Industry Insiders: Seth Schorr, Vegas Showgun

Vegas native and owner of the newly opened Lucky Club Hotel & Casino Seth Schorr on the future of Vegas nightclubs, early memories of Steve Wynn, and what’s keeping him at home most nights.

Where do you hang out? My wife and I are homebodies these days. Growing up in Las Vegas, I spent my teenage years and early 20s frequenting every club and bar in town. But when we do get the urge to watch other people get intoxicated and listen to loud music, we visit Tryst or Blush at Wynn Las Vegas.

What openings should we know about? I recently had the opportunity to take a tour of XS at Encore, and it will once again raise the bar for nightlife in Las Vegas. It is quite possibly the most sophisticated club in the world. The club has both an indoor and outdoor experience as the walls around the dance floor open, giving access to the pool. There are outdoor lounges and even a gambling area that is incorporated into the club. Minimalism is an adjective that would not be used to describe anything at Encore, which in my humble opinion, makes this property and its retail outlets stand out amongst its neighboring properties. The bold use of colors and the variety of fabrics used throughout the resort is testament to an army of designers lead by Steve Wynn and his lead designer Roger Thomas. Encore is a “category killer” that will also raise the bar of the Las Vegas resort.

Where do you eat? We are partial to dinners at Wynn Las Vegas and eat with my folks at Stratta or local favorites like Lotus of Siam. Also, the restaurant Tokyo in the underrated and antiquated Commercial Center Plaza. We also recently discovered a new Japanese restaurant that’s off the beaten path called Raku. This 25-seat restaurant has the most authentic Japanese food in town for half the price of food on the Strip. Although they do not serve sushi, one can enjoy grilled robotayaki or tsukune.

Who do you admire in Vegas hospitality? My admiration for Steve Wynn is quite obvious. The fact that this man after 40 years and billions of dollars in earnings still works 6.5 days per week is one of his most admirable qualities. But he is also a no-bullshit type of guy. He demands the most out of his employees. He is short on false sincerity and constant encouragement. However, if you can hold your own, you will have the opportunity to work with the best team in the business.

I admire my father, Marc Schorr. My father has worked for Steve Wynn for 30 years and is responsible for making many of his visions a reality. At the end of the day, someone has to focus on the nuances of the operation and make sure these multi-billion dollar machines run effectively, and every detail is scrutinized.

And Bruce Deifik is a one-in-a-million type of guy, who is not only one of the sharpest and best negotiators around, but more importantly is one of the most honest and likable guys you’ll ever meet.

What’s something you like seeing in Vegas hospitality these days? A lot of people have their hands in the hospitality game in Las Vegas. There is more unknown and mystery today than ever before. There are currently three multi-billion-dollar projects in mid-construction, while another half-dozen more are on the drawing boards. Sure, some will stand above the rest, but there is anticipation and excitement about what good qualities each will have of their own. The consumer will also benefit from the economic conditions we currently live under, as they will be able to enjoy these resorts built for the rich and elite at a value. So come one, come all to Las Vegas, where you can stay in the world’s nicest hotel rooms for a buck fifty nine.

Anything you see that you dislike? I do not understand the concept of the condo-hotel. Personally, I think if one spends millions on a condo, they will ultimately not want others to stay in it. Either buy a condo or stay in a hotel. Don’t try and do both.

What was it like growing up in Vegas? Does it mess a lot of kids up? I think kids who grew up in New York City turn out much more messed up. The best part was the late night munchies that any teenager could afford. The negative was that it was too hot to play outside many months out of the year.

Any early Vegas memories? The path that lead me to owning a casino is a long one, starting in 1984, when I first moved to Las Vegas and moved into the Golden Nugget. I was 7 years old and shared room #1027 for about a year with my little sister. The school bus picked me up under the porte cochere, and nightly dinners were held at the buffet. I had the opportunity of meeting celebrities like Paul Anka and clearly remember taking a schvitz with Alan King at the spa.

I watched my father and Steve Wynn schmooze customers and always talk about design and development of the next project. I have a vivid memory of flying on the Golden Nugget DC-10 to New York around 1986. I loved that there was a large glass bowl filled with peanut M&M’s. Steve Wynn showed us a drawing on a napkin of what soon would be known to the world as the Mirage. The idea of a three-pronged building that shared one elevator shaft was novel, and of course having a “live volcano” in front seemed like an incredible fantasy.

What is something that people might not know about you? I am an amateur photographer and videographer. I edit movies using Final Cut Express. I do all of my own in-house promos for the Lucky Club.

You have a background in art history. Who are your favorite artists? My favorite artists are Modigliani and Vermeer.

Any dreams for the future? Kids! I can’t wait. It’s also a great excuse to have sex on a daily basis.

What are you doing tonight? Working on making those dreams come true. We just got back from the opening of Encore. It never ceases to amaze me to see the masses come in droves to check out a new property for the first time. I saw a lot of jaws drop tonight.

Short Stack: Openings

New YorkLuxee opens in the LES. Vegan Japanophiles, rejoice! This joint is run by Tokyo culinary school Vantan and serves up tofu cheesecake, vegan chocolate cakes with avocado mousse, and savory tofu salads. ● Brother Jimmy’s opens an outpost in Murray Hill. Kristin Cavallari plays host. ● Mei Li Wah, formally known as Mei Lai Wah, reopens in Chinatown on the auspicious 8-8-08 date, yellow shirts and red hats included.

Hummus Place opens in the West Village. ● Formerly Kate’s Brooklyn Joint, La Superior — all Mexican, almost all the time — opens in Williamsburg. ● In the East Village, JoeDoe’s doors are finally open.

Los AngelesThe Counter opens its second location in Marina Del Rey, one-upping 31 flavors by offering 70 burger topping options. ● Roy’s Hawaiian opens in Pasadena, making for the 10th Roy’s in California. ● The Kress. Get Sushi-Bombed at Hollywood’s latest four-storied ode to glitz.

San FranciscoBonbon Patisserie is ready for takeout. ● Pho Ha Tien 2 opens in SOMA, ready to thrown down with neighborhood fav Tu Lan. ● Amanda’s Feel Good Fresh Food Restaurant opens in Berkeley. AMGFFR (longest restaurant name ever) offers kid-friendly options — burgers, fries and cookies — as well as grown-up salads and sweet potatoes. ● McTeague’s Saloon opens on Polk Street. Rusty saloon meets micro-brew, the game (pick one) is on every football Sunday.

Miami ● More sushi. RA Sushi opens in South Miami. Try the Crazy Monkey roll.

Las Vegas ● Corsa Cucina reopens as Stratta, self-titled by Executive Chef Alessandro Stratta (of Alex, also in the Wynn). ● Get dirty, err, clean at the 4,500-square-foot restaurant/bar LAVO (Spanish for “wash”) in the Palazzo .

Chicago ● Cajun/Creole Yats opens in the Near West Side ● iCream opens this week, taking DIY to a whole new level. Choose your own flavor, color, and topping. Liquid nitrogen ads to the cool factor. ● African- themed Sikia opens on the Washburne Culinary Institute campus, featuring graduating chefs-to-be. ● Dadaist Duchamp opens on in Wicker Park. Check the sweet off-street patio. ● Marc Burger fits right in with the oxymoronic classy-food-court Seven on State on the 7th floor of Macy’s. ● Ian’s Pizza opens in Lakeview. Odd combos like the mac-n-cheese slice and the steak-and-fries slice give late-night drunken revelers another spot to sop up alcohol. ● Vegetarians get ready: Mana Food Bar is open in Wicker Park.