Under New Management: Vegas Steals a Page From Late, Great Harold Ramis

Illustration by Jon Estrada

Illustration by Jon Estrada

In between bouts of watching Groundhog Day and sobbing quietly to ourselves (Because really, whose favorite drink is a vermouth cocktail? What were you thinking, Andie MacDowell?), we realized that Harold Ramis left a lesson in his work that’s readily applicable to this week in Vegas.

It’s that Ramis, who died on February 24, was oddly optimistic about changes in management. In Caddyshack, Rodney Dangerfield buying Bushwood to develop it for condos could only be an improvement if the alternative was continuing to let Judge Smails lord over the place like a smug despot. And in Ghostbusters, would you rather have a crumbling firehouse with metal fatigue in all the load-bearing members, or a giddy Dan Aykroyd using the pole and Bill Murray all up in there being Bill Murray? Case closed.

That brings us to the Gaming Control Board, which on February 20 approved Gaughan Gaming to take a 50 percent stake to oversee operations of Ely’s Hotel Nevada & Gambling Hall. As part of that deal, Gaughan also nabbed a 50 percent stake in the Kellogg family’s other properties. That includes O’Aces and, of more immediate concern to Downtown denizens and everyone citywide who loves $3 beers and drinks that don’t involve any extra 15 craft cocktail steps in their preparation, the Huntridge Tavern.

Rest assured, it will be business as usual at the Huntridge, with the only changes being maintenance-related. Gin out of a plastic bottle for everyone!

The other big management shakeup comes in Clubtown, USA, where Hakkasan Group acquired Angel Management Group. AMG opened Hakkasan Las Vegas and manages the spot, along with Pure, Wet Republic, Social House, LAX and Coyote Ugly.

Hakkasan Group CEO Neil Moffit will see his role shift to development and global expansion, as well as overseeing the group’s hotel division. So that could mean that Light Group’s Delano may not be the only club-affiliated boutique hotel in town—to say nothing of the tight integration of Drai’s at The Cromwell.

It all must have worked out well for Moffit, because Page Six reports that he bought a $50.9 million Chelsea five-bedroom penthouse in New York, reportedly visiting the space for less than five minutes before paying cash for it.

You have to figure any change in management to someone who doesn’t beat you with a belt would be a good one for the Jacksons. Joe was still there, along with Katherine Jackson, for the February 20 debut of the Jacksons’ edition of RockTellz & CockTails at Planet Hollywood. Also dropping by was Eddie Murphy, who came in street clothes. Couldn’t be bothered to dust off his formal fat suit.

Two days later, Prince Michael Jackson came to see his uncles work the old magic with girlfriend Nikita Bess and brother, Prince Michael Jackson II. (The other one—Blanket.) He was celebrating his 12th birthday while his older brother just turned 17 the week prior. We hope the younger Jackson celebrates his birthdays to come by starting work on his inevitable autobiography, For the Love of God, Please Stop Calling Me ‘Blanket.’

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