Storytime: Plaza ‘Back to the Future’ Day

This is the second part of a series of storytelling to share some positive memories during this crisis.

I was a regular at Las Vegas Club before it closed. It was owned by the same company as Plaza. I met Jonathan Jossel, Plaza’s CEO, the night Las Vegas Club closed in August 2015.

I started talking to him regularly because the games I played at Las Vegas Club moved to Plaza. Jossel told me during one of our discussions there would be a Back to the Future party at Plaza on October 21, 2015. The significance is that Plaza was the setting for Biff’s Pleasure Palace in the sequel.

It is not something I would usually do but my wife loved the idea of it, so we went. It turned out to be fun, even for someone like me that does not tend to like events like this.

Party under Oscar’s dome

It was held under Oscar’s dome. Plaza went all out. There were many lookalikes from the cast. Several DeLorean cars with some modifications made an appearance. There was a Dr. Brown Enterprises van parked along the Main Street entrance.

Plaza opened a pop-up bar within the party. The Irish pub was still open back then and its patio was available for seating.

Jossel came to the party as Marty McFly. There was a costume party with a few hundred dollars in prizes. I do not recall who won it. However, we voted for this guy dressed as Biff. He did not win. It was a travesty.

We did not stay until the end. My wife is a teacher and it was a school night. We had a blast at one of the few non-gaming nights out that we have ever had in downtown Las Vegas.

I have always been a fan of the marketing at Plaza. This event was my first experience of those skills. Coupons were handed out to all with free plays and other comps with the hopes of getting guests indoors. I imagine it worked to some degree. At minimum, outside bar sales probably paid for the party.

Plaza has grown its player base significantly since then. I attribute much of its success to its creative marketing like this.

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