What the Heck Is VIP in Vegas?
For the pool parties, it’s generally a cabana, daybed or a lounge chair that is dedicated to you. At nightclubs it’s either a cabana, or a table for bottle service. You get your own personal space, personal waitress, security and a busboy. Some people see this as status and respect; others see it as a way to have more fun. I mean who wants to really stand in a cock infested dance floor all night and buying drinks from the bar anyway?
Costs That Go into VIP
It’s all in the negotiations. Most places do have a set rate, but depending on the host, you can talk down the rate or get a special that goes along with it like a B1G1 (Buy1Give1) on a bottle, or a discounted food & beverage minimum.
Pool Parties always use food and beverage minimums. If you make a reservation for a daybed, there is a maximum amount of people who are allowed to walk in with you to use that daybed. For instance Wet Republic allows 8 people per daybed and you have been quoted a food and beverage minimum of $750. For you to use the daybed space the entire day, you will need to order $750 worth of food and beverage from your waitress. There is also a gratuity of 20% and NV sales tax of 8.1%. Just to be on the safe side, I tack on 30% on to the amount you plan to spend. Also if you are looking for a better location or have good standing with a host, make sure you set aside $100 per every $500 to tip your host.
Let’s break this down for our pool party example:
|Food and Beverage||$750.00|
|Gratuity ($750 * 20%)||$150.00|
|NV Sales Tax ($750 * 8.1%)||$60.75|
Since 8 people are allowed, divide by 8 – Per Person Cost: $120.09
(To be on the safe side, I would collect about $130.) Also check with your host to see if the charge will also include a 10% LET (Live Entertainment Tax).
The assumptions here are that you are very careful and you ordered exactly $750 worth of food and beverage off the menu which is pretty impossible to do. If you are organizing VIP, I will always collect 30% for tax/ gratuity + an additional 5% for overages to be on the safe side. Whatever money that is left over, tip it to your host, busboy and security (ProTip: Your host is the person that sets you up, so it is really important that you take care of him first). You might want to collect an extra $10-20 from each one of your group members to make sure the host is taken care of. Another consideration is that you are not wasting money towards cover. With the hiked up cover charges of $50 at some venues and the costs that go into purchasing individual drinks at $18-$25 per drink, it really makes people think that this is a more economical option with all the additional services that come out of going VIP.
Nightclubs are actually very similar to pool parties, but instead of dealing with food and beverage you are quoted a bottle minimum for a location. Of course the cabanas and better seating will require more bottle minimums to be purchased. Using a Surrender cabana as an example, we are quoted two bottle minimum on this cabana. What does this mean? You will be presented a menu where you will choose the bottles that go along with your service. On the average, bottle prices are about $450 or more. Typical juice mixers are included with your purchase. Bottled water and red bulls are always extra. For this cabana we have a 10 person maximum and we bought two bottles of Belvedere at $475. The same concepts above of gratuity, tax and tipping the host applies.
This is how it breaks down for our nightclub example:
|Two bottles of Belvedere ($475*2)||$950.00|
|Gratuity ($950 * 20%)||$190.00|
|NV Sales Tax ($950 * 8.1%)||$76.95|
Since 10 people are allowed, divide by 10 – Per Person Cost: $121.70
To be on the safe side, I would collect about $130. Also check with your host to see if the charge will also include a 10% LET (Live Entertainment Tax).
Other Things to Consider
Sometimes the party is on and cracking and your table has hit the food and beverage or bottle minimum and has decided to order more. It’s always a good idea to bring extra cash with you to the table so you are ready to keep the party going. Never be the douche that brought only the exact amount. You know you will end up spending more. Most establishments also frown upon charging a bill to multiple credit cards. So the organizer will usually charge the bill to their credit card. As an organizer, never ask for the initial owed money later. That is just asking to get screwed. As a guest at the table, make sure you’ve paid the organizer the requested amount upfront before you even enter the club. Just be ready to pay any additional overages if the organizer asks for it.
Lastly, common bottle service etiquette means that the people who pay are the ones that should consume. If you bring a girl back to the table, have some courtesy and order her drink on a separate tab or at the bar. Never mooch off your shared bottles between your friends for randoms just to look cool. If there are randoms in your area, at your discretion you might want to ask them to throw you a $10 or $20 to use the real estate. Don’t be angry and confrontational, and immediately call security. That just sets off bad vibes.
One more secret tip, well not really, I think it should be common sense. Whenever possible, keep females off of your bottle count. Females in Vegas can almost always get into clubs via guest list or be added to a reservation at the door and almost always they are never charged a cover (during EDC Week even if it’s not always possible to get all the girls in your group into every show via a guest list, usually female ticket prices are a fraction of the cost of a male ticket). Lets say you had a female that is going to chip in on the bottle, do not check in with her for your VIP service. Get her through the VIP line, then have her meet up with you at your table. Of course be nice and pour the lady a drink, shes paying for it after all! This will allow you to get more people on the reservation to decrease cost.
All in all, you should have fun. The point is not worry about money when you are partying in the VIP. It’s your location for the night, let loose and enjoy. If you budgeted accordingly in the beginning, there should never be a reason to worry. Planning is the key!
Stay up-to-date on all of the announced EDC Week 2015 events: http://bit.ly/EDC-Week-2015
Here’s a couple of recommended VIP hosts that The Scene is Dead’s team uses whenever we are in Vegas:
Marquee Dayclub and Nightclub
Cheap hotel rates, shows and restaurants: bofsantosvegas.com
Marketing Host at Drai’s Beach Club – Nightclub – Afterhours
Chris also has a block of rooms available for EDC 2015.
For more details visit: EDC Week 2015 Hotels or Vegasdeals.travel