THE YOUNGEST GENERATION that's able to gamble and drink legally, Gen-Y is all about new experiences. Born after 1976, those who are of age want to squeeze as much fun as they can into a weekend jaunt to Las Vegas. They're a group that's somehow able to go days with little sleep, and they're constantly looking for action.
On the prowl for a good time, plugged into the latest trends and technology and more concerned about how they're perceived by others in their age group than any other generation, these "kids" are actually easy to plan a trip for. They want to be at the best parties in town and be part of the in-crowd. And don't worry: They're willing to pay for that privilege.
Planning a weekend in Vegas for such clients is almost as simple as pointing them to the hottest spots in town, securing them a table with bottle service and letting all hell break loose. Since you want to be considered hip, cool and in-the-know, here are some suggestions to make their weekend a blast.
First of all, find out what kind of budget they're on. While many Generation Y travelers don't have as much income as older folks, they're usually not afraid to spend in Vegas. Not only that, but they usually travel in packs of four or more and all share a room. That means a $400-a-night room is only $100 per person, making it more affordable. But then again, they may want to invest their cash in other areas, so be sure to ask.
Those seeking to be in the mix with others their age want to stay at one of the properties geared toward the twentysomething mindset. On the Strip, Mandalay Bay (www.mandalaybay.com) has two hotels, the original and THEhotel at Mandalay Bay, which is a little more costly, but edgier in style and design. This resort also has a great pool area, with a beach and a wave pool.
Just off the Strip is The Palms (www.palms.com, 702-942-7777), a bastion of hip folks in their 20s. The world's only Playboy Club is here, as well as a host of specialty suites featuring amenities such as a basketball court, bowling alley and, yes, even stripper poles. There are also several major nightclubs here (more on that below).
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (www.hardrockhotel.com, 702-693-5000) is the pinnacle of cool and appeals to the younger crowd with the over-the-top energy at its club, Body English. Those who desire a Strip location but who want to save a few dollars could try Harrah's (www.harrahslasvegas.com, 800-214-9110) or Bally's Las Vegas (www.ballyslasvegas.com, 877-603-4390).
The party-hearty Generation Y crowd will want to hit the mega-club scene on both Friday and Saturday nights. So be aware that they may go until the sun comes up, leaving daylight hours as the time to sleep or schmooze with the opposite sex poolside. In order to make sure their club experience is optimized, recommend that they invest in a table with bottle service. It's the best way to ensure they have a place to call home base, and it makes it a lot easier to meet people and socialize. If they don't want to spend the money on a table, suggest they at least get passes in advance that will allow them to cut to the front of the line at the bar. You can secure those at Vegas.com (866-80-SHOWS). However, by the time a group of four has bought several rounds of drinks, it's really a better value to get a table.
Before clubbing, direct your clients to dinner at David Burke Modern American Cuisine (www.davidburkelasvegas.net, 702-414-7111) at The Venetian. Stack Restaurant & Bar (www.stacklasvegas.com, 702-792-7800) at the Mirage is a terrific steakhouse, while Nobu (www.hardrockhotel.com, 702-693-5000) is known for its sushi and fusion of traditional Japanese cuisine with Latin flavors.
After dinner, it's time to hit the clubs. On Friday nights, Tryst (www.wynnlasvegas.com, 702-770-3375) at Wynn Las Vegas is a top venue. This 12,000-square-foot club has a 90-foot waterfall and both indoor and outdoor spaces. At Caesars, Pure Nightclub (702-731-PURE) is three times that size, and each of its rooms plays a different type of music. Also at Caesars, the Pussycat Dolls Lounge is a sexy place to grab a cocktail before hitting Pure. The Pussycat Dolls Casino in front of Pure features buxom female dealers.
Chances are there will be a whole lot of sleeping going on for a good chunk of the day. However, should your clients wish to venture out, there are sightseeing attractions they might like. Bodies...The Exhibition (www.bodiestickets.com, 702-739-2411) at the Tropicana Hotel showcases more than 275 cadavers. These are real human bodies that have been meticulously preserved and dissected. World-renowned Madame Tussauds (www.mtvegas.com, 702-862-7800) at The Venetian has wax models of celebrities from film, TV, music, sports and politics.
Don't worry about suggesting a lunch venue. Chances are they'll scavenge at the hotel or just pass on food altogether. But you want to make sure they have a great dinner. For steaks, try Strip House (www.striphouse.net, 702-737-5200) at Planet Hollywood Resort for its bordello-inspired design. Red Square Las Vegas (www.mandalaybay.com, 702-632-7407) at Mandalay Bay makes a kitschy nod to communist Russia, while Japonais (702-792-7979) is redefining the concept of progressive Japanese cuisine at the Mirage.
Then, it's back to the nightclubs. The Palms has a double dose of club. Rain Las Vegas (http://rain-las-vegas.n9negroup.com, 702-942-6832) is all about special effects such as fog and fireballs. At Moon (http://moon-las-vegas.n9negroup.com/, 702-942-6832), the roof opens up to reveal great views of the entire Strip. Connected to Moon by an escalator is The Playboy Club (http://playboy-las-vegas.n9negroup.com), which features a bar and casino.
At The Venetian is Tao Las Vegas (www.taolasvegas.com, 702-388-8588), a massive 10,000-square-foot party zone where hip-hop, house and rock and roll all have their place. LAX Nightclub Las Vegas (www.luxor.com, 702-262-4LAX) at Luxor is backed by such investors as DJ AM and Christina Aguilera, so this is a great place for celebrity watching. And if the party needs to keep going into the next day, send them to Drai's (702-737-7111), an after-hours club inside of Bill's Gambling Hall.
It's time to play poker. Every major casino has a poker room these days, so clients could stay at their hotel. However, the poker room at Bellagio (www.bellagio.com) is mythic. This place has seen some of the biggest money ever exchange hands in head-to-head play. Binion's Horseshoe (www.binions.com), where the World Series of Poker began, has a daily tournament. MGM Grand (www.mgmgrand.com) and Caesars Palace (www.harrahs.com) also have highly rated poker rooms.
These kids may want a late flight out, figuring they'll sleep on the plane and head straight to the office on Monday morning. Later flights on Sundays out of Vegas are usually cheaper, and the line at the airport is a lot shorter.