Las Vegas Sun

July 28, 2014

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Checking in on Matt Minichino, the Hard Rock Hotel’s nightlife mogul

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Justin M. Bowen

Hard Rock Hotel director of nightlife operations Matt Minichino

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We're in a recession, right? The Vanity Affair doesn't care. For $100,000, you get the bottle (Dom Pérignon White Gold Jeroboam) and, most importantly, you get the trip: a three-night stay for 12 at the $11 million Casa Cielo, the Cabo San Lucas home of Colorado Rockies first baseman and Vanity co-owner Jason Giambi. The 20,000-square-foot home boasts nine bedrooms, two pools, a movie theater, gym, personal chaperone and staff of three to cook and clean.

You may have seen the Hard Rock Hotel's director of nightlife operations before — just not perhaps in the most flattering light. New York native Matt Minichino was portrayed as the irascible pool manager in truTV's reality series "Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock Hotel." And although he admits to being a very on-the-move, intense presence, sitting across from me in Vanity nightclub, he comes across as a genuinely nice guy. Really.

"Coming to work is fun for me," he said. "I sat down the other day and I laughed because it was my year anniversary at the Hard Rock, and I thought about it, and I took three days off all year."

One of those days, he says, was for his brother's wedding, which occurred over Memorial Day weekend. Had it been someone else, Minichino says he probably would have skipped it to man the ship at Rehab during the first big holiday of the pool season. This year, he's looking forward to maintaining the status of the longest-running pool party in the city by bringing in guest DJs and live performances, and helping the hotel throw what he calls "the 24-hour party."

"You can go to the nightclub, you can go to the after-hours club (beginning, he estimates, in late May), you can go to the pool party — we have so many wonderful entities inside this property, why would you want to leave?"

— Originally published in Las Vegas Magazine

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