Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014 | 11:32 p.m.
Robin Leach has finished his annual summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy, and many of our Strip personalities again stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. As Robin enjoys the remainder of his working vacation with his family, we continue today with our popular guest columns. Here is Wendy Albert, senior director of marketing for Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.
I’ve been working in shopping centers most of my life. I started in college working retail as a sales clerk at a department store. When it came time to secure an internship, I was directed to the marketing department located in the mall’s management office. At the time, I didn’t know that malls had offices; however, I was quickly hired as an intern and thus began a 20-plus-year career.
The main thing I’ve learned after all these years marketing shopping centers is that no two days are alike. As an intern, I took on a variety of odd jobs at the mall. I would dress up as Clifford the Big Red Dog for a back-to-school promotion one day and stuff goodie bags for a special event the next. As senior director of marketing at Miracle Mile Shops, my days definitely don’t lack variety. One afternoon I’m meeting Sammy Hagar at Cabo Wabo Cantina — one of our delicious Strip-side restaurants — and the next I’m stuffing goodie bags. Some things never change!
I’d love to show everyone around Miracle Mile Shops, but to explore our entire 1.2-mile retail/entertainment complex would take far too long. Instead, I thought that I’d give readers a glimpse at a day in my life.
I start every morning with a giant 22-ounce mug of tea, which I enjoy while I do my morning reading. Each day I check Miracle Mile Shops’ social media pages to see what our customers are saying, the local papers’ websites for the latest news, Women’s Wear Daily online to stay current on what’s happening in the world of stores and fashion trends, key shopping center trade websites for industry news and, of course, Robin Leach’s column to find out what fabulous events he’s been attending.
Being a leader in the community means volunteering my time for a number of local organizations. I sit on the board of directors for Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada. This particular morning, I attend a board meeting for the nonprofit. I’ve been on this board for years and have participated in many events. Being able to get involved with the kids is one of the best things about my job.
Upon returning to Miracle Mile Shops, I stop by Club Tattoo to speak with Sean Dowdell, one of the store’s owners. We had a wonderful Sublime autograph signing on July 5. The shop is a favorite among Las Vegas visitors and locals. It has beautiful jewelry, amazing piercers, world-renowned tattoo artists such as Joey “Hollywood” Hamilton, winner of “Ink Master,” and another owner who’s a real-life rock star: Chester Bennington. The lead singer of Linkin Park and Stone Temple Pilots owns the shop along with Sean and his wife Thora. While I’m there, Sean introduces me to a customer that he just pierced, UFC veteran Frank Trigg.
Heading back to the center’s corporate offices, I pause and chat with Miracle Mile Shops’ director of leasing about what new stores we’ll be announcing this month. Chipotle is coming later this summer along with some other exciting shops that I’m not allowed to share just yet. Upon reaching my desk, I sit down and look through the email blasts I’ve received from stores in the center to see what they’re featuring this summer. This research is not only for work — I’m writing an article on summer fashion trends — but for personal reasons, as well.
What can I say? I like to shop! After some brief browsing, I head back down to the mall to check some clothing and accessories stores and see what’s hot and new for my “Summer of Style” article. I’ll definitely be including the following five trends:
When it’s more than 100 degrees outside, wearing one piece of clothing is not only fashionable, it’s cooler! BCBGMaxAzria, Cache and Marciano have lots of great on-trend styles for summer.
I’m not talking about the knee-high versions of seasons past, but sleek, low-profile styles. You can find some show-stopping metallic and bedazzled options at Aldo, Chinese Laundry and Guess Accessories.
Mirrored aviator sunglasses
You can never have too many sunglasses in Las Vegas, and this style is perfect for everyone. Guys and gals rejoice, Solstice Sunglass Boutique and Sunglass Hut have tons of frames in a variety of colors and price points.
Although these aren’t a style for everyone, crop tops look great when paired with high-waisted shorts or skirts. H&M and Bebe carry many cuts and colors.
Nothing says summer like a good tropical leaf or floral print. The best places to find these classic designs for men and women are Tommy Bahama and Original Penguin.
After a busy morning, it’s time for lunch. Since I’ve already decided that I’m not going to be wearing cropped tops this summer, I settle on the buffalo chicken pizza from PBR Rock Bar & Grill. The restaurant is a favorite of mine — not only is the food great, but I can watch guests ride the mechanical bull while I eat, which is always entertaining. I use the rest of my break to visit Sephora and pick up my favorite moisturizer. Working at a mall definitely has its perks.
Finishing up a long day, I head to meet the film crew for "702 Scene," a show that airs in hotel rooms and tells guests about the most exciting places to visit while in Las Vegas. Miracle Mile Shops will be featured in the show’s newest episode, and we’re filming in five stores today. This afternoon, Shoe Palace, Alex & Ani, GNC, Ketchup Premium Burger Bar and Billabong will all get some time in the spotlight.
As I guide the crew around the center, customers recognize Alison Waite, the hostess and Playboy Playmate. We stop and allow fans to take pictures with her. Filming in Miracle Mile Shops is so much fun. With 72,000 customers in the mall every day, many end up as stars in our segments.
Even though I’m done working for the day, I stop by the Vegas Magazine cover party. Another perk of working at Miracle Mile Shops is getting to attend great events at new and exciting locations in the city. Following my appearance at the bash, I head home and go to sleep thinking of all the things I’ll get to do tomorrow. Some of them will certainly be different than the ones I did today, but you never know when I’ll have to stuff a goodie bag or two.
Be sure to check out our other guest columnist today, illusionist Jan Rouven, who headlines at the Riviera. On Monday, we’ll meet up with Las Vegas rockers Rusty Maples and new Delano hotel GM Matthew Chilton.
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.
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Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Catering to the young and modern crowd, Planet Hollywood is a one-stop shop for entertainment with its massive shopping mall, slew of restaurants, spacious casino and clubs.
The ambiance of the casino is retro-chic meets high-tech with black granite floors throughout and colorful LED lights throughout the space. The theme carries into the 100,000 square-foot casino with 250 flat screens topping off slot machines. The casino is also home to 87 tables, a sports book and a poker room.
There's also the Miracle Mile Shops, one Vegas' largest malls, with 140 stores including BCBG Max Azaria, bebe, Urban Outfitters and The Discovery Channel Store.
Following an afternoon of shopping, guests can satisfy their appetites at one of the gourmet restaurants in Planet Hollywood, like the non-traditional approach to steakhouses at Strip House or check out the exotic Far East motif at KOI restaurant and lounge. And if guests are still looking for more, they can spend the after hours at Privé, Triq or Krave nightclubs.
Perhaps one of the resorts biggest attractions came in March with the addition of "Peepshow." The naughty twist on the story of Little Bo Peep is modern-day spin on the run-of-the-mill Vegas topless review. The "Peepshow" stage has seen visiting celebs like Scary Spice Mel B, "Dancing with the Stars" Kelly Monaco and Playboy's Holly Madison.