by Laidback Luke on Aug. 29 and Dirty South on Aug. 30 during Labor Day Weekend. Then there’s Deep Dish and Pete Tong on Aug. 31; don’t miss that one, as Sharam has promised a sunrise set on Life’s pool deck. Looking ahead to Sept. 20, we’ll have our “Eat. Sleep. Rave. Repeat.” signs held high for Fatboy Slim.

Industry night will bring underground sounds. We’re trying to educate the Las Vegas scene that this is the new sound and this is the future. You see that trend growing more and more throughout Europe and other cities in the United States.

It’s not only a cliche to claim that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas — in our case, it’s just not true. At SBE, we’re in the business of creating memories for our guests by continually offering the most innovative new experiences — and these are the memories they carry with them for a lifetime.

We’ll have a report and photo gallery from Friday night posted Saturday. Be sure to read our other guest column today from chef Danny Elmaleh of Cleo at SLS Las Vegas. On Sunday, we welcome Crystals chief Farid Matraki, First Friday’s Charles Ressler and restaurant designer Vincent Celano as our guest columnists.

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 Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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