You can tell that Devin Haman, the founder and owner of Sunset Tan, is successful as soon as you meet him. He’s tall, built like a football star (he played in college) with a golden tan, bleached hair and an unabashedly trendy ensemble of destroyed denim, a half-open collared shirt, embroidered leather shoes and a diamond watch, but it’s not his style that makes the strongest impression. It’s his affect – the genuine smile, eye contact, clear confidence and easy conversation.
Perhaps these are the just rewards of a fortune made selling real estate in the Hollywood Hills, or of owning the Beverly Hills Rejuvenation Center, co-founding several successful event/promotion companies and being named as one of 100 of the most powerful people in the United States by Men magazine. Or maybe it’s comes from his role as CEO of Sunset Tan, a tanning salon that is arguably the most successful in the world and even enjoys its own E! reality TV show.
Haman’s new Las Vegas location at Palms Place is the show’s star, along with the original venture on the Sunset Strip in L.A. And why would anyone watch a show about a tanning salon? Well, like a layer of bronzer on your skin, it’s a celebration of the superficial.
First and foremost, the show is full of beautiful people – the staff are necessarily blonde, tan and big-breasted, and the celebrity clientele includes folks like Mario Lopez, Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears. Second, there is a ton of drama—gossiping, bickering, full-on cat fights, wild hot tub parties and plenty of hooking up. In other words, all the things TV execs look for in a reality television hit.
It doesn’t hurt that tanning requires revealing a good deal of skin, either. In the Palms Place location, the female staff has airbrushed the almost naked bodies of Elvis impersonators, pageant contestants, Playboy bunnies, Weekly blogger Robin Leach, Olympic poster boy Michael Phelps and even the Blue Man Group. “I have the sexiest job in Vegas,” one bosomy, redhead staff member raves. “I get to see everybody naked!”