Las Vegas is the epitome of “the good ol’ boy” network and the unwritten rule is simple- if you wear a suit to a business meeting and you don’t work in the casino world, and they don’t know you, you’re probably a thief. The boys in the circle are very selective about who gets in. One just doesn’t get in because they want in, some say it’s acceptance parallels being “jumped in” or even, dare I say, becoming “a made man”. If, you know what I mean.
Before any of my female colleagues get all bent out of shape, let me assure you, this is not a sexist article. I have many female counterparts who are aggressive, intelligent, successful and sexy. But, as we’re focusing on the fast pace of the men’s side of the business in Sin City, we’ll reserve paying homage to the fairer sex in another edition. I promise.
Now, as far as the “rules” of business in this town, the number one rule is simple – never lie. This valley is a very large, small town. Good news travels slowly,
and bad news will beat you home. Probably no other city on the globe epitomizes pursuit of the “Brass Ring” more than Vegas. People come from all over the globe to try their luck in both the casinos and the boardroom. Some meet success, while others, abysmal failure.
The business models most pursued gravitate around real estate and gaming. Either can propel a participant to wealth faster than a heat-seeking missile and just as easily deliver failure faster than a free-falling safe.
For example. In 2006, at the historical height of the Las Vegas real estate market, overnight fortunes were made by a select few who never even owned a piece of real estate! A technique known as the “double escrow” was the weapon of choice. In that market, it was real-life musical chairs. When the music stopped, if you were holding a piece of real estate, you were screwed.
I know this as fact as I am a real estate broker in both Nevada and California and have been for more than three decades. I play with the “Big Boys”. Says my good friend Ehren Alessi, owner of Resolution Realty, and on the cusp of being one of Vegas’ elite “40 before 40”, “With nearly 400 active listings in the market, our firm, according to the Las Vegas MLS, is the number one real estate brokerage in the state; you don’t earn that distinction by doing stand-up comedy on the strip.
Yeah, being number one is awesome,‘cept when I started this gig, I had a full head of hair.” In gaming, the rules are even more simple – if you use credit at a casino to tempt Lady Luck and she does not smile on you, pay up. Today. I’m sure you can read between the lines on that one. There are dozens of gaming resorts lining the fabulous strip, so how does one choose? Think “old school”. When men dressed in a tux and his date in a sexy evening gown and the presence of celebrities was nearly guaranteed if you were at the right property. Today, there are a few properties that epitomize this – The Cosmopolitan, or better known as, “The Cosmo”, and Aria. On a Saturday night, beautiful young, hip clubbers parade through the property as if they were strolling the red carpet at the Academy Awards.
And who else in this town to better illustrate the value class and networking? That distinction belongs to long-time Vegas aficionado, Jonathan Scott. A celebrity-studded event will find him in the thick of things pressing the flesh and making things happen.
Says Jonathan, tongue-in-cheek, “Rules? In Vegas?
The rules are that there are no rules.”
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