Published Thursday, June 19, 2014 | 11:57 p.m.
Updated Friday, June 20, 2014 | 9:04 a.m.
Nate Estimada, known as “The Midnight Cowboy” on E! Entertainment’s reality TV series “Men of the Strip,” has died. Estimada was 24, and the cause of his death Wednesday night in Los Angeles County is unknown.
The Las Vegas resident was a member of the new adult-male revue Men of the Strip launched by 98 Degrees founder and lead singer Jeff Timmons, who also resides in Las Vegas. Estimada previously was a performer in Chippendales at the Rio.
Notes of condolences, sadness and shock were left on two Facebook pages for Estimada today, and his personal Facebook page has been closed.
Timmons said via Twitter: “I am heartbroken at the passing of my brother Nate Estimada. Nate was a gift to all of us and will be missed not only personally as a friend but also as a member of Men of the Strip.
“My love, prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and loved ones. He will be missed dearly, and we will keep him in our hearts forever.”
Preston Stoll, a State Farm agent at Perry Olson here in Las Vegas who met Estimada after high school six to seven years ago and considered him his best friend, said this morning, “I wish he knew how many people loved him and cared about him. … His family is my family. They’re still pretty shook up, as well. All we can do is continue his memory.”
At the Men of the Strip showcase at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay on March 29, Estimada was in an elevator with me. “Hey, I know you! We’re friends on Facebook,” Estimada said, smiling and shaking my hand. (We had become FB friends within the week or so.)
A few weekends ago, I was officially introduced to Estimada at Vegas Magazine’s 11th anniversary party at Drai’s Beach Club & Nightclub atop the Cromwell, and a photograph of the two of us was snapped. Estimada was friendly and charming, and female guests at the party were drawn to him.
Estimada’s handsome good looks, incredibly ripped physique and killer smile are obvious, but one friend and former colleague of his will remember “his little brother” in another way.
“You would never have found a bigger heart in someone.”
Don Chareunsy is senior editor for arts and entertainment of the Las Vegas Sun.
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 Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
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Carnival lasts all year at the Rio. With a float occasionally passing overhead and dropping beads while feathered dancers fire up the gamblers below, the Rio tries to keep its 120,000-square foot casino jumping with excitement. Special Brazilian mixed-drinks are also served throughout the casino. The hotel suites tend to be larger than similar priced rooms on the Strip and many offer excellent views with floor to ceiling windows.
The Rio offers some quality shows like "Penn & Teller" and "Chippendales." Many come to the Rio for the nightlife at the VooDoo Lounge, located on the 51st floor, or McFadden's Irish Pub on the casino level.
Others come for a bit relaxation at the Rio Spa or pool area and still others come to shop at the hotel's 60,000 square feet of shops. In each of these endeavors, the Rio attempts to make the experience a bit more fun and spontaneous.
The Rio also offers guests a variety of dining choices from all-American food at the All-American Bar & Grille to Gaylord India Restaurant for something a little spicier and even Carnival World Buffet for the indecisive.