SKC Live Podcast

Shai Cohen | X-Rated Marketing | SKC Live | EP 08

In this episode, Brian sits down with marketing genius, Shai Cohen. The two talk about Shai's growth in the marketing industry, and how he was able to succeed in marketing adult entertainment venues.
foreign [Applause]
back to another episode of SKC live I'm Brian KIPP I'm actually really excited
to be joined by my longtime friend industry marketing Legend
um actually that anything new of marketing anything to do with crazy ideas anything to do with anything like that Mr shaikon
thank you buddy appreciate it I I love giving really good introductions to like my friends because
I mean we're both in the same space but man you have done it the best for
probably the longest time that I know I mean who else has been doing as long as you and as good as you
you know what that's a great Point looking back again really think in my head of somebody that's been doing this
as long as I have it and what I do yeah people have come and gone people have went to other Industries people have
crossed over and did all kinds of different things but yeah yeah because I mean you I mean I mean I met you when
you were at Sapphire but I know that you you were also doing stuff before Sapphire
I yeah I started with sapphire and I left for a couple years I went to scores oh that's right with Dennis yeah and and
then I came back to Sapphire so I think Sapphire opened in 2003 or something like that and
yeah it's it's been a great journey it was it was fun it was exciting it was a
lot of highs a lot of lows it was great you know what's funny because I remember I was doing um a marketing thing with uh in the
Cannabis world called social read and um and all of a sudden I heard through the grapevine that shy left Sapphire to
go be the VP of medmen I mean like what what like what got you out of your industry temporarily to go
over there other than probably they gave you an amazing offer yeah it was definitely one of those too good to be
to pass on kind of deals you know but anybody who knows me I'm a
independent thinker I say what I think I don't care if I offend somebody along
the way yeah I'm keeping it real what you might call it yep um so
if I'm going to do something I'm going to I'm going to try to be the best at it and and give no [ __ ] at the same time
no no for sure I mean I mean I mean the thing is is that I mean Med man was the top of the food chain when you when you
joined the team and you elevated that brand out here in Vegas I mean you took some of the some of the tips and tricks
from the from the from the uh Hospitality Night Live strip club world and you input it into you know building
up those relationships with drivers with Ubers and I mean the guy next door is your good friend with Liquor World at
one of the locations on Paradise off of strip I mean I just remember hearing all these things I'm going man because I was
actually working with a couple other cannabis Brands I'm like man the guys we need to take notes like whatever shy is
going to do he's gonna do he's gonna do it better than anybody yeah like you called it Vegas is really about
relationships and and keeping your word you know like you're going to say something do it and then
next time you call somebody they're going to be right there oh no absolutely so I think I have that
record um but one thing I can say that for me
like I said as an independent thinker and somebody just doesn't give a [ __ ] working in a corporate environment is a
little tough yes and not because I have to change maybe the way I do things or say things or whatever it's I think
sometimes they don't really know what's going on you know sitting in an office having Zoom meetings writing emails not
really physically being on the ground understanding how any place works where you're talking about Vegas right now
right so we know when the conventions are coming how they're coming where they're coming from where they're going all those things add up to you being
successful or what you do is is getting the customer right because at the end of the day a guy that comes here
is on anybody's list right uh of course strip clubs wanted my clubs want it
restaurants want them casinos want them everybody's fighting for the same guy and it's like how do you tap into him
right but if you know how they travel and where they come from and what they do and that whole thing behind it makes
it a whole lot easier for you oh no for sure I mean I mean I mean that right there's a science behind marketing you
have to know what your demographic is and you've got to know who your customer is most importantly I mean and but in
Vegas we've been doing it for so long that you're right there's a trend I mean covet kind of like you know you know
flipped it around a little bit and made it to where you know like I mean some of the
conventions were coming in later earlier and uh but I believe 2023 we're right
back on track but but you're right though like if you have somebody that's been doing this a long time in the
industry it's literally like don't try to reinvent the wheel the wheel is already there let's just make it roll
faster and more efficiently 100 spin that same wheel there's you're not gonna
Teach an old dog a little trick right yep it works because it works and it that's just how it is and you've got to
figure out how to tap into it you're not going to be able to do anything different and I think with the nightclubs you know obviously they got
it way easier right there there's room right over their head right people are staying there they're on the property so
when you're in a standalone building it's a lot harder and casinos will do
anything to keep the players inside um and you know but then at the same time you're also doing okay let's just
use Tau as an example during The Venetian Caesar's the company is going to have a problem
sending their guests to to Tao because he's at the end of the day stepping into Venetian and if he's a degenerate
Gambler he's going to end up on their tables exactly so there's all these little elements that I guess Norm most
people don't think about because I have no reason to but that we know of and and it's really a chess game and it's always
putting your horse in the best position you know it's that kind of thing well it's funny that you break that you you
talk about that because you know I I did a a short time over at win
um opening up Encore Beach Club and closing down blush nightclub but the one thing that we the whole industry had the
biggest head scratcher on was when hakasan opened up at MGM MGM put a lot
of money a lot of emphasis a lot of advertising spend and hakasan
was a great nightclub it was arguably number two and you know behind access but then all of a sudden they did a deal
with Caesars and opened up Omnia and I didn't understand that move at all
I was beyond shocked that MGM even allowed it because for that exact reason
what you just said now you're taking the customer you've already curated over at hakasan and now you're introducing them
to a brand new property a brand new club a better a better product I think Omni
is a better a better Club you know same DJs same same everything and you're basically saying oh yeah by
the way but now we're going to go over here and it never really made sense to me I mean it I mean now with tile buying
hot sun group and it doesn't really matter anymore they're you know the big fish on the sea but but um but no even
to get in so you went for Med men and then I believed the pandemic hit right uh
uh yeah something like that so it was right around the same time you ended up getting out of out of that industry
um you know I we don't have to go into your whole like travel plans that we did after that but I I know that you ended
up out of the country probably you know kind of regrouping on what shaikon wanted to do and you ended up in Miami
I did I did in my I end up in Miami after a year in Costa Rica
which was [ __ ] great you know but you know I mean even surfing and smoking
weed all day gets old right so depends on who you ask depends there should be
some people will be like now that's actually a really good thing yeah so yeah you know and I was uh I just
always stayed in touch with Dennis and you know I told him when I was going to Costa Rica and we talked a few times
when I was there and then I told him that I'm thinking of coming back and he said that there's opportunities
with him he's growing and that kind of stuff so I ended up in Miami it was a great experience I loved the brand I
loved the people I loved everything about it but my I don't know how to say it like I felt
over your hearts in Vegas my heart's in Vegas and I almost felt like a fish out of water in Miami
where here I feel like I'm a pretty big fish in the Vegas ocean yeah and even
though you know I was with the biggest best brand in the world it just was was
kind of weird for me I didn't feel that that was my place for some strange reason you know all doors were open
people were great you know endless opportunities but um just something it was something and then
I came to visit my dad and I came out of the plane at the airport and all of a sudden the machines
the noise the lights and I was like I don't know like something came over me and I was like wow
and then I right then and then I realized Vegas is my home and throughout the week that I was here it was like
amazing like I never left um so I made that choice to come back here
obviously you know I'm in good terms with 11 group
I I'm happy to have had that experience
and um it really I think made me realize and think a little bit different about
our industry because I think you know being that that old type strip club the
traditional strip club yep it's kind of played out in a way there's got to be more things going on there's got to be
uh things to cater to different people there's always that VIP room where the guy can go in and have fun with his
favorite girl but if you want to be in the main room you need other things to keep you there longer well I mean and
and we got to kind of say 11 kind of perfected that 100 yeah I mean and and
just so people you know know who Dennis we're talking about Dennis agouri the Creator CEO of 11.
um he's actually from Vegas or he did a lot of stuff here in Vegas yeah um in fact scores while we were here he
started doing the theatrics and we started in after hours he was really testing I mean he didn't really tell
anybody what he was doing but he was really testing how this thing would normally he normally does it and then he
shows up in Miami and he does like the thing that is the most amazing thing I mean
you know we can use the word got lucky but I don't believe in getting lucky because you put yourself in a position
to be and he had all that experience yeah leading up to in your right he was testing little things along the way
because you're right the old Cabaret way of of doing a gentleman's club I'm not saying it's dead because there's
stuff definitely still a market for it but I definitely think if you want to attract the younger
demographic and you know I I kind of want to get off on
a tangent here because I know I'm going to forget this point if I don't but I had this conversation with um with Alan
um the owner of pepper hippo um which is now where you're the the new marketing Guru
um but and Allen brought up a really good point to me and he said you know what he
has all these other clubs around around Vegas because Alan was at spirit
rhino for a long time and arguably number one gentleman's club on the planet until 11 came around
and he said that they kept doing everything in their power to cater to the current client
that they've had and they've that they've had since the beginning of of opening with 98.99 or around that time
period and they never were doing anything to try to you know attract new customers
and all those customers are that were like between 35 and 45 are now between 55 and
75 I mean I mean I mean they're all older now and and they fall off they get married they get old they retire they
they don't come to Vegas anymore whatever the case is but all those clubs that started doing other things to
attract customers you know Crazy Horse three Sapphire hustle even Hustler I
mean me and Gina won the partners of 11 you know we were over at um at Hustler and we figured we had to do something
different and um to even compete and and that was when Rhonda was arguably number one
sapphire was a cool second and you were there um and literally just even watching what
you were doing over at Sapphire I mean you were I mean I mean your anniversary parties were
incredible by the way you guys had like uh ping pong tournaments you guys had
all these different things and then even to the point where you guys evolved into opening up a pool a day Club
um you know and and it's just natural that you know that you're now starting
off with a brand new fresh group but a couple years old the group is yeah and
you know but there have all have a lot of experience and you know this is what like the ninth
or tenth Club no Vegas is Club number seven but since then uh and remember the
opened in April so now there's 10 clubs so since April there's three new more that opened that's amazing by probably
by June of 23 there'll be four more clubs wow yeah wow and we're just gonna
keep opening up pups and the good and the good thing is is that I've worked with Shai indirectly when he was at
Sapphire for one of the one of the partners son had a club um we worked together at 11. and now
we're back at it with uh with pepper hippo yeah yeah it's totally cool and exciting man yeah but you know you know
what it is you take two I mean and we're old guys we really are but we have the most but I'm gonna say we're so open-minded
that we're learning the tick tocks and and all the Gen x's and gen Z's and and
the ways of thinking but we both agree on one main principle we got to figure out how to get that target audience into
the club to spend money and you're starting to do some incredible things over at hippo I mean
actually really good things and um you know a lot of people are I think a lot
of people down the road are gonna are gonna look at you and they're gonna they're gonna label you in a in a we'll
call it Delta way not even a NATO way oh you're trying to rip this off you're trying to steal from this
I think you kind of were doing it before a lot of these other people are along a
lot a lot of you know uh you know of these people in the industry you know like you know the Dennis agouris with
11. I mean you were there when he was testing it out years ago um but I but I definitely think that you
know Vegas needs that fresh new adult entertainment
that could also be female friendly that can be a wow moment I can still pop
off bottles and and and make it rain um but yeah I mean I I'm beyond excited
to you know to be continuing his journey with you yeah 100 so you know Vegas is
all about experience right like you know if you live wherever you live you go to a gentleman's club you expect it to be a
general a gentleman's club right yep but here you gotta have something extra I
gotta tell you for example I think a lot of California people it's a mental clock somewhere around 1 30 2 A.M they gotta
go they gotta be on the move because their body doesn't we're gonna close down for a minute but then they're like oh [ __ ] we're in Vegas we're not going
home we're going to the next spot so you know why would you leave a great
place and go to a place not so great right so you have to have just as great or even better for somebody to move on
and be just as excited for his next stop of his weekend and I think that's what we're trying to create something that's
just as cool as fun as the nightclubs with a lot of friendly hot girls oh no
for sure and and but the thing is though too is that it's very hard for the for the for the
gentleman's clubs to compete with the nightclubs and and it's been you know last 15 20 years I mean it's been
you know the give and take right it's like you want to get that nightclub customer to come in but you also don't
want to be you know already five bottles the end and he's so wasted that he can't spend money at your place right but if
you could give them a little bit of the same word like hey I'm in town for three days I'm going here here and then I'll
I'm gonna give you a shot so when you do get that customer you have to make sure that you give them the
very best experience and I think that I think that what you know what you're offering I mean the hippo's got
beautiful girls great I mean pretty much anything that any other General sub offers you guys have Plus
and I think that that right there is why I'm more excited to be working with you and you know my team here at SKC because
you know developing out New Visions and new new branding um it it it's just always exciting to
watch it come to life I mean what a couple months ago Sean calls me up on the phone and goes hey what are you
doing and I said uh I'm I'm out with it hey come to the club I'm going to show
you something so went to the club and he's like hey I got this performer about to go on stage
um I I you know I just want you to watch it and shy is literally with a gimbal running around the stage trying to film
this thing because I don't know if your camera guy wasn't there or whatever it was but I ended up being the popper and
and but the whole thing was that he was so excited to show off something that
that hadn't really been done in a gentlemen's club yet and it's
I I again I think it's going to work yeah I think after all these years you know you want to put everything you've
learned into action but and also you it's a personal mission also you
know you you wanna prove to yourself above all that everything you can take a club that just
opened and make it the [ __ ] best club in Vegas you know considering knowing that
there's many other great clubs but the fact that it's a new club and there's no set rules there's no set
Minds there's no we do this this way so we can't do it this way we're right now writing everything is going to be moving
forward and that is cool and exciting you know you're coming in to set the
standard the standard has not been set it's wide open book you're going to write it when the owners and the
partners and hire people like me and you
to go in the first and best thing you could ever do is open up the pathway
give us our boundaries you know but let us do what we have to do because
that right there is actually going to make it a lot more because if anything is more personal product we know when
things are not working out we're going to stop it we're going to Pivot into something else but but we the one thing
we do really know is when it's working because we have the we have the the pulse the beat of the of the city we're
hearing the feedback from people um because I mean even even relationships you know like when you're
in in the John Lewis Club World you've got to be friends with everybody even other generals clubs you kind of
have to right um but especially the nightclubs I mean the nightclubs are your driver you know
for all of your secondary business I'll call it like the late night crowd right yeah you know I mean Vegas used to have
an incredible after hour scene and I can't say it kind of went away
it kind of went away um you know there's Club ego that just opened up a few months ago actually it's
pretty close to your place and they're doing phenomenal but they're 200 person capacity and they they cater to
underground um Market um you still got drays but Dre's 100
hip-hop after hours um and again if if that's your flavor you know you know that's where you're
gonna go but but the after hour scene is just not really there and you know even
even you guys are dipping into that after I've seen a little bit to kind of you know testing things out a little bit and see if you can make it um
um see if you can make it work I mean Rhino did it back in the day I know Sapphire did you guys ever do it Sapphire you
know what Sapphire we never really um we've had some nights where the showroom was kind of converted to a
nightclub kind of atmosphere but we soon realized we don't want to poke the bear
we want to make friends with the bear it's not our business we're not set up for it that room is way too big like go
to a nightclub have your fun ask your host where do I go next and let them
tell you come to Sapphire that is the way to do it I don't want to take away from anybody's business you
know master of all trades Jack of none or whatever it's called Jack of ultra is master of none yep you know be good at
what you do if you're a good Gentleman's Club be a good Gentleman's Club don't try to do other things that is not your
thing that's that's really what I believe yeah you can try new things and be a little different but bottom line is
you can't take a donkey and tell him he's a racehorse it's just not working no no for sure I mean and the thing is
even with Vegas I mean now that we're I'm not gonna say we're wide open again but I mean we're as close as wide open
again after covet um you know the conventions are back on track you know and then getting somebody
like you to come in and fill that position over over at the um over at the hippo
avn's coming to town and that was one of the first phone calls you made when you took over that
job and you're like hey who's your you know who's your sponsor were you doing all this and they're like
I don't know tell us a story a little bit about that yeah I've always had an AVN because I think uh first of all it's
fun and interesting and over the years I've made friends with uh some of the girls and they're like super great people yep
um you know we hang out we go on vacations whatever um so I don't know it just became kind
of like a almost like a family thing I don't know how to explain it right but it's a great fun event it's totally
within our industry we have been doing feature shows and it brings in a lot of people and I
don't know people have been following AVN it used to be at the Venetian at the same time as CES and it worked
great because you had yeah you had CS money then they separated they they end up
being in January but in different dates and in change property uh
in a way Hardrock was better from a guest standpoint than the Venetian
because Venetian 5 PM you went home and it was over at the Hard Rock the girls
stayed on property the signs were on property the party uh promo Flyers were
all over the property you literally lived a three-day event which was [ __ ] phenomenal from the guest
standpoint right so now it's at Resorts World which would be very interesting to see how that's going to play out yep I
don't know that they'll have free reign like they had at the Hard Rock maybe later you know this is the first year
uh but I definitely be unbelievable because it's the same data CS again and
inner next is during the same dates where before it was the opener for uh AVN so there's basically three
conventions happening at once that relate to big money and it's it's great
for the club it's great for town it's great for the industry and you know with
the industry being more accepted and a lot of girls doing only fans and stuff like that this is only going to get
bigger well yeah but so pepper hippo but you guys are going to be the we're the official gentlemen's club we have
official parties Friday night and Saturday night um I have not seen uh yeah supposedly
it's in my email today the three girls we're gonna have Friday and the three girls that we're gonna have on uh doing feature shows Saturday
wow so you could actually have a good line of fatality yeah great lineup and um yeah it's exciting I can't wait to to
get all the Cs guys to come in the club and watch the future shows and and if a
lot of people don't know what CES is it's by far hands down the number one convention driver money-wise for Las
Vegas yeah I think there's like 200 000 people here during that time yeah and
it's huge money I mean you can just the room rates alone you know what they're
asking and everything around it it's the best time of the year for sure well it's
crazy as you have see everybody always look forward to see yes it's always right after the right after the air so
you you get you're partying out of the way and you get there get right back to work but Vegas in the next
uh you know 12 to 15 months we're gonna have two other major events F1 and the
Super Bowl both unbelievable man so what are you guys doing to get pair well F1
we are still preparing trying to come up with Concepts and stuff for Super Bowl we actually
we're gonna have Skybox uh for the season of 2023 we have 11 game
nine home games we have 11 tickets per game so we're going to create packages bottle
packages don't include the tickets and we also have we also have Super Bowl tickets
so we can incorporate those into packages or we might just give them away
to our customers you know oh that'd be awesome yeah so so that is really exciting on its own and F1 I mean if you
think about it you know in my mind Miami F1 was supposed to be the [ __ ]
but when you really think about it it's not like they were driving on South Beach they were not going over the
bridge they were not really they were like pretty much where the Hard Rock is it's cool but it's not as exciting as
these cars going down Las Vegas Boulevard I mean this is unbelievable to be in the center of the city going that
fast and people on bleachers like sitting there watching it this is just like you can't even like unless you actually
see it like you won't believe that this could actually happen I 100 agree I mean you know obviously you know we were both
in Miami during F1 in Miami probably one of the best weekends that we've had you
know in Miami you've got art basil which I just got back from you've got Ultra
Bitcoin is actually becoming a big thing but you know the industry's a little a little uh bearish right now but when it
gets back to bullish I think it's still going to be great but then F1 I mean F1 is arguably you know has got to be right
up there with Basel which is always been number one um now Vegas is actually going to get an
event and it's crazy because Vegas has always had a gap you know we our our season our number
one season January February March all the money comes into town conventions
the second is April May June and then going into summertime because
you know July August September is so hot um and then you're kind of coming out of that and everybody's on you know family
vacations and you know Vegas has a little bit of a family component but it's not definitely the destination to
bring the kids um but always the slowest months has been October November December always
historically just dead the Rodeo's not in town nobody's here
yeah November had like a few decent conventions but yeah well it has SEMA
yeah but then going into you're right writing out December and then going into January and it was just like non-stop is
totally crazy well yeah because I remember when when the rodeo left when NFR left in that first week or so of
December everybody if you want to take a vacation that's when you did it because
you know that if you're in Hospitality you got to be back here for New Year's New Year's was going to be the number one I mean I think Memorial Day weekend
has always been the number one weekend in Las Vegas but New Year's being a cool second right and
but now we've got all the stuff leading up to it now you have F1 in the middle of November then you got you still got
the football games you got hockey games all these rumors about the Oakland A's
or another major league baseball team coming to Las Vegas I can't imagine them you know not putting the stadium on the
Strip or very very very near the strip and the sphere don't forget the sphere the talosphere the MSG I mean that's
just like another draw yeah I mean like literally we I remember at one point Vegas had about 120 000 rooms on the
strip and I I'm not sure if that counts like Green Valley Ranch and you know a couple of the outlining properties here
in town but um I don't know if we could I think we need more rooms I mean I mean scent Resort
World was the last major property to open up on the strip now they've got slated for two more
properties got Fountain Blue Fountain Blue is going to be opening up and then they got that Moon project right I mean
first of all that looks super [ __ ] cool it looks like our moon party's in the Gold Rush your creative mind never
stops because you're because immediately you're always trying to figure out a
a solution to a problem if it's like hey you know the worst thing someone can do to you is go up to you and and say oh
this weekend is going to be dead and you're like uh well let's figure out something to do like hey and I and I
remember you know early days of uh working with you um uh with the 11 group uh we came up
the full the full moon parties what was a full moon party it was it was
literally during the full moon we put up a moon inside the club
and we call it a full moon party and that was it and we we made sure that those LED walls
had Graphics to accommodate it no no 100 I mean but but what like really what was
it I mean if anybody I get a lot of people that talk to me and they say Brian you know like how do you get in
the marketing how do you get into this how do you get into that we took an idea that is natural
the moon comes up and it rotates well every 28 days it becomes a full moon again we literally were like oh let's do a
party full moon party and literally and just ran with it had a DJ activation you know some type of
promotion bottles specials what whatever it was it was for Gold Rush specifically
and now it's kind of I don't want to say it's a staple but everybody knows oh full moon party are you on the gold rush
I mean it's almost been a year now actually I think it's been a year yeah yeah so I mean so you don't always have
to have like Tiesto you don't always have to have like you know the hottest
girls in in you know in the club all these stuff you know all that stuff is very beneficial you know if you have
access to it go for it but you don't always have to have that to have a good party you just have to believe in the
concept of what you're trying to do you know because people always ask me like you know
um you know when they're coming into town they're like hey Brian what's the best nightclub to go do and historically
I've always looked up on the on the thing and whatever the number one DJ was playing at whatever club I'm like that's
the best party like well why is that because that's where everybody's going to be not because he's the best DJ in
your mind but if you know Tiesto spinning at zuke at Resort World you
know the place is gonna be packed it's not gonna be dead it's not even so if I'm gonna go and invest five ten thousand dollars into a VIP table
because I want to have this really good experience I want to be around beautiful people and have a good party Vibe I'm
gonna go to a place that's almost a guarantee right I'm not going to go to a place unless it's like an excess of
Omnia a marquee a towel or you know the other top five are great too but um
but no I mean like literally just sitting down and coming up with with I want to say silly ideas but sometimes
the most silliest idea turns into the biggest thing because because one thing we were actually talking about
when we were you know talking about working together um you know pepper hippo SKC group kind
of joining forces um was coming up with different concept
parties and different things that we can actually brand and move forward with kind of like a full moon right so the
one thing that we started spinning around I'm not gonna like leak anything out here but is let's go ahead and plan
a monthly event let's take the top four or five events and make them annuals the next year and
just keep rolling them why not it's creating a monthly event for a business that's open seven days
it's different than when you're trying to do something with the nightclub that's only open on the weekend so that actually felt perfect because it could
be any day of the week every month it's never consistent some days yeah maybe you wish he wasn't
on a Friday or Saturday because those are your busy nights anyway yep but it didn't matter because when it was on the
Monday or a Tuesday or Wednesday or whatever it really made the night oh for sure so in that case that specific
thing worked out perfect oh no for sure I mean and and the thing is I mean just being able to you know have the have the
right team around you because me and you can sit down all day long and come up with I guarantee you we could fill a
calendar right now if we had one day we could sit in a room and we can fill a calendar for the following year with all
these great ideas what we need is we need people to execute this yeah and and you know and not just execute doesn't
like boots on the ground but hey we're hey we're doing a theme party and we're going to call it like what you guys did
for a Halloween or Willy Wonka well we need props we need this we need we need we need little guys we need little women
like we need to tie it all together somehow um so and even graphics and you know
that there's a lot of different things that go into the stuff it's not just the person that comes up with that great
idea um you know because I you know like you know even take people like um let's
talk about Geno right good friend of ours you know Tina's a managing partnered at 11 and
um but the one thing if you don't know about him he's literally one of the smartest
marketing guys strategically that I've ever met he literally he thinks the whole thing
through the party from from start to finish you have that same quality I have that same quality just different you
know you're I would say you're you're a little bit more aggressive than I am when it comes to certain things but that
works you know when you have that control you can be aggressive because again you know when to turn on the gas
or hit the gas and you know when the slam on the breaks and you know we're not going to keep
pushing something through that doesn't work we're not trying to you know you know take a round Peg and trying to put
it through a square hole you know what I mean but if it but if the round Peg is small enough and it fits through the
square hole Yeah we might do that and the next time we're going to see if we can get a little bit closer you know
yeah but so out of everything that you've done in the industry so you've worked out
scores you've worked at Sapphire Mad Men 11 group now with the hippo I'm going to
take the hippo and I'm going to take 11 out of the equation those two out okay
with your experiences before all that what were some of the things like your
biggest successes or maybe things that you learned from different people that
to got you to where you're at today okay
that's a great question and at first I thought you were going to ask what is like one event or one thing that
I think stands out I'm gonna tell you that anyway yeah for sure yeah yeah so I
think I think uh I think it was three or four years ago
CES when one day we were looking on it I believe it was either Facebook or
Instagram and we saw that dancing robot yeah and and then I was like wow this
thing is like super cool you know and then you know I asked my friend Justin
Wu I go can you do you think you can find this guy for me and he was like yeah let me see and we
got a hold of the guy and he's actually an artist um a pretty well-known artist and I
contacted him and I go listen I I want your robot uh you know we're a strip
club there's like AI stuff is coming in right now CS is coming your robot would
be great because it kind of it's like a it's like a stripper robot and the guy got offended because he's an artist and
I'm telling him I want to use this art robot for a strip club and he refused and I called him back and
I go listen man I don't know how to tell you this but I'm never gonna stop calling you until you say yes that's what I told him I said I'm just
going to call you and call you and call you until you say yes you have no choice and I called him the next day and the
next day and then he finally said fine and I said ship the robot and he goes yeah
but you know I'll buy you a ticket too whatever and I had planned vacation
so I actually was in Japan and the robot came in the guy came in
Justin even went and picked him up and at that point I was remote and I'm like
trying to plan all this thing from a from a you know far away and I remember that I loved watching that um
that show with the motorcycles whatever it was called you know the father and the son that always argued oh like West
Coast Trapper yeah whatever and they always would unveil a motorcycle yeah and then I was like and then and then
this robot thing got so much press everybody wanted to see it I'm like we so we got to do something cool we got to do like an unveiling right we can't just
leave it there and have because it got uh news worldwide it was like worldwide
top five things to do in for CES that year number one was to see the robot at Sapphire it was unbelievable we had so
many news stations wanting to see the thing so that's what we did we put it in the showroom on stage we did unveiling
we had so many news cameras in our room you know trying to see what this thing is like
and I wasn't even here you know and it was just like so cool to be able to pull
something off like that and not even be here because you have a good team of
people around you and Friends of people that support you yep and I think that comes down to what what you say and I
think it's the same with Geno and same with you it's never really about us it's about our team and we're able to be us
and do what we do because of our team so you know that's always something that I
I keep in my mind that I can only do what I do because I have somebody else doing other things that allow me to do
me that all work together I I I 100 agree with everyone um because you're right there because
actually I do remember that um and it it's kind of funny because that
kind of leads into you know into something else like you know like I'm a huge huge component or a believer in
layered marketing you can't just go out and say oh we're going to go all in with this one thing
you got to have there's so many different senses so many different things that people are looking for in
the world and if you try to muddy it which is like a DJ try to muddy it with just the hottest girls who try to muddy
it with you need to have all these different elements because you're going to capture certain people we had a whole
conversation about like Monday Night Football you're like hey you know like do you think this is something you know
we got Flyers made you know but we we haven't really been pushing any of the stuff do you think it's even worth doing something like that or you know should
you know should we at least get it out there and we're just having a friendly conversation not that you were asking me permission but you were just you know
good conversation about it and I said hey if it brings in two people there's two more people than you had
before or brings in 10 people brings in 20 people you can build on things and and that right there goes back to the if
it's working we hit the gas if it's not working we let off on the gas right
you can keep that promotion going as long as you want you could throw in the full moon party
you throw in this throw in this you don't know what's attracting these people to come there and that was one thing on a bigger scale
for Sapphire I mean you guys are the world's largest gentleman's club that was like your big tagline right world's
largest gentleman's club and by the way if you haven't been there it's incredible Club
the the fact that you have that robot for
CES CES being the number one drawing convention to Las Vegas probably I would
probably have to say that you probably broke major records for Revenue that weekend at Sapphire did everybody want
to go there CS has always been a great money maker and also with girls I
remember one specific year that we had nearly 600 girls working one night 600
yeah nearly 600 was 500 and like High 500s and I remember telling myself holy
wow man that is insane because we're just one Club imagine how many other girls are at
other clubs you know what I mean well yeah but I mean but all the other clubs they don't know they have 200 they have
300. they'll have 600 on the floor at one time yeah add it all up there's like 8 000 strippers in Vegas right now
working like oh no no 100 you think about it that's like insane right
that's always kind of blow my mind of like of like if that industry ever
became not popular to be a dancer an Entertainer it would just it would crush the whole industry right but there's
always a new girl turning 18 or in some cases 21. depending on what club you're working at right yeah and that's one
thing I never really understood I think it should be the other way around like 18 and you're kind of young
vulnerable you know and you're going nude and then at 21 oh yeah you can wear a bikini like oh no
that defines logic but well but then there's people like power meter
like shut the [ __ ] up because their grandfather did they're 18 plus phones
but what's wrong with a with a naked 21 year old no no no no 100 no no no 100 agree with
you but I think where the difference was it was like no liquor fully nude yeah so you're saying was it
the liquor that is going to make people more aggressive to be around
um a fully new girl is the fact that she's 18 or you could be 18 to go there or or be there
I don't think there should be anything 18 plus when it comes to the adult industry in Las Vegas right period
that's just my opinion um you know but then you have Palomino Club it's been around since what the
late 60s early 60s um they're they divide all logic
they're a fully new club they're 18 plus and have a full bar and they got liquor
right so like it almost makes it all the best worlds if you think about it for that let's go back to the Cabaret person
yeah the guy that wants to go and hang out be around pretty girls
that's probably and and again you know I'm you know we're having a friendly conversation that's where I would think
that the average person should probably at least go check out once or twice because it's a whole different
experience you know me personally when I go to a dramas Club I like to just hang out with my friends of course you bring
around pretty girls you're talking to Pretty Girls every once in a while you kind of get roped into that whole underworld of what the gentles club is
but that's not what I go to a gentleman's hub for I don't know I've always felt really comfortable going to
a Jones Club just it's like going to uh your favorite bar cheers you know
everybody kind of knew my name I mean I kind of spoiled because I've been doing this a long time but it just to me has
always been really fun to be around that environment um you know going and you know back in
the day you know seeing you at Savar because actually if you were at Sapphire that was a rare occasion at night
because you because you you busted your ass you know six seven days a week you know from from an office you know I
don't drink much or barely at all anymore and I hate putting myself in these
situations everybody's like hey let's have a drink and you know it's really not polite you know turn down people
especially of course they're spending money buying bottles did you have a drink so you know it's like trying to avoid
those situations yeah yeah hey hey do me a favor come to my club buy some bottles Auto Andre
a yeah 100 right I I definitely get that I mean you know the one thing that for
many years um you know I was I was a smoker not cannabis but cigarettes and it's because
I wasn't around that social environment every a lot of people around me were smokers now I gave that up now I'm in
The Vaping and everything so when are you going to give up drinking first of all to me drinking like I think if you if
you can control yourself like I'm actually and you've been around me plenty of times when I drink I'm
actually probably funnier I'm probably better to be around um you know I kind of like you know let
loose a little bit but I'm not an ass and and I think the people that you know
that can't control the lawyer surprise and drink but um but but but you're
actually a fun person absolutely no but I I smoke all the time so of course you do everybody has their advice you know
what I mean but but to me I just don't like to mix so doing both and anybody who's watching this outside of Nevada or
probably California because they get it too it's legal in Nevada so where he's done yeah don't call the feds on us or
anything and you know like not to change the topic it's weird I've been actually seeing recently that a lot of people
kind of like gave up drinking I I me too and I don't know why and what
the reason is and there's nothing to do with Kobe does it not I don't know but it's just weird all
of a sudden it's like some kind of a trend there's a girl that works in Miami yeah became pretty pretty friendly with
her friends with her over the last several years and she gave up drinking and her
reasoning behind it there was two-fold number one after she she had a uh she had covert
she said she had covert a couple times the second time she lost her her smell
and her taste she said liquor does not taste the same door anymore it actually it tastes kind
of disgusting and she was a big tequila person that Reposado tequila like what the trend everybody's on right now
the second thing is is that she lost control she was like that really fun person to
be around but like her Ambitions her morals kind of went out the window and she wanted to be a better person so
she's like really is for the second reason but the first reason is it just tastes like [ __ ] to me I I just
didn't like it so it could be a covet thing um but also I think I think a lot of the
people that were you know I think the people are kind of coming into the industry we're not really as friendly with those
people and we don't really know like the reason why they're in that 21 year old that fresh off the boat 21 year old in Las
Vegas that rolls into the peppermint hippo in the back door and says I want to work here what's it going to take for
me to work here and you're like go down and get your license go down and get this and then come back
and we'll get you a sheriff's card and and this is how it works that person
is so excited to be on that floor working in Las Vegas that I don't think there's a drinking a
cannabis it it is all together plus I mean we also have another Vice here in town you know
um yeah I think this is completely different but I mean I've seen like in New York where they have like these clubs
no alcohol like straight up like and that's the whole thing to be they're sober and I'm like
uh I'm not like I'm for it or against it it's just [ __ ] weird it is it is I mean I mean to me I think
you know like for me to be out and about and actually like in in an energy of uh
the high energy of I I couldn't go to 11 and I drink I couldn't do it I couldn't go to access
and not drink yeah it's okay but on the premise that you're going there not to
that's just [ __ ] weird I I mean there is that Trend I have actually talked to a few people that are
actually developing those concepts with real money behind them um didn't end up working with them
um not because I I honestly I just don't I don't I don't believe in that I I
don't believe in the concept I don't like to do marketing for for places I don't think that either
a I don't understand and I could be 100 wrong um do I think that's a good thing hey if
it works go for it but I don't think that you're going to be you're not like saving
anybody or or doing anything different if if I want to go to a club and not drink I should have that power and that
resistance to not drink at a place but you're not on the customer's side no I mean imagine
being the house how do you make money you can't how do you make money how do you make it fun big a big door charge
and and 30 Red Bulls man okay but how
many people are gonna go for that right yeah because if you want it to be nice place you wanted to have good music you
need to have good talented DJs whatever that costs money right so how do you from a business standpoint makes no
sense to me unless there's things I don't know or I don't know is it a membership is it I don't know yeah well
I mean here's the thing you know it for some of you to understand this joke
but sometimes this is the most valuable thing for a club specifically an after-hours Club is water and it'll
charge 10 12 15 for a bottle of water because they get away with it because
people yeah but you'll buy two bottles of water but when you're drinking you're drinking you're staying longer you're
drinking more really how much water can you drink before you go to the bathroom well think about a bottle presentation what bang energy drink
or with Red Bull or rock star right that you're right there's no way to make real money there
unless you are a membership that means people have to buy into the concept they got to believe in it yeah I
just don't I don't see it um and like I said I mean I met with can you imagine a a Vegas venue
becoming a no alcohol venue I mean that would no but I also did it's probably
worse than the no smoking obviously no but I was just about to lead into that I
never thought that Vegas casino could ever go non-smoking
and there's one on the Strip right now park MGM no smoking no vaping no smoking
they're still busy um and but if half the hotels did that
would it be the same just think of the balls the person that made that decision had to actually say this is what we're
going to be knowing that that could kill him but you know what their location The Branding the venues
that's in there it's okay you couldn't be a little place
or off the strip and be that it will never work yeah because I yeah because they have a nightclub in there called uh
on the record right and actually I love that place I I used to literally go there Blake
yeah yeah all the time I love that place they they had a amazing Wednesday
industry day go there kind of hop around different tables they had a little secret room but
I Vape when I drink I've ate more you can't Vape there I'm not going there
right and and it sucks um that you know that it kind of comes
down to Italy or Eatery whatever is called Eatery Italy [ __ ] love that place I I would literally go away and go
the Butcher and say okay I need this steak medium I go over and get my pasta go over to the bar get a couple glasses
of wine put all the food together with a good group of people it would I would have an incredible time there
again if I cannot feel comfortable you know yeah and most people that smoke
cigarettes that's the first thing they do when they're done eating right have a second so now you're gonna have to walk like all the way to the front or outside
and stuff yeah it is a little weird because every time you do like whenever I pull up there because typically I
valet park at Park MGM to go to a Vegas Golden Knights game um I'll validate there and I'll walk
over and then come back and almost every time both times I'm always looking to see how many smokers are outside because
I wanna I you know I'm still trying to see is this a social experiment but I'm also not going to park MGM
other than when I'm going to Golden Knights game so maybe there's a deception there that the place I think
is busy maybe it's really not yeah I don't know but um but even though even the 21 plus
properties Circa brand new gorgeous property downtown
right and they're 21 plus they ID every the ID
you're actually walking yeah to get in right which again there's again some people that there's a vicer that like I
don't wanna I don't want to be gambling drinking smoking whatever you do and
have like a stroller Roll by or like a little four-year-old running by you know what I mean so I get it that that that
that actually made a lot of sense to me and it's working cromwell's the same way and I think the win too unless you're a
guest you can be like uh unless you're a hotel guest you have a room you cannot go in with a stroller and property say I
know I did not know that yeah wow yeah and you're right it's just just
but here's the thing though but I'm but I'm also a big component that they got to figure out
a family friendly way of including those type of people
um because really the only option is Circus Circus right and Circus Circus is an old property and you know like a lot
of people that I would say locals that live here would have other probably adjectives of describing the property I
actually think I actually like the property like I grew up going to the Midway me too I love the circus acts I
love all the the games are you kidding dude that was the best I literally and there's some people are gonna watch this
and laugh but that was actually one of my first go-to spot well actually not my first go-to but one of my go-to spots
whenever I'm going to take a girl on the first date me too no way yeah where would you where else would you go that
you won't be harassed nowhere you know it's funny because a you can
have a lot of fun you can really learn somebody's personality all right and I I really have to see how good you are at
Dance Dance Revolution Skee-Ball and air hockey if those in the arcade right I
mean the other game I I love all those like literally I can just honestly I've I've been known to spend a couple
hundred dollars I'm playing all those damn games and walking out with like a trash bag full of like yeah but but it's
fine I had fun taking my daughter there when she wanted to go there it was like so cool I'm like man I can't believe I
was here doing this [ __ ] you know what I mean but even but even like Adventure Dome right venturedome I remember when it came out I took my daughter there
when she was like four maybe five years old um I've been back maybe once or twice with like one time for me
the thing is is that like it is actually a great concept they just
haven't figured out how to like like it should be more like Disneyland like if you don't have a
ticket you ain't getting past this point yeah because they're letting too many people in there they're just
um um you know they're just walking around and not spending any money and up to no good and you know the
the whole thing but like if literally if it's like hey if if it's if if anybody
from from Phil Ruffin's group is watching this telling you the best advice
is literally make it a like a 50 pass to get in
all the rides do some like other other things in there like for free
for the locals do you like a like a summer pass kind of like what they do for Wet and Wild
you do that a you cleaned up the property B you you're actually gonna have good
people that are going to go in there and spend money and actually have a good time because even the Midway in there it's not really
a Midway it's just a carnival thing it's super fun yeah like I don't know I'm a kid at heart like literally if you threw
a whole bunch of Legos underground right now I'd play with them like I love I don't know I've just I've always always
been the kid at heart you know what property I actually regret not going to and spending more time at you know where
uh Topgolf is now remember it used to be a little water park yep yeah looking back now I was like man I wish I went
there more often yeah just because it's gone and of course wet and wild I mean but yeah well while I was on the Strip it
was amazing yeah and then I haven't I've even been to the new one yeah me too I haven't no I mean there's no way it can
be anything to close to what this was no man the Derek Stoeger yeah that was like
I was like I remember getting dropped off there's a you know as a kid yeah and you know I was like in junior high
school getting dropped off and it was like this is the coolest thing in the world I'm in a water park on the Las Vegas Strip yeah
and you remember once a year they used to have that um kluc 98.5 whoever can go
down the slide the longest it would take like three days before they somebody gave up oh yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
it just keep sliding and going and going and going and and man those were the days man those were the days yeah I I
have no idea I dropped my daughter off um there was probably 10 years ago now
with her with her friends and at Wet and Wild the new one and uh went picked him up afterwards I
said hey how was it and they were like oh it's okay just the it's okay yeah I'm like that
place sucks okay again I don't want to downplay anything but just but that's my
perception you didn't even win over a 15 year old at the time yeah how are you going to win over a 25 year old right
right so but but it's funny but even like uh Cowabunga Bay the the
competition I've never been but I hear amazing things about the voice you know they
actually do a lot of uh take it back I have been there but I was there for a night event but they do a lot of like 21 plus events
there um again I it my schedule's never matched to be able to go to one but um but yeah I mean there's Vegas is
evolving so much I mean we can sit here and talk for hours and hours and hours you know but the only thing I want the
last thing I want to do to kind of get your your perspective on because I've asked a few other people on this on the
show what do you what do you think is going to be a bigger Revenue driver for Las
Vegas F1 or Super Bowl
it's a tough one and
I'm actually real Curious to be past those two events so actually know for sure what it is which one
okay so we haven't seen the room rates for Super Bowl we haven't we have seen them for everyone we've definitely seen
them for F1 they were almost sold out right and F1
is how many days event well I mean so there's actually three days of actual racing okay but just like with anything
else the Super Bowl is really a weekend and this would also be three days which
could be a weekend right but is it over a weekend or no well so here's a unique thing and this is a I don't know the
answer to this um Vegas has the Pro Bowl now okay so we're
at the Pro Bowl in a few months are we getting the Pro Bowl a week before the Super Bowl oh that that
changes everything yeah yeah now now typically the Super Bowl always starts the day after the Pro Bowl everybody
leaves pro ball and heads over to wherever the Super Bowl is being held um
I I would I would say five solid quality days if not six Monday through Sunday
the whole city everybody's going to just dump out on that Monday um especially everybody in a drive
Market everybody's gonna go home they're probably gonna take that Monday off from work and they're going to go back to you
know wherever they come from but I but I it might even be Columbus Day weekend well it's time to call Columbus Day anymore you know one thing I'm thinking
about now that makes me want to say it'll probably be F1 only because you're bringing International money
versus the same U.S money I'm not talking down but it's the same group of people that love the football and follow
it and stuff yeah and we'll have lots of extra people coming for the parties and all that will have the same and and big
International money and all the International Teams that are related to F1 so I think and
that alone is is is a bigger drop I I think so too and and um to give you my
answer I think it's F1 as well but I also think it's because we're going to be able to introduce Las Vegas
to a lot more new clientele yeah that you know if you're on the F1 circuit and
you follow the F1 you're going to go to you're going to go to Alaska if they're if they have a you
know it but we're going to get those new people that are going to come to town that are not Vegas regulars and we have
an opportunity to capture them and again on the strip it's not like when they're saying Miami and they're driving around
the Hard Rock in Fort Lauderdale I mean this is Las Vegas Boulevard like
where else I don't know maybe London I don't know where else they have F1 that they're actually driving in in town like
I I I I I I wish I knew the sport a lot better than what I do right um I still
got to watch the Netflix series everybody keeps I haven't either yet yeah um but yeah but as far as like you know
Revenue to Vegas I mean I we get it in November 2023 three months later we get
the Super Bowl I mean like literally in between there we we still have to do New Year's we
still have to do CES Sema well SEMA will be right before F1 by by
like I think two weeks okay but you're right NFR I mean the we're going to be so
jam-packed it might even be busier than that traditional January February Yeah March
because it might be November December January with a little bit of February for the Super Bowl right
I I you know and but this is all part of evolving and adapting and and learning
you know the new trends of things and obviously that's what we do here I know that you know that that's what you do on
a constant basis thinking about like new things of what what we need to do but
but yeah man like I said we can sit here and talk for for hours hours flew by quick it did it did so I I just want to
thank you for you know for coming on um again shy long time friend and just
probably one of the most incredible human beings I know and thank you for for everything and uh
thank you again for tuning in until next time I'm Brian KIPP SKC live I'm out
dude it was fun
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