Episode 38- Las Vegas Doorman Jay Rankin

Sin City. The town lives up to its name with its decadence and debauchery. As tourists flying in and out on various drunken red-eyes it’s easy to throw all your cares, and cash, away for a few days on the strip. Living it day in and day out might be something wildly different, however.

Jay Rankin spent years as a Vegas Doorman at the legendary MGM Grand. Taking his post at the renowned casino hotel during its heyday, Jay has truly seen it all. So much so that he wrote a book sharing his incredible experiences during those times.

MGM Grand exterior hero shot

We chatted with Jay to learn more about his tenure there. He went into great detail about the intensity of the job and what it was like working the 7 p.m.- 3 a.m. shift nightly. For those who think being a doorman is holding the door open and hailing cabs, you are sorely mistaken.

Jay shared with us the level of knowledge required to do the job well from understanding cultural customs to having a contact on speed dial for literally everything. He even talked about how to maneuver those…ahem… requests that require the ultimate in discretion without getting anyone arrested or divorced.

As you’d imagine, life on the strip is very different from the, “Vegas, Baby. Vegas,” trips most of us are used to. As you’ll hear in the interview, the town is unlike any other with levels of excess beyond what any of us can imagine. Apparently, the movies don’t even do it justice.

We asked him to divulge stories of some of the most memorable experiences of his time on the strip. He talked about that infamous Tyson Holyfield fight and the crazy energy of the night. He has countless tales and memories some good… some not so good. All captivating.

One thing was for sure, once a keeper of guests’ secrets always a keeper of guests’ secrets. Jay stayed tight lipped on anything that would incriminate the guilty. So, all you listeners afraid that your The Hangover style days at the MGM are about to be broadcast to the masses, fear not.  No one will ever know.

For those wondering what kind of money a doorman makes, the tips are just as epic as you would imagine but judging by the strain and requirements of the job, they are beyond deserved. Life at the door can take its toll on having a life of your own.

So, the next time you’re hitting the town for your friend’s third bachelorette party, our recommendation is the first order of business is to get to know your doormen and tip them handsomely. They know the ins and outs of everything and can play a key role in making sure your stay is one for the record books. Plus, they’ve dedicated their lives to this gig sacrifices and all.

To learn more about Jay’s days at the MGM Grand, grab a copy of his book Under the Neon Sky… A Las Vegas Doorman’s Story available on Amazon here.


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