After concentrated study, I determined that the essence of The Summit consisted of friends, work, play and great environment. First, the location. There are certain towns people love. Or hate. No middle ground. New Orleans. Key West. Las Vegas. I happen to love all these places. But Vegas was the only place for The Summit. I am recently returned. This is my report of what happened. None of which will stay there.
Frank would say "first and foremost--friends". I was attending a conference with some of my best friends. Who happen to be my best clients. A nice combination if you can get it. Pretty rare in my business. Maybe in any business. Plus, my friends do not tend to be shrinking violet types. Fun in abundance is guaranteed. So it was a good bet that I would have the friends, work, and play elements of The Summit well covered. Which left the proper environment. Abundant in January of 1960. Not so easy in Vegas circa 2008. Post the failed attempt to convert a perfect playground for grownups into Disney Orlando. Luckily, a failed attempt. But many vestiges remain to be avoided. I have nothing against Orlando. Love going there. But when you want Las Vegas you don't want Orlando. And there is no recorded instance of The Summit breaking out in Orlando. Case closed.
Plus, for my purposes, it was the perfect physical location. Occupying as it does the spot of the original Summit. The Sands Hotel was taken down to build the Venetian. In fact, if you come up the escalator to Tao restaurant in the Venetian, you are where the Copa Room used to be. The actual ground of the Summit. The campanile at the right of the photo is just about exactly where the sign for The Sands stood when these pictures were taken:
So this was it. There was no better place for me to be.
The sunken living room of my room, that is. The bed room (unmade bed unfortunately...I tried putting pillows under the covers like in the spy movies to look like someone else sleeping there but then thought MUCH better of it):
A very, very cool bureau in the bed room (the white center panel lit up when you touched a small switch on the side):
A dimly lit view of the sunken living room taken from the bed room:
As ought to be the case, you had a remote control next to the bed that opened the drapes and blinds. VERY Summit-worthy. Finally, to prepare for the evening a well appointed bath is a MUST:
Do I have to add that the robes and towels are perfect? I thought not. As if all this were not enough...they always park my car right up front...
What WAS the thing to do was to make the scene at the Playboy Club. With the unanimous agreement of my Summit pals. Off to the Palms Casino we went and up to the only such establishment left on Earth. Gorgeous bunnies. Gorgeous view. Nice intimate casino, in-house. Good music. A very cool fireplace stretching the length of one wall in the lounge. Just about perfect. After this, the show at the Fontana Lounge at Bellagio. A great, intimate showroom of the old style enhanced by the 180 degree view of the legendary Bellagio lake and fountains.
The first highlight of the next day was a cocktail in Havana. Or as close as Las Vegas can bring you. Casa Fuente is a fantastic little bar and cigar club where the atmosphere is warm and inviting, the drinks very good, and the air system so advanced you can enjoy yourself in perfect comfort even if you are not smoking one of the top flight cigars from their walk-in humidor. Take a look for yourself: