January 4, 2017 - 5:10 pm
When Colin Shaughnessy’s dad called to tell him he was on the television news, he was in disbelief.
“There were helicopters circling above me because there were rumors Michael Jackson was coming my way,” said the Green Valley Ranch valet, who had been working when he was asked to go to the entrance of the casino driveway and keep cars from coming in.
Shaughnessy has been with the casino since its inception in 2001 and has seen celebrities such as George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell and Cindy Crawford, he said.
“I have to say, George Clooney was the best,” he said.
What could be an ordinary job has given Shaughnessy 15 years of stories.
“If you think about it, valets are the first and last person a lot of people see when they come into the hotel,” said Kyle Munsey, the director of hotel operations at the casino. “He is the face of the hotel.”
Shaughnessy, now a Henderson resident, moved to Las Vegas in 1994. He studied food and beverage at UNLV.
After seeing a sign for the newest casino set to open, Boulder Station, he jump-started his career and applied.
He started as a server but became fascinated with the valet life.
“You’re always outside,” Shaughnessy said. “You’re always running around. And I’ve always really liked cars.”
He worked at Boulder Station three years, then saw that Green Valley Ranch would be opening soon. He transferred and has been there since Day One.
As much as Shaughnessy enjoys being a valet, he said it comes with a few misconceptions.
“People always ask me what I drove today,” he said. “It’s more like what I parked today.”
As a car enthusiast, Shaughnessy does enjoy being able to get into a Bentley or a McLaren 650S.
“But it’s not like I am cruising down the 215,” he said.
That also ties into a second misconception, that valets will take the car for a joy ride. The 1986 movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” helped fuel that; it features two valet attendants taking a car for a spin.
“People will say, ‘Don’t Ferris Bueller the car,’” he added. “We don’t do that.”
People also don’t realize the interesting array of people he gets to meet or see.
In Jackson’s case, the rumors were true and his limo pulled in to Green Valley Ranch. While Shaughnessy didn’t interact with Jackson, he had a chance to climb into his car to help the limo driver find parking.
While he loves seeing celebrities, his favorite thing about being a valet is getting to know the community.
“It’s seeing my regulars every day,” Shaughnessy said. “You get to know them, and they get to know me.”
To reach Henderson View reporter Michael Lyle, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 702-387-5201. Find him on Twitter: @mjlyle.