Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013 | 1:50 p.m.
Beverly Hills mogul and hotel-nightlife-restaurant real-estate developer Sam Nazarian is set to open his SLS Las Vegas property late next year on the site of the former Sahara. But he’s not the new kid on the block because the billionaire has already established a footprint on the Strip.
And his grip on Las Vegas hospitality is getting even bigger. It began with his Hyde Bellagio in partnership with MGM Resorts, and that union also appears to be growing.
I’m hearing rumors that Sam’s Las Vegas chief executive, SLS President Rob Oseland, is in negotiations to take over another nightclub in the MGM family of hotels, plus, he’s the brains behind the new venue Double Barrel Roadhouse to be built at the MGM park project linking New York-New York and Monte Carlo.
The Las Vegas expansion joins Sam’s rapid and explosive growth in Los Angeles, Miami and, next up, New York City. SLS at the old Sahara also will feature his nightclub Shelter from Hollywood and his restaurants Bazaar by celebrity chef Jose Andres, the hip Katsuya and Umami Burger.
Sam and Rob’s initial Las Vegas venture began with Hyde, where Brody Jenner will celebrate his 30th birthday on Aug. 17. Hyde also is the venue for the closing celebration Aug. 14 of next week’s VIP-studded SxSW events headlining Zappos founder Tony Hsieh, former AOL chief Steve Case and fashion designer Lauren Bush Lauren, granddaughter of former President George H.W Bush. SLS execs have been inking deals with stars in advance of their full foray onto the Strip.
Before I left for my European travels, I asked Mio Danilovic, vice president of operations for SBE, to reveal some of the secrets of Hyde’s success with the unique and unusual, which will stamp the group’s full-fledged Strip invasion:
As the VP of operations for SBE, I was thrilled to spearhead the opening of Hyde Bellagio on New Year’s Eve 2011 because it marked SBE’s first endeavor in the Las Vegas market. We have been able to use Hyde as our flagship Las Vegas property to showcase our capabilities as a hospitality company while simultaneously developing an industry reputation locally and beyond.
As a result, locals and tourists know Hyde as a unique experience in a beautiful venue that boasts creative programming. We have taken liberties with the design and implementation of several aspects of Hyde Bellagio that truly set it apart from the rest.
I credit these freedoms, in part, to the city’s free spirit and “anything is possible” mentality. As a company, we strive to create memorable experiences for each and every guest. Hyde’s unbeatable location behind the Bellagio Fountains and its intimate layout make it a must-see when visiting Las Vegas that keeps guests returning time and time again.
We took a great deal of creative freedom when creating our menu of bottle-service packages reserved for our VIP guests who purchase tables. We took the standard nightclub’s vodka-and-mixer bottle service and upped the ante with out-of-the-box presentations that offer a higher degree of detail and entertainment.
For example, guests can order the “I’m on a Boat” package during which the customer is carried into Hyde on top of a custom gilded boat while Lonely Island’s song “I’m on a Boat” blares over the loudspeakers and servers deliver the customer to his table.
A fan favorite is the “Top Gun Package,” for which the guest arrives on top of a silver jet to the sound of Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone,” and finally the “Motorcycle Package,” where one of our gorgeous cocktail waitresses dons a sexy leather outfit and delivers bottles on a mini motorcycle.
The most elaborate package of all is the “$250K Fountain Package.” We knew that we needed to use our amazing location with the Bellagio Fountains, so we developed a package where the guest can select the song to which the fountains play. Sitting center stage on the patio after the fountains have shut down for the night, the Hyde team delivers a custom gold box with a button inside and a menu of songs.
After selecting the song, the customer hits the button to activate the fountains while toasting with glasses of bubbly from a 30-liter bottle of Ace of Spades. All eyes in the nightclub are on the guest as they control what Trip Advisor has dubbed the nation’s No.1 landmark. It’s an experience unlike anything else.
Although these unique bottle-service packages are available to VIP guests for purchase, the whole club plays witness to their display. Each presentation is a memory in the making for everyone who watches them unfold. They’re a way for us to entertain clubgoers while serving our big spenders with that next level of hospitality.
Robin is an expert on all things luxury, and I’m sure that he will agree when I say that one of the many reasons La Vegas is so extraordinary is its ability to let anyone play “rich and famous” — even if just for a night. At Hyde Bellagio, we have mastered this concept by creating a moment and a memory for each and every person in the club — not just the rich and famous.
Las Vegas has supported our creative endeavor with Hyde Bellagio, and now less than 18 months after opening, we’ve broken ground on SLS Las Vegas. We are incredibly excited to add another local venue to our portfolio and will continue to share a wide array of SBE’s signature lifestyle experiences inside the property when it opens in late 2014.
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.
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Inspired by the beautiful villages of Europe, the AAA Five Diamond Bellagio overlooks a Mediterranean-blue, 8 ½-acre lake, where fountains perform a magnificent aquatic ballet choreographed to music and lights.
Within Bellagio are award-winning dining experiences including two AAA Five Diamond restaurants, Julian Serrano's Picasso and Le Cirque from the renowned Maccioni family.
Bellagio is home to an impressive collection of luxury retailers including Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Tiffany & Co., Breguet, Prada, Fred Leighton, Chanel, Dior, Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Hermès and OMEGA.
A world-class art gallery, the exquisite Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, the stunning “O” by Cirque du Soleil, a luxurious spa and salon, dynamic nightlife at The Bank, Hyde Bellagio and Lily Bar & Lounge and an elegant casino all add to the extraordinary Bellagio experience.