‘Ultra agent’ strikes
while Vegas is hot

May 17, 2005 3:52 AM

Imagine in a matter of moments riding in a Ferrari to a private VIP party, smoking a Cuban cigar and having the most beautiful girl on your arm.

"I can do this for anyone, anytime," said Steve Striker, the man who created Striker VIP and was awarded 15 minutes of instant fame courtesy of NBC’s Today show on the opening day of Wynn Las Vegas.

"From Friday, when NBC invited me for the Today feature, ”˜til Tuesday, I got no less than 1,500 emails," he continued. "From all around the world, people wanted to know about my services."

The 52-year-old "ultra agent" said his service is an offshoot of his former California-based marketing group that handled personal appearances for NFL football players.

"Most of my connections were with the San Francisco 49ers and I am still close friends with people like Ronnie Lott and Roger Craig," Striker said. "By hanging around pro athletes, I got to know what it was like to be treated with white gloves and a red carpet. Athletes were treated like kings. I wanted to give the average Joe a chance to experience that."

Of course, Joe would need a nice chunk of cash to get the royal treatment. After all, service in Las Vegas isn’t cheap.

"My job is to create the ultimate experience for people," Striker said. "I have the connections, the juice and the will to get things done. Everyone should get treated equally."

Of course, as long as they have the cash.

"Sure," he said. "People who want to party like rock stars and get treated at the door like Jerry Rice have to come up with the cash."

Striker calls LasVegas "ground zero" for the "in crowd." And he admits it’s a long way from his Iowa roots in Cedar Rapids. But, through his close relationship with a high-rolling father who was well-known in Las Vegas, he knew this would be his life’s calling.

"In Vegas, there is the ”˜in’ crowd and the ”˜out’ crowd," Striker said. "There is no middle road. That’s the great thing about this town. Hang with the big dogs and you can do anything.

"The turning point in my life was deciding I no longer wanted to be an outsider," Striker said. "I do what I love and I love what I do. I enjoy being the star and it gets better everyday."

Striker believes the time is right for his operation in Las Vegas, which is on the verge of a new spurt of urbanization.

"Old Vegas is going to be Manhattanized," he said. "High rises are going to appear in downtown. You won’t recognize this town in five years. We have the right timing, the right mayor, the right chemistry. So much of New York is showing up here."

Striker is a confident businessman who knows how to promote himself and attract customers, 99 percent of whom are males.

"I hire nothing but gorgeous women," he said. "They do my work. I want the very best, be it chefs or valets, to treat my people right. It’s all about making the average guy feel like a king."

Bestowing royalty isn’t always easy, and the task often comes with strange requests.

"Once, I had a guy request a bachelor party for the groom and 30 friends," Striker said. "I found out the groom was petrified of midgets. They wanted a jumbo party bus with a pole for exotic dancers. They asked for a beautiful, vertically challenged woman. So I arranged for one, along with an extra large 350-400 pound stripper.

"When the groom showed up he only saw the big woman," Striker said. "Then the midget jump out and danced on his head. He was absolutely petrified. I never heard a guy scream so loudly. That was about the strangest request, but oddly enough it turned out to be a fun evening."

Exposure on shows like the Today show has helped fuel his business in Las Vegas.

"It’s like being a surfer and getting the big wave," Striker said. "I have my surfboard out. I rode the small waves for years. Now, I ride the big wave."