This year’s Platinum Circle Gala brought a near-record number of guests—close to 500 industry heavyweights—to the Venetian Ballroom to honor Kirk Nix, Todd-Avery Lenahan, the founders of BAMO, and Stephen Starr, and to celebrate WATG’s 65th anniversary.
The evening is always tension-filled for me, since so many things can go wrong. This year we had some wonky sound problems, which caused a fair amount of reverb at times, and also prevented me from hearing the acceptance speeches of some of the honorees. This was especially true of hotelier Sheldon Adelson, the Venetian’s owner, who was being feted by the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association as Hotelier of the Year. Mr. Adelson’s speech went on for more than 20 minutes and I heard nary a word. It takes a certain kind of composure to at attention in front of hundreds of people pretending to react to a speech you can’t hear. So I applauded when the audience did, chuckled when they laughed. Not sure I was very convincing. But next year…better sound.
What was gratifying was the presence of some 20 Platinum Circle members in the audience. A few years back, we began the tradition of inviting them all onstage as the evening’s climax. This year the stage was filled with the likes of Deborah Lloyd Forrest, Kay Lang, Tag Galyean, Clodagh, Wing Chao, Barbara Lazaroff, Brad Friedmutter, Jim Looney, and more. It was quite the magical group, and it’s always a highlight of my year.
Where’s Waldo? How many PC dignitaries can you name?