Even though Melody Hotta lives on the mainland, she still feels right at home. “A lot of Hawaii people call Las Vegas the Ninth Island,” she said. “When I moved here almost four years ago I didn’t want to go through a complete culture shock. In Vegas a lot of Hawaii people know each other, so I kind of feel like I’m back home.”

Two days after Hotta turned 21 she decided to make the move. “I visited Las Vegas and I just fell in love with the city,” she said. The move proved a positive one for Hotta—a few days in town and she landed a job at Lavo at The Palazzo, where she still works today as a model bartender.

While the nightclub has gone through some changes over the past few years, it recently added gaming to its offerings and was rebranded Lavo Casino Club.

“People have so much fun here,” Hotta said. “You can dance, drink and now play blackjack and craps. I love watching people at the gaming tables throw their hands in the air, scream and get excited. It’s such a good, fun vibe in here.”

Island Elyx-ir Punch

Island Elyx-ir Punch

Behind the bar Hotta has guests covered, both in libations and conversation. “I love interacting with my guests,” she said. “I love building a great relationship, getting to know them on a first-name basis.”

Hotta said her friendly personality comes from her Hawaiian roots. “Every day I’m behind the bar at Lavo, I’m bringing that aloha spirit. That welcoming vibe.”

Island Elyx-ir Punch

At Lavo Casino Club, guests can peruse more than a dozen specialty cocktails, with some available in bigger sizes that will serve multiple people. A popular pick is the Island Elyx-ir Punch, which comes in both a small and large copper pineapple. With this eye-catching presentation the shareable cocktail mixes together Absolut Elyx vodka, Cointreau, Chambord liqueur and juices from Valencia oranges, Persian limes and pineapple, with hints of Angostura bitters and nutmeg.