Thousands of nightclub, restaurant and bar owners, operators and managers have arrived here for the 30th anniversary Nightclub & Bar Convention & Trade Show. The delegates in Las Vegas this week represent more than 200,000 locations in 56 countries with beverage sales of nearly $20 billion.
The show features more than 700 nightlife suppliers, thousands of products spanning more than 100,000 square feet of exhibits and more than 80 sessions and workshops, including one by pro skateboarder Tony Hawk on leadership and perseverance.
“Bar Rescue” reality-TV star Jon Taffer kicked it off with his party Sunday night, and the fun continues tonight with rapper Nelly, plus Nick Cannon as DJ as they kick off the Anheuser-Busch party at Palms Pool and an opening platinum party at Marquee in the Cosmopolitan with rapper T-Pain and DJ Vice.
All of Jon’s “Bar Rescue” experts are on tap today for their 30 Tips session at the Las Vegas Convention Center. After Jon makes the official welcome, Steele Platt, founder and former CEO of Yard House, makes the keynote presentation.
There also is a party at Foundation Room in Mandalay Bay with Penthouse Pets Lexi Belle and Tasha Reign to celebrate the magazine’s new branded wine and spirits collection.
At 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, there’s a star-studded gathering for the official ribbon cutting. Jon welcomes red rocker Sammy Hagar, former Mayor Oscar Goodman and his showgirls, “Pin Up” stars Claire Sinclair, Sabina Kelley and Lisa Marie Smith, Jimi Hendrix’s brother Leon and John Wayne’s son Ethan.
Also: pro BMX rider Ricardo Laguna, the casts of Thunder From Down Under, “Fantasy,” “Marriage Can Be Murder,” “Le Reve — The Dream,” “Steve Wynn’s Showstoppers” and “Defending the Caveman.” “Bar Rescue” experts Mia Mastroianni, Nick Liberato and Phil Wills and choreographer Madonna Grimes also will be on hand.
On Wednesday, 21-year NHL veteran, Hall of Fame inductee and four-time Stanley Cup winner Larry Murphy will be at the Azzurre spirits booth for a meet-and-greet fan session.
There are parties every night during the convention: tonight’s opening party at Marquee; Tuesday’s Top 100 Platinum Party at XS in Steve Wynn’s Encore; and on Wednesday, DJ Tiesto headlines at Hakkasan in MGM Grand.
The show displays everything from gluten-free gin to bar furniture to Jevo, the world’s first fully automated Jell-O shot maker. It produces 20 Jell-O shots in 10 minutes, knocking off almost three hours from the process. If the food and beverage industry can do that, what’s next?
Have a great convention — cheers!
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.