In The Ropes, Eater Vegas talks to the nightlife heavyweights. These are the guys and gals who help run the show and orchestrate dreams at the nightclubs in Las Vegas.
Chris Traer [Photo: Chelsea McManus]
Chris Traer is a Boston native who made it to Vegas by way of Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, where “Wal-Mart was the cool thing to do on a Friday a night.” Since his arrival nearly seven years ago he has been a host at Tao Beach at the Venetian since its inception, now working as head VIP host. In this edition of The Ropes we get his take on “the funnest job ever.”
How is hosting at a dayclub different then a nightclub?
First of all you’re in a suit downstairs and can wear a polo and shorts up here. It’s definitely got more of a laid back atmosphere and an awesome vibe. Plus you have your nights off to handle clients. I feel like [the dayclub is] my baby and have asked to be up for last four years.
How do you take care of big clients?
Most of the time you have had the client for a while and you know what they want. If we don’t have Coors Light and they want it, I’ll go down to Walgreens to make sure that they have the beer they want. It’s about personalizing the experience and making sure everything is centered around what the client wants. We put a lot of effort into bottle presentations. For Texas fans Tao has bought UT jerseys for the girls when they bring out champagne. There is not too much you can do to wow them, so it comes down to the personal experience.
Holiday weekends brings mean line ups and meaner lines. What should the average customer do to ensure that they can get in?
If they don’t want to do a daybed or cabana, as long as they don’t come with a big group of guys and have a nice girl to guy ratio when they line up. We are always accommodating if they are on the guest list or coming in through general admission. We are one of the smaller pool venues and this allows us to be more personalized with our guests. Even if four people are coming in with not the biggest of minimum we can still make sure they get a nice spot because even the corner tables here are still in the venue. I’ll buy them a couple shots and definitely say hi a couple times. Those are the people who end up coming back five or six times a year from LA.
Does anything go for dress code?
We say beach attire and don’t allow basketball jerseys or shorts.
When some people come to Vegas they really get into the Vegas spirit and dress in costume, like the Incredible Hulk or get into experience by dancing. So people just being themselves, but letting loose.
Does anything shock you?
Not anymore — nothing.
What time do your recommend people arrive?
We are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., but normally get busy around noon. We recommend that guests arrive before 1 p.m. to get a table in a nice spot. The lines are also not too long before then either and that way you’re in and ready to go.
What would you say is your best day?
All three weekend days! Sundays are our house days — BPM Sundays and we have a bunch of good house deejays. On Fridays we have a new party called Maxim Fridays where we have events with Maxim and Stoli. On Saturdays we have our celebrity host days. Our yearly Camp Tao Beach is a lot of fun with hula hoop and campy contests.
Is there a local’s day?
We always take care of locals whenever they want to come they are welcome — so all the time. We are definitely a local’s pool.
Who are your true VIPs?
Honestly, it’s not like that. I try to make everyone feel VIP from the guy who comes once a year and does a regular day bed. It’s about personalizing the experience. I always try and take care.
What should people bring to the pool?
Sun block! I’m Irish, so definitely some coverage [laughter]. Funness — once the party gets up and running everyone goes crazy. Be ready to have a good time. We are definitely not a lay out, but a party pool!
Tell me about this mood director.
All our venues have mood directors who have a ton of different costumes and put on shows. They incorporate the hot thing of the moment, like dressing as Sponge Bob and running around with a squirt gun. They get everyone involved in the party.