It started with George Clooney. “I know this sounds corny, but I’ve always wanted to work in Vegas since I saw the movie Ocean’s 11,” said Anup Patel. “(It’s) one of my favorite movies. Ever since I saw it I was like, ‘Man, I want to work at Bellagio. I want to wear a suit. I want to be the guy that oversees the casino.’ And, of course, I end up at the Bellagio.”

Patel doesn’t oversee the property quite yet, but for now he holds a pretty coveted position—he’s the VIP services manager for Hyde Bellagio, the property’s upscale nightclub.

He joined Hyde in 2013 as a host and attributes his meteoric rise to hard work and dedication. “I’m strong at building relationships,” said the Detroit native. “I started going out every night. I would meet other VIP hosts, promoters, servers. … People found that trust in me, saying, ‘Anup’s that one-stop shop. If you call him, he’ll make sure you’re taken care of.”

Patel has a long history in hospitality, working in his parents’ hotel when he was just a teen and later spending many years at Four Seasons in Scottsdale, Ariz. But he wanted a change of pace, a city that was faster-moving, so he looked toward Vegas. “This job was a game changer for me,” Patel said. “… I’m buying my first house. I’m able to travel. I’ve gone across the country and world to see clients. I don’t even call them clients anymore; they’re friends. I love the fact that I can be outside the front door of Hyde on any given night and meet a complete stranger and that stranger can be my best friend two weeks later.”

Pineapple Mojito

Between the hours of 5 and 10 p.m., guests can enjoy a lounge experience at Hyde Bellagio with cocktails and light bites from neighboring eatery Lago by Julian Serrano. And after 10 p.m., the nightclub atmosphere takes over. Whatever time you decide to visit, try one of Hyde’s specialty cocktails, like the pineapple mojito. The perfect-for-spring libation blends together Bacardi pineapple rum, simple syrup, lime and pineapple juices, and muddled mint leaves and fresh pineapple.