Farewell to a Paradise for Power Brokers

On May 18, the Stirling Club at Turnberry Place will close. Since it opened on Paradise Road in 1998, the club was more than just a place for the condo complex’s residents to relax: It was also a home away from home for the city’s power elite. Accessible to the Strip, but not part of any casino, it was the ideal spot for executives and deal-makers to dine discreetly after work.

Yet there was far more to the members-only club, which included three dining facilities, a cigar bar, a piano lounge, a regular entertainment schedule, and a full-service spa and fitness center. Its surprisingly homey blog (StirlingClubLV.blogspot.com) is a reminder of better times: special holiday dinners, private performances of shows such as Nunsense, and members-only wine tastings and designer couture previews. It was billed as an ultra-exclusive club, but its Blogspot account betrays more than a trace of the aw-shucks-howdy-podner hospitality that’s welcomed newcomers to Las Vegas since the 1910s. It’s not often that you see a “select group of renowned people from the corporate, artistic and social communities of the world” sharing details of their behind-the-gate club via a blogging service favored by new parents, fledgling craftsmen and animal lovers, but there’s something endearing about that.

The Stirling Club and its online presence were another sign that, for all its cosmopolitan pretensions, Las Vegas remains a small town at heart. Even when it’s at its most exclusive.