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Nightlife

[Lowball Diary]

The beast is back: exploring the pinata-massacring fun of Ghostbar Dayclub

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Weird is good and pretentiousness is absent at GBDC.
Photo: Claire Hart

I marched my high-tops, knee socks, tutu, micro-shirt, suspenders, fanny pack, fingerless gloves, rubber bling and neon wig into the hallway. “Is the fanny pack overkill?” I asked, as sincerely as anyone can ask that question in this century. Roomie said what everyone says about Ghostbar Dayclub: The crazier the better.

“We’ve played off everything that people love,” said Rachel Wenman, N9NE Group’s senior manager of brand marketing and one of GBDC’s original architects. As queen of the dayclub’s “mood creators,” she reads the room and coordinates naughty piñatas, bedazzled beer bongs and showers of booze and bubbles and confetti. While the space is 55 floors up in a Vegas casino, the vibe is your own birthday party on steroids. Hence the “dress code”: “Color and anything that’s over-exaggerated; big hair, big glasses, big dress, big tutu. A lot of guys end up just wearing full-on mascot outfits. It is the weirdest party.” Wenman added that at GBDC, weird is very, very good. She said it’s completely unpretentious, something I had yet to see at a Vegas club.

The Details

GHOSTBAR DAYCLUB
Saturdays, 1 p.m, $20, locals ladies free.
Ghostbar, 942-6832.
Prisoners of love abound at Ghostbar Dayclub.

Prisoners of love abound at Ghostbar Dayclub.

On the October 20 season opener, I (and my righteous fanny pack) rolled up to Mark Adams’ house just after lunchtime. The Weekly’s resident nightlife expert sprinted out in a huge polka-dot clown tie, a dragon hat with matching tail and plastic sunglasses. I handed him a silver badge, ’cause you can’t be party police without the proper hardware.

The Palms elevator spat us out into the belly of “the beast.” If the Coen brothers threw a party with David Bowie and the ghost of Jim Henson, it would have the gorgeous girls on stilts and adorable grandma sipping a paper-bagged 40, the rainbow lights and hot dogs sizzling on the patio next to an extremely tan man wearing fur boots, leopard pants and a sideways hat that said, “SEXY.” Before I had a drop of my beverage, I was in the mood.

In return for honoring the dress code, Mark and I received swag and affection. I got a bubble gun and foam Bacardi fist. He got handcuffed to a go-go. I got my tutu playfully violated. He got his nipples tweaked, and a British tourist offered him $200 for his dragon hat. On the patio, Mark whispered that George Maloof was right behind me. I immediately turned and shot him with my bubble gun. It was almost as awesome as seeing a guy in a sports bra (most clubs don’t even allow tank tops), or the unicorn superhero in full-body purple spandex, or the man triumphantly wearing a decapitated piñata as a hat. My favorite moment was when House of Pain exploded from the speakers and the entire club jumped and rapped in unison like it was the best junior-high dance in the whole f*cking world.

When we left, many hours later, we were glowing. Mark posted on Facebook that it had been “an amazing life decision” and told me it was the best time he’s ever had at a Vegas club. (And he’s lived here his entire life.) “Nobody feels like an outsider,” he said, “and no one is a wallflower.”

For me, it was mind-changing. After clubbing in Europe in college, I didn’t think I would ever feel that way again, like you’d have to drag me out because it was so much fun. But that’s how GBDC felt. Wenman was right about it being unpretentious. She was there, pouring shots, dancing on the bar and orchestrating the piñata massacre. “I think every first-timer is just blown away,” she said. “There’s nothing like it.”

Tags: Nightlife
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Erin got her first newspaper job in 2002 thanks to a campfire story about Bigfoot. In her award-winning work for ...

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