Question of the Day July 24, 2014
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Q:Vegas resident and Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil has had his name (using a licensing agreement?) on many Vegas ventures. Just how many have there been and how many are still in business? I remember reading that he was going to have some kind of high-end jet business that catered to high rollers or something. I don't think anything ever came of that one.
A:Aha! Whoever you are who submitted this question yesterday afternoon, just as we were pondering what on earth we were going to tackle for today's QoD, please accept our heartfelt thanks. This is just the kind of off-the-wall, totally useless information that we relish here in the QoD trenches. Plus, it just so happens that we also have been been monitoring the same trend, when it comes to Mr Neil's less-than-illustrious business dealings in Sin City. Hence, we took this question as something of a personal challenge and tested the deepest recesses of our memory, prior to scanning our own QoD and Today's News archives, or indulging in any Googling, just to see if we could recall them all.
We confess to having forgotten about the private-jet venture, so that's definitely a point to you. However, off the top of our head, we came up with three tattoo parlors, a live-music venue, a strip club, two restaurants, and a bar. From this list, including that jet project, we could safely say that at least two never came to fruition, while we were pretty sure that only one remained in business. This definitely puts Vince in a different league from Flavor Flav* who, (so far) in Las Vegas, has managed to put his name only on an album-launch party, a premium vodka, a notorious annual 4th of July fireworks party, and a fried-chicken restaurant. Still, their hit-rate ratio is about on a par: While House of Flava lasted only around six months, we just checked and confirmed that LeFlav Straight Up Vodka, bottled in our fair city, remains available for purchase from discerning liquor outlets for $17.99. (You can find it on the left side of aisle 17 at the Summerlin branch of Total Wine & More. But we digress ...)
Having now done our due diligence (including checking with our Shipping Department, who gave us the heads-up with regard to a Vince Neil venture at Circus Circus that had somehow passed QoD by), we believe that what follows is the answer to your question, although if anyone out there has anything to add, or subtract, we would be neither surprised nor offended, so do please drop us a line:
- In 2006, Vince Neil debuted Vince Neil Ink, a tattoo parlor inside O'Sheas casino. It featured a room called "The Stage," which was visible from the Las Vegas Strip, so visitors could watch the tattoo artists at work from outside. While O'Sheas casino was reincarnated as part of The Quad, Vince Neil Ink was not. STATUS: CLOSED
- 2009, Vince Neil Ink opened a second studio in the Rio. It didn't last long. STATUS: CLOSED
- 2009 was a busy year for Vince, who in August opened Feelgood's, a bar/restaurant/live-music venue located on W. Sahara Ave. and named for a Mötley Crüe hit. The debut was several months behind schedule and by October of the following year, Neil had had a falling-out with one of his business partners. While the venue still exists, it's now named Vamp'd and Vince no longer has any interest in the place. STATUS: NO LONGER INVOLVED FOLLOWING ACRIMONIOUS EXIT
- In November 2010, gossip columnist Robin Leach announced that Vince Neil had won the rights to the Feelgood's name and would be opening a new venue in Las Vegas. STATUS: NEVER HAPPENED
- It was at some point in 2010 that the rocker launched Vince Neil Aviation. To quote an interview that we came across on Blabbermouth.net, "[I did it] kind of out of necessity. I was chartering airplanes, but it got real expensive. And I realized it was actually cheaper to buy a plane. And then I got two, so … Lately we've been doing some flights running raw gold from Colombia to Atlanta. Like, we pick up like 400 pounds of gold and fly it to Atlanta. They refine it, and then fly it all up to Montreal." Hmm. We read that Vince's fleet expanded to at least three planes, one of which was hired as a full-time air ambulance, but whether his plans for a high-roller service out of McCarran ever actually got off the ground, so to speak, we're not sure. What we can confirm is that the domain VinceNeilAviation.com is currently for sale, so it's evidently another of his enterprises that's bitten the dust. STATUS: NO LONGER OPERATING
- 2012 Vince Neil announced a deal with Deja Vu's then-named Striphop gentlemen's club, adjacent to The Orleans casino, which was re-branded as Vince Neil's Girls, Girls, Girls. A reality-TV show was slated to follow, while part of the novel plan was that the gentlemen's club would host live rock bands on Friday and Saturday nights. STATUS: TV SHOW/LIVE MUSIC NEVER MATERIALIZED; CLUB CURRENTLY CLOSED, PENDING RETURN TO "URBAN" CONCEPT
- At some point in 2011 (we think), Vince Neil opened Tres Rios Cantina at what was then the Las Vegas Hilton, briefly LVH, and is now Westgate Las Vegas. It's hard to keep up with all of his exploits, as this QoD has reminded us, but in 2013 Vince introduced his Tatuado Eat, Drink, Party rock 'n roll/tattoo restaurant/bar concept to Circus Circus in the space formerly occupied by Rock 'n Rita's. It opened late, as is the norm even for Neil's successful ventures, but open it did. And Tres Rios Cantina was at some point rebranded as a Tatuado Eat, Drink, and Party. STATUS: BOTH STILL IN BUSINESS!
- In December 2012 Neil tweeted it would only be a 30-day wait before his Wildside Saloon would debut on the casino floor at Hooters. However, to quote esteemed fellow site, Eater Vegas: "With no construction or publicity noise in the air, the Las Vegas Advisor has uncovered the fate of the promised party destination. Answering a "Question Of the Day", the Advisor found a Hooters representative to admit that beyond Vince Neil's exuberant initial tweet, the project does not exist. STATUS: NEVER HAPPENED
To conclude, having chalked up many successful enterprises in Las Vegas in his capacity as frontman for Mötley Crüe (with an upcoming performance scheduled for the iHeart Radio extravaganza), we're inclined to think that Vince would be best-advised to stick to rock 'n' roll, although his forays into the cantina market have so far stood the test of time in Las Vegas better than any of his other ventures. With his repeated run-ins with casino staff, valet-parking attendants, ex-girlfriends, and so on, however, we just wonder whether Sin City is a healthy environment for Vince to be operating in, period, but that's none of QoD's business, obviously, so we'll leave it at that.
UPDATE: 07-24-2014 A reader writes: "Hi. Just wanted to let you know, Vince Neil does have a Vodka that came out around 2 years ago called Tatuado Vodka. Not sure how well it's doing, I picked some up earlier this year at Lee's in the bargain bin. By the way, it's actually pretty good!"
We should have guessed! What kind of a celebrity are you these days, if you don't have your own branded vodka? Vince's is also available from Total Wine & More, among other outlets, so you could pick up a bottle of each for a celebrity-vodka drink-off, should you feel so inclined. Here's how the two match up, verbiage-wise, at least:
Hi! This is Vince Neil. Come and see why I'm so excited to introduce you to my new Tatuado Vodka. Five times filtered and bottled right here in Las Vegas. You will be amazed how incredibly smooth it is.
Straight up or enjoyed with your favorite mixer, this is the ultimate Vodka which I am most proud to call my own. Rock on! (This comes courtesy of the official Tatuado Vodka website ("COMING SOON!")
"Super premium vodka bottled in Las Vegas using only the best all natural ingredients. Developed an endorsed by Flavor Flav. Creamy full body texture. Enjoy ice cold on its own or mixed in classic cocktails."
We're not sure if these were limited editions at the launch, or the norm, but the original bottles came blinged-out with a 4-carat Swarovski crystal.
LeFlav Spirits was bought out last year, but ownership has since returned to the man himself, and the line now includes, or plans to include, flavored cherry vodka, berry vodka, olive vodka, sweet tea vodka, bubblegum vodka, and grape vodka. Plus Le Flav Cognac and Chateaux Le Flav Champagne.