Richard B. Alexander is the reason why you should get out of your comfort zone.
The director of marketing for Hakkasan Group’s Omnia Nightclub could be living closer to nature in a quaint, picturesque Alaska town with a population of 7,000.
“It’s not on the map, and you probably won’t even find it on Google,” he jokes about his hometown of Kenai.
For the record, it’s there. Kenai has its own Wikipedia page, and the mountains are just as gorgeous as Alexander describes: “Like you see in movies and magazines.”
But you’ve got to take risks to get places in life. Dreams of working on the creative side of advertising and marketing brought Alexander to UNLV, and in 2006—at 22 years old—he co-founded the megapopular Down & Derby roller-skating event series.
After rolling out in Pittsburgh, Alexander’s “unique and wacky” idea started to take off in more cities, including Las Vegas.
“When we launched the Los Angeles party at Echoplex and signed the Coachella deal, that’s when it became apparent this could be a career,” he says.
Down & Derby’s 10-plus years of success (it’s still going strong at Downtown’s Gold Spike) added to Alexander’s reputation as one of Las Vegas’ elite event planners. But he still didn’t want to risk settling into the comfort zone and left town for Los Angeles in 2012, looking for inspiration in neighborhoods such as Echo Park and Silver Lake.
“When you live in Las Vegas, I think you sometimes feel like you’re in a bubble,” he says. “When you’re in New York and L.A., you feel you’re at the epicenter of [the industry].
“You have to go look and see these experiences before you bring them back,” he says.
Alexander returned to Las Vegas and Hakkasan Group (where he previously served as a corporate marketing manager) last year with the goal of bringing Omnia to another level, and while the nightclub calendar is stacked with the likes of Fergie, Kaskade and Afrojack, he’d really like to see the next big name break out of Las Vegas.
“We’re launching a lot of careers [in nightlife]. I enjoy seeing artist growth. It’s fun to watch and say, ‘I remember he or she was an opening act, and now they have a hit song.’”