Another Tuesday morning, another text from a childhood friend whose college roommate and assorted anonymous buddies will be visiting Las Vegas this weekend for a bachelor or bachelorette party. Can I hook them up?
This, I think, is the modern-day dunking seat. Acquiesce, and I’m doomed to a weekend of late-night texts from the best man asking in earnest where he can get a midget/goat/stripper or—worse—to leading a herd of barefoot, chain-smoking, drunk and similarly dressed former sorority sisters from club to club, spending my money, my time and using my contacts to demonstrate (mostly for myself, if we’re being honest) that after a decade of living in Las Vegas I have a modicum of “juice.”
So, what to do with the Dude & Dudette Armies?
1. Call in a professional. Every nightclub has a pack of VIP hosts who would literally gnaw off their own Twitter fingers if they thought that they could sell your buddies a VIP table. And if the group is all gals, they want them, too. Check out JackColton.com, where nightlife companies post the direct e-mail and cell numbers of the point-person at nearly every club in town.
2. Get coordinated. There are whole departments at Light Group, N9NE Group and Tao Group dedicated solely to setting Betty and Her Babes up with dinner reservations, hosted entry through the door and daytime poolside frolicking. Just ask for the bachelorette/bachelor coordinator.
3. Send them to a strip club. Treasures has a steak house. Rhino has a deep-fryer. Crazy Horse III has a sushi joint, hookah lounge and nightclub. They needn’t ever leave. Tell them to utilize their host hotel’s concierge for show tickets, limos, party busses, etc.
4. Tire them out like toddlers. After a good looong day of downing daiquiris and vodka Red Bulls poolside, getting a good sear on their tender Midwestern hides and losing their voice (and maybe their footing?) while jumping to the DJ’s tunes, your buddies will often just want to head back to the cool, dark environs of their hotel rooms for a disco nap—and won’t wake up till 1 a.m., at which time they’re on their own.
5. Get them an adrenaline buzz. “Dudes, you wanna go zip-lining in Bootleg Canyon? Bungee off the Stratosphere? Skydive in the desert? Experience weightlessness on a Zero-G flight?” Hey, you may even want to join them!
6. Direct the ladies to the “Fruit Loop.” Send them to the bar scene just east of the Hard Rock, where they’ll find feather boas … body glitter … Lady Gaga … Get it? And downtown, there’s even a new bowling alley entirely, er, manned by drag queens! DrinkAndDrag.com.
7. Concentrate their efforts. Encourage the boys and girls to book penthouse suites at the Gold Spike with their choice of a pool table or stripper pole. From there, it’s just a quick stumble across the way to the Fremont Street Experience and a night of dollar blackjack, fried Oreos and drinks taller than even the shortest groomsman.
Of course, all of these options mean that you’ve chosen to actually get involved. You do have the right to say no. When someone sounds the party gong, the first thing you want to do is measure the friendship. High priority means assuming the mantle of event coordinator. Low priority means dodging the affair at all costs. (A side note for would-be visitors: If you’re considering calling a vague Las Vegas acquaintance or Facebook friend for guidance, kindly remember: You’re on vacation; for us it’s just another day in paradise. And 48-hours notice is just cruel.) Anyway, here are some tips on how to let ’em down easy:
1. Politely offer a white lie. “I’m so sorry, but I’m really slammed with work right now.”
2. Then steer them in the right direction. “But here are a couple of recommendations.”
3. Wrap up it with a little misdirection. “And let’s definitely meet up before you leave!”
If your friends from afar have properly availed themselves of Items 1-7 above, chances are you won’t even hear from them that weekend—or ever again.
That is, until they return for the divorce party.