Friday, January 28, 2011

Las Vegas Market, Day I: January 2011

Las Vegas Market, Day I
January 25, 2011

Arrived in Las Vegas on Sunday evening for the Surfaces Show (flooring, carpet and rugs), and for the Winter Furniture and Gift show at the World Market Center (WMC).

Theres nothing like Vegas and from the minute I stepped off the plane your greeted by slot machines, everywhere except in the men’s room.

But when I stepped outside to hail a cab, the taxi queue was a block long, and then it turned into a line that rivaled any at Disney World! Ten rows of zigzagging lines separated by stanchions, each about 200 ft. long. It took 30 minutes to get a cab, and that was on a Sunday night!

I booked the Luxor Hotel because it was cheap, and fortunately I was upgraded to the newer towers that are next to the famed pyramid building, which is beyond tired. I'm in the West Tower with a room that overlooks the pool which would be nice but its been drained for the winter, and all of the landscaping apprently has also been pulled.

Monday morning I caught the WMC shuttle at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, which is connected to my hotel, the Luxor. On the way passing monolithic pharaohs, multiple pyramids, the river Nile, even passing through the paws of a 5 story sphinx. I couldn't help wonder what the hieroglyphics on the the faux stone panels lining the elevators actually said. I passed 3 Starbucks in the Luxor, and passed by the lobby’s 2 story high billboards hawking tickets to Menopause the Musical, Criss Angel, and Carrot Top. The walk must be about a mile, all indoors, using elevators, escalators, and stairs, while enduring 2nd hand smoke from mullet-coiffed gamblers.

The WMC buildings are impressive architectural behemoths. Though I didn’t feel that I'd found many new sources by days end, I'd seen a lot of fashion violations by the attendees; unfortunately the fashion police were nowhere to be found. The jail would surely have been overflowing by nightfall had they been around.

Next to the WMC is a striking Frank Gehry building, the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. I goggle the name expecting to be impressed with a roster of the world’s most revered brain surgeons, etc… heres what it said: “home to symposiums, meetings, concerts, fundraisers, that sort of thing. They'll rent it out -- it's got a full kitchen and, of course, the liquor support of founder Larry Ruvo's Southern Wine & Spirits -- to help fund the research and patient care operation”.

I attended the opening day of the new Palecek showroom in the WMC, designers and manufacturers of high end rattan furniture, similar to McGuire Furniture whom we also carry at Cabana Home. The new showroom was fresh and smartly detailed with raw concrete floors and a “whited” out ceilings, instead of the standard blacked-out ceiling. I noted a few items for an order, visited with Daddy Palecek and his son, design director Andrew Palecek.


At Jaipur Rugs I was photographed for (woo hoo), by the editor and publisher, Lissa Wyman, from New York. I liked Jaipur’s wool flat woven striped rugs which were well priced, the felted wool thick shag rugs, and the abstract rug that featured an oversized beige and lime green “Pear”, which is made for outdoor use of 100% recyclable polypropylene. Now, thats green in more than one way!


I checked out Esquire Magazines new Esquire Home Collection, which was less than exciting; actually it was a compilation of items that have been around for the last couple of markets.


At the Four Hands showroom an Asian inspired Cocktail Table caught my eye, which was in a silver leafed finish and featured a brown shagreen top. In another showroom, I liked an ottoman that was upholstered in natural burlap and trimmed with a nailhead pattern.



Potential trends: Moroccan lighting, first seem last September at Masion & Object in Paris, hung in multiples, made of punched tin in shapes, some featured colored glass for a little punch. Also from Morocco; Furntiture clad in German Silver including a Poster Bed, and a Chinese Chippendale Cabinet. Also watch for patchwork rugs made from pieces of old hand woven rugs, dyed in bright colors. Trends? Maybe so.


At “Studio A” had a cabinet, clad in an interesting application of bamboo material, and a great looking lamintaed linen clad chest with an oversized bronze pulls in the center of each drawer.


I finished the day at Viz Glass, as iin the genre of master glass blower Dale Chihuly, but made in China. They blow “Chihuly-esque” chandeliers that sell for $5,800, about $500,000 less than a Chihuly.


I can’t resist writing a market report without showing the “Worst in Show”. French Chairs upholstered with red leather seats and gold painted sticks for the seat back by desinger Christopher Guy (who was inducted as an "Industry Icon" on Thursday at a fancy event; then there was the showroom that was filled with crystal dripping from from ceiling to floor, and rows of glassware in red and white zebra stripes; and there was a showroom packed with Victorian style furniture, perhaps the only Victorian furniture showroom in Nevada.



The WMC buildings are arranged in a U-shape, creating a huge courtyard which was lined in bedding displays, backless Europena style low sofas, round firepits, and the site of tonights “Pajama Party" themed cocktail party. Center stage was set with huge mattresses and boxspringa, and a troupe of gymnast’s/dancers dancing, bouncing and jumping and pillow fighting to 80’s hits such as “Jump”. Corny, but the event was packed (free cocktails and cupcakes), I can’t imagine who picked that combo. Male and female models served cupcakes dressed in winter-white clothing, and large knitted scarves and toboggans, an interesting look in the desert. Not exactly my idea of a pajama party in Vegas!


So, what a heck of a day! I was exhausted, and di not look forward to my mile walk back to my room from the Mandalay Hotels front door!
As I hiked back to my room through the Mandalay Bay Hotel, the Mandalay Bay Casino, the Shops at Mandalay Bay, then through the casino and the shops at the Luxor, past the LAX Night Club (their billboard claimed it had has 26,000 sq. feet on two floors), the IMAX Theatre, the Titanic Artifacts and the “Bodies” Exhibits (scientific body’s) at the Luxor. Once back in my room, I was exhausted and hungry, but where to go for dinner? Can I walk this cavernous place once more to find a suitable eatery, or do I order room service again tonight? My choices, The CatHouse, hummm...wonder what they serve? I peered in thru the window in the front door and scan see what the hotel dining guide called “a lounge/dance area where all the Las Vegas naughtiness happens....hummm. Or, how about Tender (a steak house), or Strip (another steak house)? I settled on T & T (Tacos & Tequila) and was seated on the rail overlooking the lobby and casino, featuring direct inhalation of 2nd hand smoke from the casino, below.

In the shops at Mandalay Bay, a sock store, not a store I would have envisioned in a Vegas mall.

A reveler at Club LAX, though she looks like shes been there for a while! Is she a she?

The IMAX Theatre at the Luxor.

The "Bodies" Show is on exhibit at the Luxor.

The first restaurant I first stumbled on, billed as, "Where all the Las Vegas naughtiness happens."


Back in my room, I jumped on the computer hoping to finish my report, but at 2:00 AM I was too tired to upload the day’s 47 pictures. I resolved to retire for the evening and post it later, so here it is!

Since tomorrow will be spent at the flooring show, I have no expectations that the day’s report will be anywhere near as interesting as today’s! But check in with me, because after all, this is Vegas baby!


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