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Trends, fashion, celebrities, events, music, and all things only Vegas

Interview With A Mermaid

Every day at the Silverton goes swimmingly.

Every day at the Silverton Casino Hotel goes swimmingly.

Her workplace is a 117,000-gallon tank. Her co-workers? An assortment of 1,500 fish, including sharks and a stingray that once gave her a black eye on the job. Her tail is huge, and she always chooses steak over seafood. After all, you don’t eat your friends.

That’s life as a mermaid for Ariana Liuzzi, swimming around inside the Silverton Casino Hotel. It almost seemed predestined for someone who began her training as a youth in a group called, fittingly, Nevada Desert Mermaids.

Ariana graciously took a break from entertaining adults and children alike to dry off and answer a few questions for us about her unique, and certainly unconventional, profession:

Being a mermaid? For Ariana Liuzzi, it's quite a tale. And a tail.

Being a mermaid? For Ariana Liuzzi, it’s quite a tale. And a tail. 

Q: Ariana is very close to Ariel, the mermaid from Disney. With a name like that, do you think you were destined for this?

A: Absolutely. Ever since I was little, I always dreamt of being a mermaid. My mom joked that I would always bring over the neighborhood kids or the kids at the beach. My mom is from Slovakia and she speaks different languages so we would talk in Slovak and I would tell the kids that was mermaid language.

Q: How did you first hear about and/or become interested in being the mermaid here at Silverton Casino Hotel.

A: I was a synchronized swimmer here in Las Vegas. I started synchronized swimming when I was 8 years old for a team called Nevada Desert Mermaids. My coach, Heather Carrasco, was working here at the time for the big show that was here. When I graduated high school and retired from synchronized swimming, she offered me the job.

Q: How much time do you put in to it?

A: I’m a full-time mermaid, so I’m here 40 hours a week. The training before was five-hour practices every day after school. I didn’t have the high school party life – it was always swimming competitions ... a lot of time in the water. We always joked that we’d like to calculate how much time we’ve spent just in the water.

Q: About how much time each week are you actually in the water?

A: Maybe, like almost 20 hours a week? Between 15 and 20?

Q: What is your favorite part of this job and how long have you been here? 

A: I’ve been here for six years. My favorite part … there are so many good things about this job. You can never really have a bad day when you are here. I think a big part for me is being able to work with the animals. Being underwater with sharks and stingrays and fish. That’s really unique and something that I adore. The other big part is the kids, who do really think that I’m real, and ...

Ariana Liuzzi has been making waves at the Silverton for more than six years.

Ariana Liuzzi has been making waves at the Silverton Casino Hotel for more than six years.

Q: But you ARE real? Right?

A: Yeah! But the kids who come see me, they travel from all over the world. Seeing their faces light up is awesome.

The mermaids always make a big splash with guests of all ages.

The Silverton Casino Hotel mermaids always make a big splash with guests of all ages.

Q: Any funny stories about life as a mermaid or anything you’ve seen from the tank you’d like to share?

A: We see so much on a daily basis. We’ve been a part of engagements, birthdays, weddings. Each of those are unique in their own way. The underwater weddings are really awesome. We had a couple from Germany and it was a huge experience for them. We do proposals about once a month. I’ve been a part of three weddings, too.

Q: How do friends and family react when you first tell them you’re a real-life mermaid?

A: It’s funny because when I run into old friends, I don’t really bring it up at first. I let them talk to me about what’s going on with them, just because, after that, it’s all about asking me questions. “What’s it like doing this?” and “What’s it like doing that?” But everyone’s been super supportive. I’ve never had anyone that didn’t support the idea

117,000 gallons of workspace

117,000 gallons of workspace

Q: What is the most common question you get?

A: Probably “How long can you hold your breath underwater?”

Q: And the answer?

A: I can probably hold my breath for a little over a minute. But I’m totally spoiled now. I have scuba (air tanks) at the bottom of the tank so the second I feel like I should probably go take a breath, I take one. But, in synchronized swimming, it’s the complete opposite because they’re training you to stay underwater.

As the Silverton mermaid, Ariana's career has come full circle.

As the Silverton Casino Hotel mermaid, Ariana’s career has come full circle.

Q: When you aren’t swimming around in the tank, what do you like to do in the Silverton Casino Hotel? As a mermaid, you can’t go too long without water. What happens? We don’t even know.

A: You’ll never know. They carry me around. But it gets cold in the tank, so we really like to hit up Starbucks. Twin Creeks is definitely my favorite restaurant here. I’ve been there a few times and it’s awesome.

Q: What makes the Silverton Casino Hotel special?

A: Just the overall feel. It’s not in that busy-ness of the Strip. You have the same amenities, but it’s off the Strip and more personal. And you don’t have to sit in Las Vegas Boulevard traffic for 45 minutes.

Q: How long do you see yourself continuing as a mermaid at the Silverton Casino Hotel?

A: I love everything about my job. I love being able to be where I feel the most comfortable, which is underwater, and working with animals. Even since I was little, I wanted to be a marine biologist.

The Silverton mermaids have more than 1,500 colorful co-stars in their tank.

The Silverton mermaids have more than 1,500 colorful co-stars in their tank.

Q: Any advice for future mermaid hopefuls?

A: I hope they find as much happiness underwater as I do and that they really enjoy the tank. You don’t realize, even if you are in it every day, you don’t realize how beautiful it really is and it’s important to take a second and appreciate your surroundings. It’s a great environment. 

Mermaids perform Thursday−Sunday afternoons, into the early evening.

This sums up how Ariana feels about her job, and the fans who come to see her perform.

This sums up how Ariana feels about her job, and the fans who come to see her perform.

How to do the club scene in Vegas

There’s much to be said about a city that is home to seven of top 10 highest grossing clubs – they know how to party and you need to be there. Especially so when the parties seem to never end. Welcome to Las Vegas, a city built on late nights, adult freedom and unforgettable experiences.

If you’ve been here before, you’ve most likely seen one of the best DJs in the world, stayed out until the sun came up and did it all over again the next night.

 

Omnia

 

But if you’ve never experienced a Las Vegas nightclub, trying to figure out where to go, who to see, how to get in, how much money to bring and what to wear can be overwhelming. There are so many clubs and so many DJs to see that it’s hard to accomplish it all in one trip or figure out where to start. Luckily for you, we’re here to help with our years of nightclub knowledge.

Venue

Every nightclub is different. They all have their own vibe, type of music and theme. Some are small and others are quite large, with multiple floors. Some have an outdoor portion that’s great if you don’t like feeling too cramped. While all the clubs in Vegas are pretty remarkable for their own reasons, we’ve listed a few below to check out.

XS at Encore at Wynn is currently the highest grossing club in Las Vegas and the United States for over five years and has been called one of the hottest clubs in the world. It’s here where you can see big-name DJs such as Kaskade and David Guetta. Its lavish nightclub, inspired by the proactive curves of the human body, leaves your jaw dropping as you make your way through the golden entrance into the club. It’s inside where the party is – here, you’ll find yourself surrounded by rows and rows of tables that lead up to the main stage that’s usually packed from wall to wall. But when you find yourself needing a break from the dancing and DJ scene, you can move outside to the pool and cabana area where the vibe is more low-key.

Hakkasan at MGM Grand is a five-story nightclub that offers visitors both a restaurant and nightlife experience. On the first two floors, you’ll find the restaurant, which offers one floor specific for private dining and one for public dining. Located on the top three floors, you’ll find the nightclub. Its three-floor design offers a different feel and vibe on each floor. The fourth floor is the place to go if you want to see some of the biggest names of DJs in the world. Featured on its list of artists who perform here are Calvin Harris, Steve Aoki, Tiesto and Hardwell, just to name a few.

TAO at The Venetian will leave you speechless by the time the night is over, and for so many different reasons. The club’s Asian-themed design is expressed not only in the décor, but also in the ambience. As you walk through the club, you’ll notice a collection of Buddha statues, the exotic dancers lining the walls and the bathtubs on pedestals. There’s even a separate lounge called the Opium Room that you can visit if you get tired of dancing. It’s been a staple in Vegas for over 10 years and it’s still on the list for top 10 highest grossing nightclubs in the U.S., which most likely means it’s doing something right.

Omnia at Caesars Palace is one of the newer clubs on the Strip, and it’s one of the most unique. The club itself is three levels, 75,000 square feet and includes an outside veranda that was inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Aside from hosting some of best DJs in the world, Omnia is also pretty well known for its 22,000-pound hanging chandelier and the eight gigantic rings that rotate around it. What’s even cooler about Omnia is that the music and energy of the room is synced to the light show, so you’ll most likely never have the same experience twice.

Ghostbar is on the boutique end for size of a nightclub, but don’t let that fool you. It’s here where you can get one of the best views on the Strip while you party the night away. Its roof top bar, positioned off the Strip on the 55th floor at Palms, offers a panoramic view that encompasses most of the Strip. You can tell once you walk in that you’re at a nightclub, but the vibe is much more chill and sophisticated than you would find at other clubs. If you’re looking for that boutique nightclub experience but don’t want to feel packed in from wall to wall, this is your venue!

 

TAO

 

Bottle Service

If you have a large group, bottle service might not be a bad option, especially if you can afford it. While every club treats bottle service differently, there are some things that tend to be similar with each.

Most have a three-to-one rule, meaning three people for every bottle. If you have five people in a group, you’re going to have to buy two bottles. Bottle prices range depending on the type and brand. But on average, a bottle is between $300 to $500, which doesn’t include tip and tax. The amount you are willing to spend dictates where you will be seated. If you’re not spending a lot, then don’t expect a table by the DJ. Once your bottle runs out, you will most likely lose your table.

You can request bottle service directly through the club or a promoter.

Party Bus

So, you’re only in Las Vegas one night and you don’t know what club to visit but you don’t want to be tied to one in case it’s not your scene. Don’t worry − there’s a party bus for that!

Nightclub party buses are a great option for someone who’s only in Vegas for one night or looking to see multiple venues. You can purchase tickets in advance and know exactly what venues you’ll be seeing. Most party buses visit three or four in one night and offer free drinks while on the bus.

You will spend about 40 minutes to one hour at each venue, and have the option not to return to the bus if you’re having a good time at one of the clubs. But be sure to look up what clubs the bus stops at, as some visit more bars than clubs in one night.

Club Etiquette

Sorry, but unfortunately, you can’t sit wherever you want. Any empty tables or chairs you see when you walk in are probably reserved for those who requested bottle service. Ladies, keep this in mind when choosing your shoes. If you can’t last more than five to six hours in your favorite heels, it’s probably best to pick different shoes.

If you drink too much and can’t quite find the right footing, you’ll most likely be asked to leave.

Cost

Clubs can be expensive, but they don’t have to be. Make sure to buy your ticket beforehand. Ticket prices will rise if you wait to buy them at the door.  

Drinks are expensive. Shots are even more expensive. Expect to pay at least $15 or more for each drink or shot. Some clubs will offer added perks if you can get there by a certain time, such as offering ladies free drinks, or providing open bar or free champagne. Be on the lookout for these types of perks if you’re interested in going to a certain club.

 

 

Dress Code

Most clubs, if not all, have a particular dress code you must adhere to, otherwise, you’re likely to get rejected at the door. While the dress code can vary from club to club, most of them follow similar rules.

Gentlemen − T-shirts, sneakers and hats are not allowed. If you can stick to jeans or dress pants and some type of button-down shirt with dress shoes, you probably won’t have any issues.

And as for ladies − jeans, some open-toed sandals, and hats might keep you from getting in. The type of shoes you’re permitted to wear varies from place to place, but wearing heels or boots is your best bet.

Promoters

Promoters are big in Las Vegas and they’re a great option to look for if you’re a female or if you have a good amount of ladies in your group. As part of their job, they have a certain amount of women, and sometimes men, that they have to bring in to a club each night.

Typically, promoters will approach a large group, especially one with many females, and offer to put them on the VIP or guest list for a certain club. Don’t worry, they’re not scamming you, unless they’re trying to get you to pay for something. A promoter will not ask you to pay for something as that is not part of their job. If someone tries to get you to pay for a wristband or a ticket, just walk away.

Once they put you on the list, your fee to get into the club is waived. Just make sure you’re in the right line when you get to the club that evening.

You can find them wandering around in most hotels or malls, especially if that particular hotel has a large-scale nightclub. Most club promoters you’ll see around are very well-dressed, whether in a suit and tie or a club dress.

Many of them have a guy-to-girl ratio they follow. So, if you’re a group of men looking to get into a club, they’ll be more willing to get you in if your group contains the same amount of females as males.

Line

There will be a line regardless of what line you’re in and it will look like it is never ending. If you’re on the VIP list, the line will usually be faster than general admission, but there will still be a line. Expect to wait a good 20 to 40 minutes, and the earlier you get there, the better. Most people tend to show up sometime between 10-11 p.m.

Hope this helps you enjoy your next night out in Vegas!

Vegas Weekend: Daughtry, Judas Priest, Jimmy Buffett and more

From country and rock icons to pop starlets, you'll find entertainment for every taste this weekend in Las Vegas. Whether it's comedians, concerts or clubs, it's all happening here. Check out the list below or see our full lineup of shows.

uB40

Friday, Oct. 16

CONCERTS & EVENTS

NIGHTCLUBS

Daughtry

Saturday, Oct. 17

CONCERTS & EVENTS

NIGHTCLUBS

 

In the spirit of Canadian Thanksgiving, Monte Carlo Resort & Casino- Las Vegas is offering Canadian travellers special...

Posted by Visit Las Vegas on Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Sunday, Oct. 18

CONCERTS & EVENTS

NIGHTCLUBS

Book rooms and get show tickets, club passes and more at LasVegas.com!

Vegas Weekend: The Judds, Charli XCX, Neil Young and more take the stage

From country and rock icons to pop starlets, you'll find entertainment for every taste this weekend in Las Vegas. Whether it's comedians, concerts or clubs, it's all happening here. Check out the list below or see our full lineup of shows.

Charli XCX

Friday, Oct. 9

CONCERTS & EVENTS

POOLS / DAYCLUBS

NIGHTCLUBS

The Judds

Saturday, Oct. 10

CONCERTS & EVENTS

POOLS / DAYCLUBS

NIGHTCLUBS

 

We teamed up with WestJet to give 170 lucky guests the Ultimate Las Vegas Upgrade, and the results will give you serious #FOMO.

Posted by Visit Las Vegas on Monday, October 5, 2015

Sunday, Oct. 11

CONCERTS & EVENTS

POOLS / DAYCLUBS

NIGHTCLUBS

Book rooms and get show tickets, club passes and more at LasVegas.com!

Get some down-home country cookin' in Las Vegas

Las Vegas celebrates cowboy culture during events like the upcoming Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, with events like the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show, the incredible country music acts that surround the event, and much more. But when it comes to down-home country cookin', Las Vegas can satisfy your appetite year-round!

Yardbird

Check out the Southern hospitality - and incredible dishes - at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar at The Venetian.

The self-proclaimed "house of worship to farm-fresh ingredients, classic Southern cooking, culture and hospitality" features some of the freshest, most inventive takes on regional Southern fare for lunch and dinner seven days a week, as well as a classic brunch on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The menu features unique spins on classic dishes such as Chicken N’ Watermelon N’ Waffles and Fried Green Tomato BLT. Complete with an inventive cocktail list and expansive beer and wine menu, Yardbird offers something for everyone.

The Double Barrel Roadhouse at Monte Carlo showcases big flavors with an unmistakable Southern influence. Freshly crafted American classics like Crispy Smokey Chicken Wings, Mini Corn Dogs, Corn Chowder and Crispy Meatloaf served with sweet bacon-laced Ketchup highlight the menu along with house specialties including Not Your Mama’s Chicken Pot Pie and New Orleans Shrimp & Grits.

The Double Barrel also features live music and an interactive staff for a fun, high-energy country-style meal.

Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill

For an unmistakable country ambiance, mosey on in to Harrah's and saddle up at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill. Named after Toby's hit single "I Love This Bar, " this exciting venue has it all - full restaurant and bar, music videos, recording studio and a stage area with live bands! Enjoy the vast array of Toby Keith merchandise, including t-shirts, cups, guitars, memorabilia, albums, DVDs, to name a few. Live Country and Southern Rock type bands perform nightly from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

For some Cajun culinary cuisine, head downtown to Lola's: A Louisiana kitchen. Lola's is known for dishes such as a roast beef Po' boy and crawfish seafood gumbo - which were made famous by the popular television show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, but also features other soul food classics such as Shrimp Creole, Jambalaya Chicken and Sweet potato Pecan Pie.

You don't have to head South for the winter to find delicious country cookin' ... just pay a visit to any of these restaurants in Las Vegas! 

 

Saddle Up for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

Get ready for 10 days where Las Vegas enbraces cowboy culture - not to mention the top competitiors in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding - as the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo returns to the Thomas & Mack Center from Dec. 3-12.

Each year, the Wrangler NFR transforms the look and feel of the "Entertainment Capital of the World." Thousands of rodeo enthusiasts decked out in Wrangler jeans, Justin boots and cowboy hats fill hotels, casinos, restaurants, shopping malls and showrooms. In addition, hotel marquees are splashed with the names of the brightest stars in country music.

This year is no exception. The list of country icons performing in Las Vegas during the Wrangler NFR is a who's who of past and present industry greats:

Tanya TuckerGolden Nugget (Dec. 3)

Sam Hunt, The Cosmopolitan (Dec. 4)

Little Big Town, Hard Rock Hotel (Dec. 4)

Big & Rich

Big & RichGolden Nugget (Dec. 4)

Josh TurnerOrleans (Dec. 4-5)

Nashville Unplugged, Brooklyn Bowl (Dec. 5)

Trick Pony, Suncoast (Dec. 5)

Trace AdkinsGolden Nugget (Dec. 5)

Aaron Watson

Aaron Watson, South Point (Dec. 6)

Terri ClarkGolden Nugget (Dec. 6)

Reba, Brooks & Dunn, Caesars Palace (Dec. 7)

Merle HaggardGolden Nugget (Dec. 7-8)

Charlie Daniels

Charlie Daniels, Orleans (Dec. 7-8)

Curtis GrimesSouth Point (Dec. 8)

LeAnn RimesGolden Nugget (Dec. 9)

Eli Young Band, House of Blues (Dec. 10)

AlabamaGolden Nugget (Dec. 10-11)

LoCash, Treasure Island (Dec. 11)

Gary Allan

Gary AllanHard Rock Hotel (Dec. 11)

Cody JohnsonSouth Point (Dec. 12)

Of course, the cowboy culture doesn't stop with the music. Check out the 2015 NFR Cowboy Christmas Gift Show throughout the Wrangler NFR, and be sure to enjoy some great down-home country cookin' at delicious Las Vegas restaurants. 

And after each day of the NFR, be sure to attend the after-parties for buckle-award celebrations and a party that last deep into the night! 

Saddle up and get ready for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo! 

Vegas Weekend: See country's biggest stars at Route 91 Harvest Festival

The Route 91 Harvest Festival is back and that means some of country music's top acts will be taking the stage all weekend long in Las Vegas. There's plenty of concerts, comedy, club events and more as we welcome October Vegas-style. Check out the list below or see our full lineup of shows.

Flogging Molly

Friday, Oct. 2

CONCERTS & EVENTS

POOLS / DAYCLUBS

NIGHTCLUBS

Ray Romano

Saturday, Oct. 3

CONCERTS & EVENTS

POOLS / DAYCLUBS

NIGHTCLUBS

Tim McGraw - Route 91 Harvest Festival

Sunday, Oct. 4

CONCERTS & EVENTS

POOLS / DAYCLUBS

NIGHTCLUBS

Book rooms and get show tickets, club passes and more at LasVegas.com!

Vegas Weekend: Life is Beautiful for music, food and art lovers

See why Life Is Beautiful this weekend as the popular music, art and food festival returns to downtown Las Vegas, bigger and better than ever. From the huge acts performing downtown to the concerts and clubs on the Strip, there's plenty to do in the Entertainment Capital of the World. See more below or check out our full lineup of shows.

Life Is Beautiful

Friday, Sept. 25

CONCERTS & EVENTS

POOLS / DAYCLUBS

NIGHTCLUBS

Life is Beautiful

Saturday, Sept. 26

CONCERTS & EVENTS

POOLS / DAYCLUBS

NIGHTCLUBS

 

#Vegas has buns, hon. Satisfy your #burger craving with some of the best in the world, only in Las Vegas. Our top picks here: http://spr.ly/6185BJblt #WhatHappensInVegas

Posted by Visit Las Vegas on Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sunday, Sept. 27

CONCERTS & EVENTS

POOLS / DAYCLUBS

NIGHTCLUBS

Book rooms and get show tickets, club passes and more at LasVegas.com!

Vegas Weekend: Music's top stars invade Vegas for the iHeart Radio Music Festival

If you heart music, this is the weekend for you. The biggest names in every genre of music will be in Las Vegas this weekend for the iHeart Radio Music Festival, and that means a monster weekend of pool parties and celebrity appearances, along with an unrivaled nightlife scene. See more below or check out our full lineup of shows.

Ms. Lauryn Hill

Friday, Sept. 18

CONCERTS & EVENTS

POOLS / DAYCLUBS

NIGHTCLUBS

Jerry Seinfeld

Saturday, Sept. 19

CONCERTS & EVENTS

POOLS / DAYCLUBS

NIGHTCLUBS

 

Guys weekend in Vegas - squad only. Plan your next trip here: http://spr.ly/6185BJnxh

Posted by Visit Las Vegas on Monday, September 14, 2015

Sunday, Sept. 20

CONCERTS & EVENTS

POOLS / DAYCLUBS

NIGHTCLUBS

Book rooms and get show tickets, club passes and more at LasVegas.com!

Vegas Weekend: Enrique Iglesias, Justin Moore, Eddie Money and more!

Las Vegas has it all this weekend, from country stars to rock to the best Latin entertainers leading into Ed Grito de Vegas. There's still time to enjoy incredible pool parties as well and the vibrant nightlife only Vegas can deliver. See more below or check out our full lineup of shows.

Gabriel Iglesias

Friday, Sept. 11

CONCERTS & EVENTS

POOLS / DAYCLUBS

NIGHTCLUBS

Luis Miguel

Saturday, Sept. 12

CONCERTS & EVENTS

POOLS / DAYCLUBS

NIGHTCLUBS

 

#Regram @misshattan @luxorlv #?? #??

A photo posted by Las Vegas (@vegas) on

Sunday, Sept. 13

CONCERTS & EVENTS

POOLS / DAYCLUBS

NIGHTCLUBS

Book rooms and get show tickets, club passes and more at LasVegas.com!

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