The giant heroic statue Vegas nightclubs have erected to Paris Hilton seems to have a soft white powder for feet.
Paris Hilton has been naughty in Vegas for many, many years now. The first time I saw her where she should not be was a New Year’s weekend, Guns & Roses concert at the Hard Rock more than a decade ago. She was not yet 21. Then there was the time her underage boyfriend was photographed at Tao with what looked like Champagne. And then, there was the alleged trashing of a VIP space at Hard Rock by the same boyfriend and crew. I once watched Paris Hilton walk into a wall at Jet at Mirage. And, about a year ago, a star from Planet Hollywood’s Peepshow sent out a Tweet from the casino’s now shuttered nightclub Prive: “@ Prive exiting bathroom, blond girl surrounded by people, can barely stand We step aside she comes in. Paris Wasted.” Prive managed to get into lots of trouble with Nevada gaming authorities before bankruptcy for not policing the club. Serving a clearly intoxicated patron is the sort of behavior that causes such problems.
Wynn Resorts nightclub executive Cy Waits, certainly knew he was answerable to Nevada gaming regulations that can judge a person by his associations. Yesterday rumors that Waits has parted with Wynn were pointedly not confirmed by the resort. The view on the ground though is that Waits is on borrowed time until he is toast at Wynn. I hope that is wrong. Or, at least, the borrowed time is used to figure out what happened. There are just too many facts still not known. Waits was not driving erratically when pulled over. The police claim to have pulled the car over because of the smell of marijuana. But if there was no marijuana confiscated–and none has been mentioned so far– that raises a distressing question. The smell of pot on the Strip is common. But it is very hard to tell where the smell comes from amidst the people, traffic and other smells that mingle through Las Vegas Boulevard on a Friday night. To be able to tell the smell is coming from one specific car would require the smoke to literally be pouring out with a window down. But what if there was no pot found in the car? How could there have been such a “vapor trail?” Can the police just pull over a car that has committed no driving indiscretion and start searching the passengers because pot smoke is somewhere nearby on the Strip?
I don’t want to ride this speculation further, only to show, how speculation can go into a near infinite number of directions. And, Cy Waits deserves not only the presumption of innocence in his court case, but also enough loyalty from the resort he works at to wait for the facts to emerge.
I get that there is not tremendous wiggle room. If Cy Waits was caught with pot or fails a drug test or was driving intoxicated from the nightclubs where he works, there would seem to be a price he must pay in terms of working at a Vegas gambling resort. But being arrested for a suspected DUI under these circumstance should mean nothing. Leaving aside drugs, for now, we don’t know if he even had any drinks that night. The only public fact is that he was driving a car in which a passenger is accused of having cocaine concealed in a purse where he could not have seen it. Until there is solid information, I hope Wynn Resorts, stands by an employee who has spent years building up some of the best nightclubs in Las Vegas. For a town known for giving second chances, Vegas can be merciless when someone on top stumble.
Paris Hilton is another matter. For many years Vegas nightclubs have paid her hosting fees while overlooking her seeming public drunkenness (and occasionally other issues). For this incident, even an explanation that she was carrying a friend’s drugs, would have her bringing cocaine into Wynn before getting into that car.
Unlike Waits, Hilton has a history in Vegas that no one has ever held her accountable for in any way. Hilton’s behavior in Vegas would be none of our business if she were just a customer at a nightclub. But she is both a paid host and a VIP. Hilton, among other privileges, is routinely allowed access to employee only areas in a casino. That is a bad place to have someone who, best explanation, isn’t even in control of her life enough to know if she has cocaine on her person.
Hilton always says behind her party image there is a business woman. Fine. Paris Hilton works in Vegas at being paid to party. But Hilton being hired as the business associate of any nightclub in Vegas at this point should raise issues with gaming authorities. For years gaming regulators have been specifically warning the Strip nightclubs, in a rather toothless way, while situations like this arise, that there will be consequences. Paying for the presence of Paris Hilton might be a good choice for one of those consequences. (Photo: Sarah Gerke)