THE GREATEST ANNIVERSARY PARTY EVER SUPPLEMENT This is a supplement to a Live Trip Report I made back in December on another message board. It fills in some of the blanks with additional photographs and descriptions based on my drunken notes. Preface to Supplement: A lot of planning went into this trip. Party Planning. We discovered that MGM Grand’s 20th anniversary corresponded with our stay there on December 18. So I started E-mailing people at MGM to find out what they had planned for this momentous occasion. They had nothing planned. Despite my constant urging they would not have any public events to celebrate this historic anniversary. We decided to have our own MGM 20th anniversary celebration and budgeted $60 for marketing and party operations. Our marketing efforts included: •Developing a custom Lucky Party Hat ( A standard Hat and a very special Limited Edition Hat) -----o Included unique Reference Card Earflaps •E-mails to Key MGM Personnel (CEO Scott Sibella, Director of Publicity Stacy Hamilton, Concierge Olliver Sambilay). We made many suggestions on how they could make the 20th Anniversary Party a grand success and a party for the ages. •Free Placement in 8 Las Vegas Community Calendars -----o Announced a party and toast at MGM’s Pub 1842 at 5:00 12/18/13 •A very nice article published on Vegas Chatter •Direct mailing of Lucky Party Hats and Invitations to key Las Vegas Personalities -----o Morning Radio and Television Show Hosts, Oscar and Carolyn Goodman, CEO Scott Sibella, Director of MGM Publicity Stacy Hamilton (No relation to Stacy Hamilton of Fast Times Fame), Anthony Curtis aka Anthony, MGM Chairman Jim Muren, Carrot Top , Mike Tyson, Distinguished Members of the Press, Penn. -----o These mailings encouraged everyone to meet at 5:00 PM 12/18/13 at MGM’s Pub 1842 for a toast to 20 years of MGM. For Party Operations, we produced about 200 Lucky Party Hats and 11 Special Limited Edition Hats. The day before our Journey, I purchased two freshly picked 20 pound boxes of the World’s Greatest Tangerines. I had a fine supply of Lucky Hats including a couple hundred Lucky Party Hats, 6 Lucky Lighted Christmas Turkey Hats, 10 Cheap imitation Lucky Santa Stuck in Chimney Hats and one original Lucky Santa Stuck in Chimney Hat. Lucky Hat Supply We were ready for the Best Anniversary Party Ever. Wednesday 12/18/13 It all started at 7:00 AM when Robin rolled up with the Newbie in our rental. I had worked the rental down to $133 for 6 days for a full size, but at the airport (FAT), Enterprise offered me a Lincoln MKZ for an extra $10 a day. We're driving a Big Black 2014 Lincoln MSX with only 900 miles on it. That’s how we roll. If I was them, I’d never rent me that car for a Vegas Road Trip. We needed to get to MGM as early as possible because we had so much to do on arrival: pick up KA tickets, get checked in and then be at Pub 1842 before the expected hoard of people invaded the place for our massive party. On the six and a half hour drive from Fresno the Newbie assembled about 100 additional Lucky MGM 20th Anniversary hats. . Robin labeled and bagged 21 bags of The World’s Greatest Tangerines. Lucky Party Hat Assembly Our first stop was South Point for show tickets. Only 3 days earlier, we made a last second decision to rearrange some of our plans because the King of Comedy Jerry Lewis decided to give a one time performance at South Point on Thursday 12/19. When else would we have an opportunity to see Jerry Lewis (a)live in Vegas? Possibly never. Tickets were ½ off via the South Point Coupon from LVA Member Rewards Online. It was a great bargain…$25 a ticket. Next stop: Las Vegas Advisor World Headquarters to pick up our $12 Year End Special Member Rewards Books. Robin and I both bought $1.00 Las Vegas Advisor Coffee Cups on clearance. Another great Bargain. Although the logo: “There’s something in it for you!” probably isn’t the best tag line for a coffee cup….as my initial reaction was “Yeah. There’s something it for you alright. Flunitrazepam”. We rolled into the MGM Registration Valet line at 3PM….right on schedule. We have 21 bags of the world's finest tangerines and many Lucky Hats. It is a joyous day. Incredibly, both the Bellman and Valet knew of our big party. Tangerines and a Lucky Party Hat for both…though the Bellman thought our party was in the ‘Conference Center”. We quickly dispelled that and invited him to join us in Pub 1842. Check-in was slow. We gave Ramona from Barbados a Lucky Hat and a bag of Tangerines. She loved both. I asked if it was possible to get a complementary upgrade to the Presidential Suite. That was not possible. She thought she could get us a nice Suite with a Strip View. She also knew of our big party and strangely also thought it was in the Conference Center. Ramona disappeared to see if she could accommodate our complementary upgraded room request. I imagined there was a note on our reservation to contact Security upon our arrival so they could make additional preparations for us. Eventually Ramona from Barbados returned and she was able to give us a very nice suite with a strip view. Ramona from Barbados 4:30 PM. We headed down to PUB 1842. The excitement built with every step…What if there was a waiting line and we missed our own party? We each carried a shopping bag with 7 bags of tangerines and a large supply of Lucky Party Hats. Unfortunately, someone left our Limited Edition Hats in the car. I won’t mention who. We didn’t have time to retrieve them. We entered PUB1842. A sense of shock and dread came over me. No one was wearing a Lucky Hat. There were only about 10 people in the bar. None of them knew about the big anniversary party. WTF? I was crushed. The Newbie threw me the universal sign for having your crank yanked. Our party was a bust. Well it was a little early. Maybe Scott Sibella was on his way with his entourage. The rich and famous are always late to parties…Goodman and Tyson and Penn and Top… aren’t going to be on time to this kind of social event.. Gretel our bartender was very impressed with our Lucky Party Hats. She commiserated with us. She thought our 20th anniversary celebration was a fine idea and in-fact; she had just come from the big Employee’s party in the Conference Center. Wha? Gretel Curses, Foiled again. But what could we do? The only logical thing of course: Put on our 20th Anniversary Lucky Party Hats and Start drinking heavily. Robin and the Newbie initially refused to don their hats. Within 5 minutes I had met everyone in PUB1842 and made sure they all had Lucky Party Hats and a supply of Tangerines. The joint was starting to party down whether MGM wanted to or not. At 5:00 PM Robin, the Newbie, Gretel and I offered up a toast to the MGM. I had two shots of Patron in rapid succession…Then a fizzy Moscow mule. The Newbie had multiple Patron Shots and a beer. Robin had one beer. Somehow we managed to run up a $140 bar tab in 40 minutes..and Robin only had one beer. Dead Soldier I was feeling no pain…except for a little mental anguish. How could Scotty and the MGM team completely ignore us? No radio and TV personalities, No Mike Tyson, Oscar Goodman or Carrot Top. Yes, our party was a bust….but not a complete bust. Over the course of our short stay at PUB1842, we met many new friends and we had a great time with both customers and employees. It was still only 5:15. We had to be at KA at 7:00. Our course of action was now clear. It was time to head down to the Employee Party in the Conference Center, hand out Lucky Party Hats, track down CEO Scott Sibella and discuss this entire situation. So we did. Audentes fortuna iuvat Entrance to the MGM Employee Party Over the mild objections of the Newbie, we made our way to the Conference Center. What’s the worst that could happen? Kick us out? Pffft…wouldn’t be the first time. How would they even know we aren’t employees? I was wearing my lucky Samurai with Tiger Polyester Shirt and sporting an MGM Grand 20th anniversary Lucky Hat. I thought “that kind of looks official, we’ll blend right in.” The Stage. They had Live Performers every couple of hours. When we reached the conference center it was obvious this was a big bash. Good for thee, but not for me? They had live entertainment. A hundred or more large tables, a big buffet set up, decorations everywhere…Now THIS was a party. They were giving away Free Gifts....but not to us. It would have been so easy for Scotty to simply have e-mailed me: “Sorry AlanLeroy, we can’t put on a party for everyone, but please join us at our Employee Party. You’re part of the family my friend” But no. He just ignored all the e-mails and letters and free Party Hats I sent….His only e-mail response “Thanks, I’ll review with my team” was just too easy. Nevertheless, invited or not….there we were. Hey! Free Photos. What a concept. We didn't qualify. There were many displays of MGM memorabilia. I wanted pictures of everything before leaving. Robin and I immediately started snapping. You never know how long the uninvited get to stay at someone else’s party. The Newbie was keeping his distance from Robin and I…as if that would somehow absolve him of any guilt. FROM A SIGN NEAR THE OZ MEMORABILIA • MGM Grand opened its doors on Saturday December 18, 1993 with a Wizard of Oz theme. • October 7 1991 was the official groundbreaking • More than 100,000 people applied for the 8,600 jobs at MGM Grand in 1993 • MGM Grand cost more than $3 billion to build • The hotel consisted of four towers with 5005 guest rooms. The Towers were called Wizard of Oz, Hollywood, Southern and Casa Blanca. • Property included 112 acres with a 171,000 SQ ft casino • The Emerald City Dome included 75 ft emerald crystal spires, the yellow brick road and Wizard of Oz characters • MGM Grand's Costume Department headed by original cast member Diane Ross coordinated all costumes for the Oz Characters DURING MGM GRAND'S FIRST YEAR OF OPERATON • Decks of cards used 500,000 • Bars of soap ordered 2,350,000 • Bottles of shampoo ordered 250,000 • Ashtrays ordered 1,000,000 OZ We're getting the band back together. Dorthy...No Toto. I don't know what this is. The Newbie grabbed a coke from one of the convenient icing stations and then promptly announced that he’s hungry. So, we claimed an empty table and headed to the buffet line (Thanks for the tip, Dancer). It was then that we were confronted by two friendly MGM security men. “Hello Gentlemen. What department are you guys in” quizzed Security Guard 1. See, I knew that was a trick question because no matter how I tried to answer it, the inevitable follow up question was going to be “Can I see your ID badges”. My response was a simple, yet truthful: “We’re in pseudo marketing’. He looked a little confused. “Do you have employee badges?” he asked. “Oh, no, no. You don’t understand. We’re not actually employees. We’re hotel guests. We’re here to promote this Grand Anniversary. Would you like one of our lucky party hats? “ I retorted. His response was direct: “I’m sorry sir. This is an employee only party. You’re going to have to leave.” If I only had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that. I thought about namedropping Stacy Hamilton or Scotty Sibella or Jim Muren or Oscar Sambilay….but I feared that might lead to a little more serious questioning about who we were and what we were really planning and what was actually in those shopping bags we each carried. “Oh I’m so sorry. Isn’t this open to the public? Would it be ok if we just spend a few minutes’ taking pictures of this great memorabilia? “ was my response. What Security Guard 1 said next: “Ok sure” What AlanLeroy heard: “Stay as long as you like, you’re part of the family now. We don’t really care what you do”. From a sign near the Grand Adventures Memorabilia • MGM Grand was the first resort on The Strip to have an outdoor seasonal amusement park. • Grand Adventures featured rides such as Skyscreamer; Lightning Bolt; Les Bumper Boats; Over the Edge; Grand Canyon Rapids; Parisian Taxis Bumper; and Pedalin' Paddleboats. • Popular comedian and Hollywood personality Wayne Brady got his start performing at Grand Adventures • Scream Park--when the park was transformed into several haunted houses and Halloween themed shows was the park's most popular event • Thrill ride Sky Screamer a 250 foot tall skycoaster was added in 1996 • Current Special Events production Manager Bo Ramos started out playing the 'Popeye' character in the park. • The park closed in September 2000 making way for The Signature at MGM Grand, which opened in 2006. Grand Adventures Grand Adventures Character Sky Screamer Ride Attendant Scream Park--Grave Digger I don't know what these things are. They kind of turn me on though. Opening Day Uniforms Guest Room Attendant University of Oz Dragon Court I want that tie. Stylin' Studio Cafe Ring Girl at the 1999 Fight Of The Millennium FROM A SIGN NEAR EFX Memorabilia • EFX opened starring Michael Crawford from Phantom of the Opera fame on March 23, 1995. • EFX took guests on a journey of outstanding special effects that included Merlin and King Authur, a futuristic P.T. Barnum, Harry Houdini and the H.G. Wells classic The Time Machine • David Cassidy takes over the show in November 1996 • Broadway star Tommy Tune headlines the show from January 1999 to January 2001 • The final person to star in EFX was rock singer Rick Springfield who headlined the show from 2001 to January 2003 EFX David Cassidy Barnum Coat Michael Crawford Opening Costume Rick Springfield Finale Coat From a sign near Hornbuckle Memorbilia Bill Hornbuckle MGM President and Chief Markeing officer 1998 - 2001. Hornbuckle ws the catalyst for MGM Grand to significantly increase employee charitable donations to the United Way and eventually the MGM resorts foundation starting with our first $500,000 raised in 1999. Hornbuckle Hornbuckle’s Superman Suit for one of his many fundraising efforts Hornbuckle’s Travolta suit for their 1999 United Way drive It was time to leave the party life behind. It was never Kansas. We headed up to the room for a final pit stop before KA. About minute after we entered the room, there was a rap at the door. Now who could that be? Why it was room service with a treat for us….A couple of premium bottled waters and some chocolate covered strawberries. Hmmm how nice. There was a card. I’ll be darned. It was from none other than MGM Director Of Public Relations ‘Stacy Hamilton’ (No relation to Fast Times Stacy Hamilton). Our strawberry treats. The strawberries were fantastic. It even tasted better with the realization that MGM appreciated our efforts. That made it all worthwhile. The Newbie once again threw the Universal Crank Yanking sign and mumbled…’Yeah, they hosed us’. Note from Stacy Audentes fortuna ebrius-- TWO WEEKS EARLIER: I was placing the MGM Party on various Vegas event calendars I noticed that Vegas Weekly was having their 15th Anniversary Party at The Tropicana at 10:00 PM on December 18. It was called ‘Unscripted’. The price was a reasonable $20 and only $15 if you RSVP’d. I RSVPd for the three of us just in case our party fizzled. ADVANCE TO TODAY…Well, Advance to December18, 2013. It was now 9:00 PM and our party had fizzled long ago. I suggested to Robin and the Newbie that NOW was time to head on over to the party at Tropicana. Robin and the Newbie were burned out. They were ready to crash. “We can’t do it AlanLeroy…We’re too tired”. It had been a long day…but still: it was 9 PM our first night in Vegas. I don’t care if you have been up since 3 AM and have been drinking heavily. It’s Vegas not Fresno, you’re expected to pass out in public. I donned my Lucky Lighted Christmas Turkey Hat. I also grabbed a spare Lucky Lighted Christmas Turkey Hat and stuffed it in my inside jacket pocket. It was time to strike out alone to what turned out to be... The Greatest Anniversary Party Ever. I walked from the MGM over to the Havana Room at Tropicana. There were a few people lined up in the alcove. There were ladies with clip boards directing traffic. Many admired my lucky hat. I handed my e-mail confirmation to Debbie who was one of the many clerks at the Check-in table. Debbie couldn’t find me on the RSVP list. Damn…that probably means I’ll have to pay full price of $20 rather than $15. “Well hold on AlanLeroy, maybe you’re on the VIP list.?” Debbie wondered. “Yes. That must be it. I’m a VIP” I thought. Of course I'm a VIP Sure enough, it turned out I was on the VIP list. She wrapped a purple wrist band on my wrist and explained the many benefits of VIPdom. It starts with Free Admission; then there’s the complementary drinks and your very own exclusive VIP area and VIP Bar. She had me at ‘complementary drinks’. There was one caveat: I couldn’t get free drinks and give them to any non VIP…AKA ‘The Proletariat”. Apparently, VIP’s don’t mix with the unwashed masses. Side Note: Since the trip I have occasionally wondered how I got on the VIP list for that Anniversary party. Was it just some bizarre quirk of fate after sponsoring my own MGM Anniversary Party and attending the MGM’s Employee Anniversary Party? Could it have something to do with my MGM marketing campaign? I did send 3 people associated with Vegas Weekly our MGM party invitations and Lucky Party Hats: Brian Greenspun Publisher of the entire Las Vegas Sun empire; Mark Adams, Las Vegas Weekly Editor, and Las Vegas Sun gossip columnist and international gadfly Robin Leach (Robin got a special Limited Edition hat). Maybe it was just because I registered and placed the MGM event on their calendar. Most likely they just fucked up. Debbie mentioned that I was the first VIP to arrive. She directed me to go right in the special VIP entrance and find myself a table. As I walked down the hallway, I passed a small Tiki Bar setup. What’s this? Several Bottles of Bombay Sapphire were lined up. It was the featured alcohol. A Bombay Sapphire martini happens to be my favorite drink. I ordered a double to try out my purple wrist band. It worked like a charm. I was thinking…”It can’t get any better than this”. The VIP area stretched along the left wall of the Havana Room. It was raised above the main floor where there were many more tables and chairs. Downstairs was home to the stage and the hoi polloi. There was a VIP Bar and a large empty area that was for mixing, mingling, milling and staging. A dozen big circular booths that could seat 6 – 8 people lined the sides of the VIP area. In the background, the sound system was pumping out techno music. I immediately choose the most strategic location in the entire room….the front corner booth. I had a perfect view of the stage, overlooked the plebeians and was right next to the VIP mingle area. Crappy picture, but you get the idea of the Layout. Masses and Stage down below. VIP’s on high. Emma Emma was my cocktail waitress. Emma was a good person. She was perky. She loved my lucky lighted Christmas turkey hat. She went on and on about it. I quickly finished my first Martini and she was always there for me with another. I was tipping Emma $5.00 a drink. I figured “what the hell. I was spending $20 a pop over at Pub 1842. It’s almost like the drinks here were free…wait a minute they were free”. Emma plied me with martini after martini. I think I was one of the few VIPs actually tipping her. Emma Pudgy Soon after I was seated, a short, pudgy bearded dude started eying my booth. He called over a man in a Blue Suit. I could only hear bits of their conversation. The gist of it was that Pudgy was confirming with Blue Suit that this was his booth, not AlanLeroy’s. Actually I got the feeling Pudgy was working for someone. Someone Very Important. Whenever Pudgy’s VIP showed up, Pudge wanted to claim his rightful premium VIP spot. Blue Suit wasn’t so sure…I think because he didn’t know who exactly VIP AlanLeroy from Fresno was and there didn’t seem to be a booth assignment system. But he ended up agreeing…I think. I gave Pudgy the stink eye. He looked away. Pudge was soon joined by an absolutely gorgeous woman. She was wearing a kind of strange plastic see through top that allowed me to see her breasts. I named her ‘Titsie’. I gave her the stink eye too. Titsie and Pudgy just hung out next to the other end of my booth. Reserved. But for whom? Hat Envy Over the next half hour, the VIP area filled up. The mingle area was full of Suits: The movers and shakers of Vegas. Every now and then a man would walk up to me, shake my hand and say “I love that hat”. My response was always the same. “If you had an awesome hat like this, would you wear it?”. The typical reply was ‘Oh no, I could never wear a hat like that in public. You are so brave”. Women would walk by and smile or giggle or wink or point at me. Many of the women had two common characteristics: big fake boobs and short dresses that almost exposed their pubic hairs. I don’t know who any of them were, but I do know that my hat was admired by all. Suited men walked up and introduced themselves at various times. I don’t remember most of them….but they were politicians and reporters, and executives. I think they wanted to find out who I was because of my Lucky Lighted Christmas Turkey hat and Lucky Samurai Tiger Shirt. They wondered what I did and how I rated the power table. I would only tell them that I was VIP AlanLeroy from Fresno. “Oh…You’re from Fresno!” They would exclaim....as if that explained everything. AlanLeroy holding court at the Power Table There was a middle aged silver haired guy in a grey suit who talked to me for a minute or two. I had no idea what he was saying because the techno background music and voices from the mingle area prevented me from really hearing him, but I would smile and nod and laugh when he did. He appeared to know everyone and seemed kind of official. He loved my hat and got a great kick out of it. The LT About 10 minutes later Silver Haired guy returned with another Suited Man in tow. ‘AlanLeroy, meet Brian Krolicki…Nevada’s Lieutenant Governor”. Silver Haired Guy continued to point out my Lucky Lighted Christmas Turkey Hat to Brian and we all got a great kick out it. “I just love that hat” claimed Lt Governor Brian Krolicki…and so I responded “Brian…If you had an awesome hat like this, would you wear it?”. And Brian said “Why yes AlanLeroy, of course I would wear that awesome hat”. I reached over to my jacket, pulled out my Spare Lucky Lighted Christmas Hat and handed it over to Brain. “Here you go Brain. Now put it on so I can take your picture”. Brian thought for a moment and said “I can’t wear that awesome Lucky Hat here AlanLeroy”. And I said “Hold on there Brian, you just said “Of course I would wear that awesome hat”. I wondered what the Lucky Hat Repossession Laws were in Nevada, but he clarified: “I meant I’d wear it when I get home to entertain my kids and with my family at Christmas.” Oh he was good. I’d vote for Brain Krolicki….and you should too. Lieutenant Governor Brain Krolicki with his prized possession. Newsies I also met several reporters from the Las Vegas Sun. They were curious about who I was and what qualified me for VIPdom. I told them “I am VIP AlanLeroy from Fresno”. In typical reporter fashion they wondered what that really meant. When reporter Ed Komenda complemented me on my Lucky Lighted Christmas Turkey hat I asked him:. “Ed, If you had an awesome hat like this, would you wear it?” and he said “Why yes AlanLeroy, of course I would wear a lucky hat such as that”. I took the turkey hat off my head and handed it over. “For me? Really?” He queried. Ed was dumbfounded and walked off wearing the hat….a changed man. A few minutes later he returned and gave me back the hat. He claimed he merely wanted to borrow it to have his picture taken in it. We both knew he was not up to the challenge. With a Great Hat comes Great Responsibility. Las Vegas Sun Reporters hang out together. Pudgy's revenge I was on my 6th Martini when I came to the realization that my style was cramped. I should be mingling with the rich and famous. I should be circulating, meeting people, listening to their troubles, solving their problems. But no. Not only were Pudgy and Titsie constantly hovering like vultures, his entourage had expanded to 5 beautiful women. I knew the minute I stood up, that group was swooping in and claiming the Power Table as their own. I think Pudgy was reluctant to confront me because it was now painfully obvious that AlanLeroy from Fresno was well connected. I needed my wingmen to hold the Power table.. But where were they? Oh yeah…back at MGM getting their beauty rest. Then, up walked the next better thing: Wingwomen. 4 lovely women sauntered up and the leader complemented me on my Lucky Lighted Christmas Turkey Hat. She asked me if it would be ok if they join me. Perfect. “Of course you can join me, Ladies”. But as luck would have it, they were intercepted at the other end of my booth by The Pudgester who had a conversation that I could only hear fragments of….words like ‘Reserved’ and ‘You’ll have to move’. The ladies walked away dejected. I gave Pudgy the stink eye. He looked away. Eventually the stage lights came on and out popped none other than Las Vegas Sun gossip columnist and international gadfly Robin Leach. Robin offered up a Toast to The Las Vegas Weekly Magazine and 15 years of covering the Vegas Scene. Unscripted Exit The show was about to begin, but it was time for me to leave. I kind of wanted to stay for the entertainment which was quite extraordinary. It included many, many Las Vegas musicians, entertainers and personalities just jamming and making up music on stage….that’s why it’s ‘Unscripted’. It was late. I was already at least 7 sheets to the wind. We had a huge day planned for tomorrow. I stood up and gave Pudgy and Titsie the universal ‘It’s all yours sign’. They nodded in appreciation and immediately took over the Power Booth. As I started to walk, I bumped into Emma. Literally bumped into her. She was sad that I was leaving. I took off my Lucky Lighted Christmas Turkey Hat and gave it to her to remember this fantastic Anniversary celebration. She couldn’t believe my generosity. The brisk walk to the MGM did little to sober me up. I stumbled into the room waking up both Robin and the Newbie. They asked “How was the Party AlanLeroy?” I said “Fucking VI fucking P, Bombay baby!, Lieutenant Fucking Governor. Gave him a fucking turkey hat.” Newbie responded “You’re drunk off your ass, AlanLeroy. Go to sleep”. Fini I stayed up a little while longer and typed up some drunken notes so I would remember this glorious day. Curiously my final entry was “My day was don. Garve Emma my Lky hat. She pinch my cheeks.”. The next day I had no memory of Emma or anyone else pinching my cheeks, But then again, I didn’t remember writing that. It must have happened though….So it is written, so it shall be. Pinch or no, it was one of the most entertaining days of my life.