Not everybody wakes up to an email from a group of English blokes planning a stag do in Vegas with a request for ‘a midget to be handcuffed to the groom’ and ‘an Alan lookalike to tag along with them on their night out:’ but that’s all in a days work for Upbeat founder Joel Gilbert. Joel, who has been in the nightlife and travel industry for over fifteen years says he’s ‘just about seen it all.’ From handcuffed midgets to blow up dolls with missing groomsmen faces taped to them, Joel has catered to every whim, both wild and flat out strange, that his groups have asked of him, all while growing his business that he started about five years ago.
‘I got the idea for Upbeat when I was working at Hakkasan (which is currently the number one Nightlife franchise in Las Vegas) as a VIP Marketing Promoter,’ says Joel when asked about how Upbeat came to be born. “I was always interacting with groups coming from overseas who had no idea about so many different elements regarding the Vegas experience, and I saw a gap in the market that I felt I could fill.’ Shortly after that Joel quit his job at Hakkasan and started Upbeat, with the intentions to give these groups of foreign tourists the best Vegas holidays of their lives.
When asked if it was daunting to start a company that required him to host, promote and guide groups of stags, hens and generally larger parties who would be relying on him to organize almost every aspect of their trip, Joel said not at all. Having been in the nightlife and tour industries for well over ten years before even coming to Vegas, his confidence in the products he could provide was solid.
Joel originally came to Vegas on a job interview, while he was working at the world’s number one travel agency Flight Centre in London. ‘The minute I got the job, I told my boss I was leaving and moved to Vegas.’ His first job here was as a sales representative for one of the top club tour industries in the city. He eventually worked his way up to own a part of that company’s franchise in California, where he moved for a short time to oversee a branch in San Diego. Having missed Vegas and the incredible atmosphere it exudes, being the city that never sleeps, he returned to Vegas where he got the job with Hakkasan before finally starting his new business venture. During his time at Hakkasan he had worked with VIP clientele, and Upbeat has been no different. Famous footballers and media stars have both used Joel’s services, and Upbeat has rave reviews across the board from all past clients.
‘These international travellers were coming to Las Vegas with so many ideas and hopes of what they wanted to do, all without having a clue how to go about it.’ Joel explained. ‘So I wanted to basically create a system that allows people to custom tailor their trips to fit in everything their hearts desire- the goal is to give every single person who uses Upbeat the best Vegas experience of their lives.’ It is true- many of the groups who use Joel’s services consider their holiday here to be a once in a lifetime affair, either because you (hopefully) only get married once, or you simply don’t always get the chance to go on such an epic trip with work and budget being kept in mind. A very important element to the staff of Upbeat is to make sure each group is being catered to while still respecting their budgets- be that either baller or a little more modest. The company offers an array of choices and schedules that suit both, while never making a visitor feel less than VIP themselves.
An example of Upbeats’ dedication to ensure every last person makes the most of their visit is a group that booked through the company a few years back. One of the boys of the group ended up going home after one night, having gone a little too hard on that first night out. Joel personally went out and bought a blow up doll, taped the missing members face on it, and brought it to every other event the guys had booked, making sure that despite his lack of presence in the physical sense, their mate was with his pals in spirit. This is just the kind of customer service you can expect from the team at Upbeat- along with much, much more.
Basically, you can rest assured that you are in good hands when you book with them- and it will be an experience you won’t soon forget.