At the end of last year, on KNPR, I listened as three Vegas commentators picked Holly Madison and CityCenter as the two biggest positives in Vegas to emerge in 2009. An over 8 billion dollar resort on the one hand and a young woman on the other. And, her show, Peepshow, is currently on a two month hiatus. She won’t be performing in Vegas again until March 1. Still, the amount of attention Madison generates here is jaw dropping. Consider that Madison arrived in Vegas on the arm of Criss Angel less than two years ago as someone best known for a reality show she was about to leave.
But Madison’s upbeat sense of fun and obvious passion for Las Vegas have helped her achieve a level of buzz this city usually reserves for those who have spent many more years in the public eye. Yet, Madison is currently one of the most visible symbols of Vegas in the national media. And, she does not just perform here, she sells Vegas as hard as anyone in recent memory, certainly any headliner. She is currently writing a book about Vegas for young women. That is a good marketing idea, of course, but the book also reflects her fascination and devotion to Las Vegas.
Madison does every red carpet in town; she gives new production shows a little press by showing up to see them all; and, of course, she is on hand for it seems every local charity benefit.
Combined: Madison charmed a city, that was not looking to embrace her this time last year.
Even now with Peeepshow on hiatus, Madison is still out there promoting Las Vegas in the national media. Watch this clip from a couple days ago, on the “Chelsea Lately” show. In the clip you can get a good glimpse of what interviewing Holly Madison is like or even talking to her after the recorder is off. In our interactions as in this clip she comes across as an honest yet politic person who is witty yet remains giggly and focused on being positive. This is the personality Madison has used to charm Vegas.
My favorite exchange here is when the host was pressing her for intimate details about her time with Angel:
Interviewer: “You had sex with him, right? Are you going to talk about it in your book?”
Madison: “No, I am talking about fun things to do in Las Vegas.” Ouch!
(Photo Holly Madison at her 2009 Halloween party: Sarah Gerke)