South African-born, UNLV-educated Pauly Freedman has been an integral part of the Wynn Las Vegas nightlife experience for eight years now, starting as general manager of the former Blush boutique nightclub and then assisting in the creation of and heading up operations for Encore Beach Club and Surrender, one of the Strip’s most potent day-to-night combinations.
Teaming with John Wood as co-executive directors of Intrigue, opening in April at Wynn, Freedman says the cyclical Vegas-nightlife trends have become clearer than ever. “The huge megaclub is slowly downsizing, and we’re seeing more intimate venues coming around again, similar to what Blush was when the ultralounge was very popular,” he says. “This gives guests the opportunity to be the center of attention. With us, it’s the Wynn standard: How do you take a five-star hotel and transform that into a nightlife experience?”
Freedman and his team plan to answer that question in a new and different way with Intrigue. “It really is exciting,” he says. “It’s my opportunity to make my mark.” Actually, he’s already made quite a mark. He’s worked as an executive chef, spent five years with Caesars Entertainment supervising various clubs, lounges and pools, and way back in the day, operated the iconic Club Utopia. Few have seen the landscape change and pushed new developments the way Freedman has.
“If you look at the next steps and what [the scene] has gone through, it’s about the whole package and the party, not just a guy standing onstage and everyone has their cell phone out getting video,” he says. “It’s everything.”