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King Of Vegas Nightlife The Light Group's Nick Gold's Guide To Sin City

It's safe to say Light Group's Creative Director Nick Gold knows a thing or two about Las Vegas nightlife. Rising in the ranks in the U.K. club scene for nearly two decades (he started as a front door host), Gold is now solid working for management company whose portfolio includes Vegas' hottest venues including The Bank, 1 OAK, Haze, and most recently, Cirque du Soleil-inspired Light Nightclub and Ibiza-influenced Daylight Beach Club. Now Nick gives VIBE the 411 on the 702, providing his favorite Sin City spots for day or night.

Nick Gold's Guide to Experiencing Vegas like a Local
My favorite thing about living in Las Vegas is: I love living in Vegas because it’s a very convenient city that’s pretty easy to navigate and parking is easy everywhere. It’s also a true 24-hour city so if you want to go grocery shopping at 3 am you can. You can even get a mani/pedi 24/7!

The best way to get noticed while waiting in line to get into one of the hottest clubs: Make an effort and dress up! If you’re a big group I would advise booking a table in advance.

Favorite place to stay: I love staying at Vdara. It’s a non-gaming, dog-friendly hotel that’s all suites as well. The spa is also amazing.

Favorite bar/restaurant off the strip: There are some amazing restaurants in Vegas both on and off the strip. My favorite off strip restaurant is Golden Steer. It’s been around since the 1950’s and was a favorite of Marilyn Monroe, The Rat Pack and John Wayne. Their steaks are spectacular and you have to order the Caesar Salad which is made table side.

Best pool party: Has to be Daylight. I love that it’s so easy to get to from the strip and there’s plenty of parking. That and the fact that they have some greatest EDM DJ’s on the roster makes it a winner. The night time party on Wednesday’s “Eclipse” is amazing as well.

Best nightlife venue: I love The Bank nightclub in Bellagio. It’s not the newest club on the strip but it has a certain class and sophistication that is second to none. The quality of service is spot on.

An off the beaten path activity for Vegas visitors: Vegas has something for everyone. From hiking in Red Rock to spending a day on the lake at Lake Mead. I highly recommend checking out The Mob Museum downtown as it gives a good insight into the history of Vegas.

Best way to spend a low-key day or night in Vegas: There is nothing better than West Wind Drive In Movies in North Las Vegas. Tickets are cheap and the concession has a good selection.

Best strip club tip for visitors: The majority of strip clubs in Vegas offer a free limo service and utilizing it is a good way to expedite entry.

Something in Vegas I'll never get tired of is: Watching the fountains at Bellagio or being a tourist for the day and just walking down the strip enjoying the sights. Vegas is the only city in the world where you can start with the Pyramids of Egypt, enjoy the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower, and finish with a Venetian gondola ride.

Favorite dish in Las Vegas: Big Eye Tuna Pizza at Yellowtail.

Favorite late night munchies: I am a big fan of Eat24.com. They offer an amazing selection of restaurants and cuisines. Many are open 24 hrs as well.

Best sports book: Really depends what you’re looking for. The sports book at The Hilton is great and very popular as the odds are good but the sports book at Venetian is very plush!

Best spot to take a date if you are there with a significant other: Circo in Bellagio. Amazing Italian food, effortless service, amazing view of Bellagio Fountains and desserts to die for So make sure you make room for dessert!

Favorite show in Las Vegas: Cirque du Soleil ‘O’ show in Bellagio.

Photo credit: Al Powers

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Celebrate Apollo 11's Historic Moon Landing With Grand Marnier's "Moonwalk" Cocktail

It's been five decades since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first human beings to land on the moon. To mark the historic moment that occurred on July 20, 1969, global French liqueur brand Grand Marnier is celebrating the historic "Moonwalk" cocktail inspired by Amstrong and Aldrin's lunar journey.

In 1969, Joe Gilmore, head barman of the Savoy Hotel's American Bar, invented the drink to commemorate the astronauts' return from their successful mission. The classic cocktail — made of Marnier's cognac and bitter orange-flavored liqueur, champagne and more — is said to have been the first beverage they sipped upon their homecoming.

“The cocktail was a mix of grapefruit juice, Grand Marnier, champagne and rose water,” he explained to Wonderland in 2008. “The Savoy sent it off in a flask and I received a letter back from Neil Armstrong thanking us and saying it was the first drink they had when they came out of quarantine.”

In honor of the 50th anniversary, we're sharing the classic "Moonwalk" recipe for you to enjoy from the comfort of your home today and for years to come. Scroll down for more details and relive the historic moment in the video below.

Bonus: We've added four more Grand Marnier cocktail recipes for the French holiday, Bastille Day (July 14). À votre santé (Cheers)!

 

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Scotch Porter Taps VIBE Editor-In-Chief Datwon Thomas For 'Dare To Care' Campaign

Grooming brand Scotch Porter has selected VIBE editor-in-chief Datwon Thomas as one of several men to participate in its "Dare To Care" wellness initiative launching on Father's Day weekend.

"Dare To Care," according to a press release from Scotch Porter, aims to "evolve the perception of manhood." The project will highlight men who use philanthropy, media, education, fashion, music, and advocacy to "aggressively push boundaries to reveal the multiple internal and external layers of themselves to inspire others."

Along with Thomas, other notable participants include Akbar Cook, principal at Westside High School; Carl Banks, two-time Super Bowl Champion and founder of Gil Sports; Emil Wilbekin, founder of Native Son (and former VIBE editor-in-chief); hip-hop artist Grafh; Travis Simons, pastor and life coach; and Iquan Worthington, founder of The Artoholiks.

“For so long you’re taught ‘you can’t cry, you know you play ball... that’s a hard foul’, it’s all these different things,” Thomas said. “It’s about understanding when you need to step up into a position and when you to need to be empathetic to others and yourself.”

The "Dare To Care" campaign will open Father's Day weekend with a multi-city digital billboard review, and across multiple platforms.

Scotch Porter customers can also visit ScotchPorter.com/DareToCare to submit their own videos about how they're driving change around the mindset of being a man. More information about the company and the "Dare to Care" mission are available on Instagram and Twitter (@ScotchPorter), Facebook (ScotchPorter), and join the conversation with the #ScotchPorter hashtag.

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Courtesy of STRONG by Zumba

Zumba, But Make It Slap: Grammy-Nominated Producer Sevn Thomas On Creating 'STRONG By Zumba' Music

As New York residents anticipate the summer sun, the dancefloor of popular hotspot Copacabana was transformed into a full-blown STRONG by Zumba session.

With a high-intensity exercise led by Ai Lee Syarief, one beat, in particular, riled up attendees. It's the aptly titled "Knock 'Em Down," created by Grammy-nominated producer Sevn Thomas. Fast and slightly akin to his many hits (turn up Travis Scott's "WAKE UP" and Drake's "Pop Style"), the Toronto native gave the crowd another bop to add to the workout playlist.

Scoring a workout isn't easy, but the pairing seemed ideal for Thomas. "It's the perfect merge between music and exercise," he tells VIBE before the big workout. "They go hand in hand with each other, they complement each other. A lot of people listen to music when they work out to get in their zone and channel that energy. I thought it made perfect sense."

Thomas' collaboration with the STRONG by Zumba brand falls in line with the non-dance workout and incentive to challenge traditional fitness regimens. Past collaborators include Timbaland, Steve Aoki, and Krewella. While Thomas isn't the first hip-hop based producer, his take twists the brand's sound with an arena-like quality and a high tempo beat.

"["Knock 'Em Down"] is energetic, intense—a driving force," he said. "It's the perfect pulse for an intense workout. I tried my best to represent that in the beat as best as I can." 

Thomas' beat was used during the middle of the workout when legs were giving out and water breaks lasted a little longer than intended. As Syarief set up the next set of crossovers and squats intervals, guests like Chanel Iman were moving to Thomas' beat with ease. Thomas also joined in on the fun, STRONG by Zumba gear and all.

"Sevn's innovative sounds, blending of multiple genres with hip-hop beats and wrapped with a hint of his signature Caribbean-inspired bounce syncs perfectly with STRONG by Zumba," said Zumba CEO, Alberto Perlman. "By working with world-renowned producers, we are able to provide the best, most motivating and unique beats in every class that drive the ultimate afterburn."

For Sevn's personal STRONG by Zumba playlist, the producer is all about trap beats and artists like Young Thug's YSL Records signee Lil Keed.

"I really like trap music. That's my type of stuff [to workout to]," he said. "I've been listening to a lot of Travis Scott. I'm not sure if you're familiar with an artist named Lil Keed. I love Lil Keed right now, he's one of my favorites. His brother, his name is Lil Gotit. I love Lil Gotit's stuff too. I've been rotating that stuff when I'm in the gym doing my thing, I kind of zone out to that."

But STRONG by Zumba's workout not only came from a little inspiration from trap music but martial arts as well. Lead instructor and developer Syarief found her way to the brand in 2010 and has been the face of their many workouts like Zumba, Zumba Toning, Aqua Zumba, Zumba Sentao, Zumba Gold, Zumba Gold Toning, Zumba Kids/Kids Jr. and Zumba Step. Syarief says the latest Zumba workouts are less about perfecting reps and more about moving to the beat.

"There are so many fun movements. You're going to sweat, you'll go to your limit, it's going to be hard. But the music is always there to push you," she said. "Even though you feel like, 'Can I still go?' The music will push you and we don't count reps. You won't even think of the reps, just to move to the beats. That's what makes it different than any other workout. We're going to start a bit slow and then it's going to increase the intensity until we really push your limits. You always have small, active recovery bouts in between so you can really catch your breath and then go full high intense, work hard. So that you have the afterburn effect and then you have the active recovery."

When Thomas isn't on the boards, he's trying his hand at developing artists. Currently, he's working with Long Beach native Gibby, a partnership that fits his organic approach, not molding them into a carbon copy of what's trending.

"I think he's going to be super special. He is super special but for the world not to see how super special he is[...] That's one of the things I have on my agenda right now," he said. "It's super cool and interesting to work with a new artist because you see how chemistry and synergy work as well as working with somebody that gets it. An artist such as Gibby, he gets it, it makes it so much easier for me. It's not as much heavy lifting, but it's super dope to see how people are on the same wave and how they can exchange ideas with each other. The end result is always the best when you guys have the finished product, it's kinda like 'Look what we created together.' That's the fun part."  

Thomas also has a few major productions on the way, noting how he's very booked and busy. "I've been getting in the studio with everyone right now," he said. "So I'm super excited to see how that unfolds."

Learn more about STRONG by Zumba fitness here.

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