Michael Stein: Youngest Nightclub GM

by Lauren Helman
01.08.2008

Most 21-year-olds are barely old enough to drink. They’re happy to just be in a bar. Michael Stein, 21, is kind of similar to your average 21-year-old. He’s a full-time college student, and he spends a lot of time in a bar. And there the similarities end. He’s the youngest General Manager in the modern history of Vegas nightlife, running every operational detail of Asia, the new hotspot in Planet Hollywood. And apparently, being the world’s youngest club GM is a lot of work.  Who knew?

Clubplanet:  What exactly are your responsibilities as the GM of Asia?       

Michael Stein: Well, I run a multimillion dollar nightclub [laughs]. 

CP:  Which entails…?

I do everything from making sure we have DJs to payroll. I work on presentation, dealing with customer problems, marketing promotions- basically every aspect of the nightclub...all the way to making sure we have liquor to sell to people.

CP:  And let me get this straight. You’re also a full-time college student? Really? Really?

I’m a full time student at University of Las Vegas with a major in Advertising and a minor in Entertainment Management.

CP:  How exactly did you get involved with the nightlife industry?

I was in a frat, and one of the brothers played a major part in Studio 54’s success. He actually got me started on the club scene.  Also, Dan Levy- he’s involved with Pure Management Group- he actually brought me into Asia.  I came in doing promotions and I’ve just moved up.

CP: What’s the most difficult aspect of running a club when you’re so young?

I have a philosophy that if you don’t do it yourself, it won’t get done right and I like getting things done right. The hardest part was assigning tasks to other people and realizing I can’t run a whole club by myself. At the end of the day, I’m responsible for everything, so if it’s not done right it comes down to me, but at the same time, I can’t do it all by myself.

CP:  How do you balance your time while you’re living in Vegas of all places?

I get up early in the morning and I don’t go to bed until…well, early in the morning.  It’s nonstop, there’s always something to do and it’s never-ending.

CP:  What do you do in your limited free time?

I like to hang out with my friends, go out sometimes- not as much now that I’ve been working in the club scene.  I like to go snowboarding and listening to music.  Basically, just relax since I don’t have that much time.

CP:  What’s your favorite club in Vegas? Outside of Asia, of course?

Studio 54.  Before I was 21, with a fake ID, I would always go to Studio 54.  It’s almost like home.

CP:  Do you ever find that people in the nightlife industry don’t take you seriously since you’re so young?

I’ve met some amazing people and it’s a little half and half.  People will look at me like “oh, he’s 21, he’s so young”, but at the same time the fact that I’m a GM balances it out.  I’m very young, but at the same time business is business, and I feel if I handle it like an adult and professionally, then it works out great.

CP:  In terms of operating a nightclub, what do you think youth brings to the table?

Rather than the people who are almost done with the club scene, I’m able to bring new ideas and new concepts to try out.  Plus, I can relate to the people that will be spending their time and money at the club.

CP:  What advice do you have for other young people that want to get involved in the nightlife industry?

The same advice that I was given, which is what got me to where I’m at: Find a small club and spend as much time as you can there and learn as much as you can. I’ve had offers from major corporations, like Pure Management and 9 Group, but I didn’t feel like I’d have the opportunity to learn as much as I could.  I’ve learned so much working at the small clubs because they’re owned by one person and it’s easier to make your mark.

CP:  You’ve certainly made your mark.  What’s next for you?

I’m focusing on graduating college and maintaining this nightclub.

CP:  Think you’ll open any of your own nightclubs?

In the future I would like to open my own nightclub, but at this point I’m just looking forward to the next opportunity and seeing where this one takes me.

CP: We’re not betting against you. Good luck with your finals.

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