Industry Weekly

[Architect]

The Hard Rock Hotel’s Leo Mancuso has big plans for summer

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A recent stint in Miami offered valuable lessons for nightlife veteran Leo Mancuso.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

With the season of the sun upon us once again, all eyes at the Hard Rock Hotel turn to legendary pool party Rehab. While there are typically subtle changes to the Rehab experience, visitors can expect to see a more significant evolution there starting this year as industry veteran Leo Mancuso, who recently returned to Las Vegas after a turn in Miami, has taken on the role of general manager of nightlife and daylife.

“We really want to get back to what it was that made the parties great 10 years ago, when it wasn’t about an event or a DJ,” Mancuso says of refining the approach at Rehab. “My idea is to go back in the direction of the Hard Rock where locals truly wanted to be there, when it was the spot not because of the talent but because of the people.”

Huge headliners and dramatic venues can take the attention away from the fact that it’s always about the party, he says. Mancuso started his nightlife career up the street at Ice Nightclub, quickly rising up the ranks at Vegas venues like Pure and Wasted Space. In 2011 he moved to Miami to serve as GM at LIV inside the Fontainebleau, and climbed to director of operations. That different nightlife landscape offered lots of lessons. “Very rarely do you have the chance as an operator to share ideas that are usually left up to the marketing team, but going to Miami gave me so much experience on that [marketing] side,” Mancuso says. “It opened my eyes to what throwing a great party was. In Vegas it was all about the venue, and the clubs out here are beautiful and that’s great, but what about the quality of the party? That’s what I want to bring back to Rehab, those memories of the Hard Rock when you’d see rock stars hanging out at Center Bar, the idea that this is truly an innovative spot.”

Mancuso has some renovations in the works, but before Rehab gets a facelift you’ll see its programming expand in collaboration with other Hard Rock venues—the party will basically take over the whole resort for entire weekends. Keep your eyes on the Hard Rock.

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Brock Radke

Brock Radke has been writing about Las Vegas for almost two decades. He currently serves as editor-at-large covering entertainment and ...

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