The Light Group
Friday, Oct. 9, 2015 | 10 a.m.
It’s the ultimate dream for a UNLV graduate and entry-level busser at a Las Vegas nightclub: to work your way up through the ranks and become one of the two partners tapped to run the entire operation.
Billionaire Ron Burkle, who has become the outright owner of Light Nightclub and Daylight Beach Club at Mandalay Bay after this week’s exit by Hakkasan Group as owners, has signed Colin Comer and John Pettei’s new management, consulting and marketing company Play Management to oversee all aspects of the businesses as managing partners.
They also will develop future Las Vegas nightlife and hospitality projects for the business mogul who through his The Yucaipa Companies venture capital fund owns the Fresh & Easy grocery chain here and is a part owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates and partners with Ashton Kutcher in the Seat Geek and AirBnB technology companies.
Ron once offered to purchase the financially troubled Sacramento Kings, but Las Vegas owners Joe and Gavin Maloof rejected his bid. This week, he was in the headlines for purchasing a significant equity stake in Hollywood TV production company Relativity Media.
The new team began operating Light a few days ago and will operate Daylight starting in the 2016 season. As managing partners of Light and Daylight, the two men already have a wealth of hospitality knowledge and experience. The duo teamed up for the launch of Light and Daylight in 2013 while serving as executives of Light Group.
“We are committed to creating unparalleled experiences for guests while providing them with world-class service at both venues. We look forward to taking these incredible venues at Mandalay Bay to new heights moving forward,” they said.
This news comes on the heels of Editor at Large John Katsilometes’ report this week of the changes there involving Hakkasan Group and Cirque du Soleil.
Light will continue to be open Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10:30 p.m. to 4 a.m. Daylight will be closed for the remainder of the 2015 season until reopening next Spring on Friday and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays from 12 to 6 p.m. and the Sunday Sundown event from 6 to 10:30 p.m.
Colin has 15 years of marketing, operations and entertainment experience in coming to Light and Daylight. Before moving to Las Vegas five years ago, he was a hospitality executive in Chicago, serving as director of marketing and operations for LGN Group, owners of some of the city’s most successful restaurant and nightlife properties. Light Group recruited him in 2010, where he first served as director of marketing. Within 13 months, he was promoted to vice president of marketing, where he oversaw nightlife and daylife marketing.
He also took on a large role in business development at Light Group, helping to launch projects including Lily Bar & Lounge at Bellagio, 1 OAK Nightclub at Mirage, Light and Daylight, in addition to opening two restaurants, Citizens and Kumi, and revamping Red Square all at Mandalay Bay.
John, who has called Las Vegas home for 15 years, is originally from New York but moved West for a degree in hospitality management from UNLV. With 16 years in hospitality operations, he was an integral part of Light Group as director of operations. He developed business ventures and played a large part in the growth of Light Group.
His career began with Light Group as a busser, moving up the ranks before ultimately becoming general manager, then finally director of operations.
‘BAZ’ HEADS TO VENETIAN
It has been confirmed — but off the record — that “For the Record: Baz,” which opened and closed at Light, has found a new home at the Venetian, and it will get a new name, with all references to the “Baz” title changed. The show won rave reviews and growing audiences at Light before the recent executive shuffles and decision by Hakkasan Group to exit its ownership status.
Venetian officials decided to retitle the show for its move there because “Baz,” named for Australian movie director Baz Luhrmann and known to the film crowd in Los Angeles, is basically unknown here on the Strip. The show was developed from its hit Los Angeles run by Cirque du Soleil’s new theatrical division, who has, since the changes at Light, relinquished their partnership.
The arrival of the new-look, new-name show at the Venetian necessitates major entertainment changes there. Wicked Whispers & Racy Rumors are that Human Nature have been given notice, and the Aussie foursome will exit for a venue next door at Harrah’s.
Also, two shows from the East Coast are rumored to take over the main Palazzo theater at the property where Bob Anderson will end his run of “Frank: The Man, The Music” Sinatra tribute on Nov. 28.
Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years 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 Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
In the spirit of Venice, The Venetian is a little piece of romantic Italy right here in Las Vegas. The Venetian is an "all-suite" hotel, with rooms accented with plush linens and Italian marble. The 4,027 suites are divided into two towers: The 36-story Venetian Tower that offers guests a taste of luxurious Las Vegas and the Venezia suites, which guarantee 12 floors of high-end elegance. The top five floors are the hotel's highest level of luxury with its private access, concierge lounge, upgraded features and even a dedicated staff.
The flagship of Venetian nightlife is TAO, an ultra-hip nightclub located inside of TAO Asian Bistro. V Bar is The Venetian's super smooth ultra lounge, made by the owners of New York City's club Lotus and Los Angeles' super swank Sunset Room.
The Venetian features 19 restaurants including Thomas Keller's award-winning French restaurant Bouchon, Mario Batali's B&B Ristorante, Aquaknox for fresh seafood and the 42,000 square foot TAO Asian Bistro. There's also the food court inside the Canal Shoppes for those looking for a quick bite.
Guests can float along The Grand Canal Shops in an authentic Italian gondola ride and pass stores like Burberry and Kenneth Cole along the way. And if you haven't caught a real celeb, on the street in Vegas, you can head over to Madame Tussauds to check out a wax version.