Michael Crandall could think of only two ways to get the Lamborghini in the courtyard at Rumor.
No gate opens wide enough, and the car certainly couldn’t be driven through the lobby.
The company that had rented out the entire 150-room hotel during the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show wanted to display the wheels and rims they manufactured, and they didn’t want to park the $200,000 sports car in the crowded lot along East Harmon Avenue. It was 2 p.m. and the company wanted the Lamborghini in the grassy courtyard by 6 p.m.
Option 1: Use a crane to hoist the car over the hotel and into the courtyard.
Not enough time.
So Crandall, senior vice president at The Siegel Group, which owns Rumor, had a gate cut out and ripped about 25 cactuses out of the ground.
“We were willing to work with them,” he said. “It was something we wanted to do, because we wanted to make sure the client had their event exactly the way they wanted.”
He declined to say how much the work cost.
Such an unusual request stands out, but alterations are commonly requested by businesses on corporate retreats at Rumor and Artisan Hotel, another Siegel Group-owned resort.
Smaller hotels like these allow companies to revamp the entire properties to fit their needs.
“We pretty much have a ‘don’t say no’ mentality,” Crandall said. “We say yes to pretty much anything that’s within our means.”
Because the hotels are small, companies can buy out the entire properties for a day or weekend, whether that’s a group from Las Vegas or team from Google.
“They make it their hotel for a couple days,” Crandall said.
Companies that buy out the properties typically book the excursion six months to a year in advance, but sometimes can be accommodated within three or four months, Crandall said.
Although larger hotel-casinos may feature boutique hotels within their properties, Crandall considers Rumor and Artisan the “only true boutique hotels” in Las Vegas.
A boutique hotel is “intimate with more personalized service,” Crandall said. “Anything more than a couple of hundred rooms is not boutique.”
A meeting room inside Rumor holds about 50 people, and a library in the Artisan may hold about 20 people.
But the ability to transform to suit a client’s needs is another aspect of Crandall’s definition of a boutique hotel.
Staff will help convert the Mood Restaurant, the indoor or outdoor chapel or even the Artisan lobby into classroom-style spaces for meetings.
If a company’s not asking to raze the walls, Crandall might have his staff set up volleyball nets in Rumor’s the courtyard and organize team-building exercises.
Artisan, with 64 rooms on Sahara Avenue and Highland Drive, has no gambling onsite, and Rumor has only eight video poker machines in the bar.
“If they want to keep employees focused on the retreat and not slot machines and blackjack, our hotels are the right fit,” Crandall said. “For Vegas, we’re different. We’re the ones who are outside the box.”
Artisan general manager Michael Swain brags that guests can step out of their car or a taxi and be in their room in less than 5 minutes.
Crandall likes to think of Rumor, with its tall palm trees and purple- and-white decor, as “Miami meets L.A. with a Vegas twist.” Seventy-two rooms feature soaking tubs. The hotel offers four different megasuites: Camouflage, Swinger, Gossip and Diva.
The first thing someone might notice at the Artisan — and there’s a lot to notice — is the artwork. Reproductions of paintings by Cezanne, Rembrandt, Renoir and Van Gogh line the walls and ceiling. About a dozen statues are scattered alongside bookshelves and black-leather chairs across the beige and black tile floor.
Each room is named after artists and features their work inside.
“I’ve been in almost every hotel in the city, and there’s nothing like this,” Swain said. “Not even close.”
Whether looking to customize the food menu or transform the lounge, Swain and Crandall said guests become familiar with everyone on the hotels’ staffs.
“We try to know all our customers’ names,” Crandall said. “We try to make them feel like they’re not just another number when they walk in the door. You kind of feel like you’re a part of the hotel when you’re there.”
Contact reporter David Ferrara at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5290. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.