We discuss with New York City nightlife veteran, Eli Pacino, the in’s and out’s of celebrity marketing and the differences between New York City and Vegas nightlife. As it happens, they aren’t the same at all!
Jack Colton: When did your career in nightlife first begin?
Eli Pacino: When I was 17, I got into the first 18 and over club. By 18 I was working the door at a 21 and over club.
Jack Colton: Would it be fair to say that you seem to have made a career out of knowing everyone? How did this first come about?
Eli Pacino: 100%. This business is all about “who you know.” Promoting some of the best parties in New York City with the top nightlife pioneers from 1998 to 2005 allowed me build a nice rolodex.
Jack Colton: Describe a week in the life of Eli.
Eli Pacino: Work hard, play harder! Since I became a partner of 1 OAK, it’s been 5 to 6 days a week in the office from 10am to 7pm. Out and about 7 nights a week. No time for sleep.
Jack Colton: What are the key differences in the nightlife between the two cities?
Eli Pacino: Nightclubs in New York City are much smaller in comparison to the Las Vegas mega clubs, so they can be very selective at the door with whom they let in. New York City clubs don’t have ‘VIP’ sections since the entire club is considered ‘VIP.’ The New York City club scene is a tight knit of circle, whereas Las Vegas is obviously a lot more transient and caters more to the masses.
Jack Colton: How are you able to communicate New York ‘s style in the I LOVE NY parties at 1OAK?
Eli Pacino: For starters we have our New York City DJ’s come and play a “nyc” style set. Most of the room are guests who are my friends and clients from New York City.
Jack Colton: With so many celebrities being guarded about who they allow into their lives, how are you able to gain trust and build relationships?
Eli Pacino: Being an honest and genuine person. Being myself and unpretentious. Most celebrities I that come across have a lot of the same friends in common. Friend referrals are key.
Jack Colton: How big of an impact do you think celebrities have on the overall branding of a venue?
Eli Pacino: A lot! Celebs get press. Press raises the awareness of the brand. Awareness creates curiosity. Curiosity drives bodies to the door.
Jack Colton: With all of your high profile friends, colleagues, and glamor, what helps keep you grounded?
Eli Pacino: My upbringing. I’m very close with my mother and father, and speak to them almost every day. Also, good friends.
Jack Colton: Whom haven’t you had the chance to meet that you would like to?
Eli Pacino: President Obama, and I’m sure I will!
Jack Colton: What advice do you have for those looking to enter a similar career?
Eli Pacino: Good luck! Work hard and you will be rewarded. This business isn’t all fun and games like it seems.