“Celebs” not re-sailing on the Love Boat are washing up in Atlantic City and being hired by club promoters.
In the old days (the ’80s), seeing a celeb perform in an Atlantic City casino meant top-drawer names: Sinatra. Cher. Diana Ross.
Times have, uh, changed. In ongoing efforts to stake A.C. as hip and buzz-worthy, clubs like the Borgata’s Mixx and MurMur and the Pool at Harrah’s are hosting “VIP” parties stocked with faux-lebrities. Said D-Lister is put up in a swanky suite, devours comped food and drink, and returns home flush just for showing up. “The cost all depends on the type of reality star. Real World and Road Rules stars range from $500 to $2,000 an appearance,” says event planner Michael Sinensky. “The Hills is a pretty popular show right now, so they can run $10,000 to $15,000.”
Though that’s a small price to pay compared to the real celebs, the question arises: Are folks really desperate enough for brushes with fame to be lured by the chance to rub elbows with Carrot Top? The answer is a sobering yes. “People are definitely into the whole people-watching thing,” says Sinensky. “Anyone they see on TV, they flock to in a social setting.”
And in A.C., people are flocking like seagulls. “For Perez Hilton, we brought in more than 800 people,” says Harrah’s publicist Christopher Jonic. “Not too bad.” Indeed — that’s more than half the Pool’s capacity. For a party in October.
Though there have been some worthy cameos around town this year — the guys from Entourage, Nick Cannon — just who are the people showing up for the D-list? “A lot of the celebrities appeal to New Yorkers, who are the largest visitor segment for A.C.,” says Elaine Zamansky, of the city’s Convention & Visitors Authority. We should have known the blame rested with the land of Page Six. New York, the blood is on your hands.