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Experience the NASCAR Cafe Las Vegas

January 10th, 2008 · No Comments

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NASCAR Cafe Las Vegas is an exciting dining experience for race car fans!

This exiting theme restaurant is located on the 1st and 2nd floor of the Sahara Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. It has two levels of NASCAR racing projected on giant projection screens, nearly twenty authentic NASCAR stock cars, including the world’s largest stock car, the legendary Carzilla bar, and official NASCAR merchandise.

The NASCAR Cafe features hearty American favorites, from pizza to pasta, burgers, Buffalo wings, delicious entrees, and sinful desserts. Also available are drink specials and fantastic prize giveaways!

If you like adventure and a hearty meal after a long day of casino hopping, then this is the restaurant to refuel at.

Interview With Mark Dyer: Owner of The NASCAR Cafe Las Vegas

Vegas eNews: How did you first become involved in ownership of the NASCAR Cafe?

Mark Dyer: Two friends who acquired the rights to he NASCAR Cafe concept in 1995 approached me. I joined them in 1996 as president of the startup company, and we opened our first location in Myrtle Beach, S.C. in February 1997. I thought NASCAR was a great pick for a theme because it represents not just a sport, but also a lifestyle.

Vegas eNews: What directed your attention to the restaurant/tourism industry as a profession to begin with and did you originally see your role (career) in it different than it is?

Mark Dyer: I didn’t seek the restaurant-tourism industry per say, I just thought the NASCAR Cafe concept was promising and thought I’d be able to bring something to the equation as far as building the brand. I never dreamed I’d have the opportunity to buy the rights to the Las Vegas location when I started this.

Vegas eNews: What are 5 of your favorite websites outside of nascarcafelasvegas.com?

Mark Dyer: www.govols.com, www.tennessean.com, www.nascar.com, www.foxsports.com, www.weather.com

Vegas eNews: Is there anything interesting that you would like to share about the NASCAR Cafe? A historical fact perhaps?

Mark Dyer: People say that Las Vegas has gone corporate and there are no individual owners any more, and I suppose that’s a true to a great extent in the casino business, but my wife and I are a throwback to the old days. We’re the only locally owned and operated facility of this type on The Strip. We own 100% of it and we work it every day.

Vegas eNews: What’s the craziest thing you have experienced at the NASCAR Cafe or something you witnessed, but didn’t participate in that our readers might find intriguing.

Mark Dyer: The craziest thing each year is Race Week. It is an unbelievable scene at our facility from Thursday through Monday. Thousands of people show up and we have even had people show up at 8 a.m. to participate.

Vegas eNews: What is the most popular item off the menu? Your favorite item?

Mark Dyer: Bacon Cheeseburgers are dominant. I wish more people would try our barbecued ribs. They’re simply the best in town.

Vegas eNews: In your opinion, what is the biggest misconception about the restaurant business?

Mark Dyer: The biggest misconception about restaurants in Las Vegas revolves around location. We’ve seen a ton of concepts at the south end of The Strip fail in the time we’ve been in operation. The North End of The Strip offers a better value in food, fun and gaming.

Vegas eNews: What’s the hardest and yet easiest part of dealing with the tourists that come into the NASCAR Cafe?

Mark Dyer: The toughest part about doing business in Las Vegas is the impact of differing groups in town. For instance, a lot of people moan about the summer, but we do terrific business with families. Certain conventions are very tough for us. Each week is a little different and that took some time to learn.

Vegas eNews: Who decides the names of many of the items on your menu and how do you select the NASCAR affiliated celebrities associated with the particular menu choices?

Mark Dyer: Most of that work was done when we first launched the concept.

Vegas eNews: What is the most redundant question asked by customers about the menu?

Mark Dyer: It might sound self-serving, but there is basically no question a guest can ask that drives me crazy. We sincerely appreciate the business we get.

Vegas eNews: Is there an exciting job opportunity that you passed up to do what you do now? What do you feel is the greatest payoff as a restaurant owner?

Mark Dyer: I had an opportunity to run a racetrack once, but I wanted my next move to be ownership. The greatest payoff in ownership is determining your own destiny, sink or swim, and being able to take part in the development and success of the people you employ.

Vegas eNews: Some people may assume you became successful overnight. Does this assumption bother you?

Mark Dyer: I don’t get a lot of that. Friends and former business associates visit our facility and say: “how’d you guys pull this off?”

Vegas eNews: What is your crowning achievement in life so far and what do you see yourself doing 10 years from now?

Mark Dyer: Another answer that comes off as self-serving, but marrying my wife Tammy changed my life, in a very good way. Anybody who knows what they’re going to be doing 10 years from now is much smarter than me.

Vegas eNews: Who is your favorite Vegas musician or band and in your opinion, what is the best entertainment Vegas has to offer? Do you have a favorite place to hangout, other than the NASCAR Café?

Mark Dyer: The greatest singer of all time was Frank Sinatra. The greatest entertainer in Las Vegas history over the long haul has been Wayne Newton, and he’s the greatest ambassador we’ve had. I’m partial to Steve Wyrick because he’s got an excellent show, he’s our neighbor and he’s a very nice guy. I don’t do a lot of hanging out because I go to bed early and get up early, but we enjoy the great restaurants in Las Vegas, and my Friday night hangout is Piero’s. The food is outstanding, and the staff works hard to overcome the shortcomings of the owner: Freddie Glusman.

Vegas eNews: Tell me something about the restaurant industry that people might overlook.

Mark Dyer: Everyone realizes you need to treat your guests properly, but it’s real important to also treat your employees with respect and try to show them you care.

Vegas eNews: What is the one thing you would change about your line of work?

Mark Dyer: Frankly, it breaks your heart to see some people and the decisions they make in their personal lives, and how that affects their work. Poor decisions affect every aspect of your life.

Vegas eNews: Who is the most intriguing person that has visited the NASCAR Cafe? Why? Are there any celebrity regulars?

Mark Dyer: We’re honored that the late, great Dale Earnhardt came to our grand opening. I was associated with Dale for several years and he was truly an American icon. I had the Flying Elvis do our coaster grand opening and they were great fun. Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser fame) has come in often and he’s a very nice guy. We’ve had Joey Fatone of N Sync, Cuba Gooding, Alyssa Milano, and Kurt Russell. The CSI network television show did a scene for an episode on our coaster and William Peterson was extremely nice to my daughter, Sharnai.

Vegas eNews: What kind of cool merchandise can I get at the NASCAR Cafe?

Mark Dyer: Our driver merchandise is going tremendously well. We’ve got the nice driver jackets, and they are selling very well.

Vegas eNews: Everyone loves a good garden burger, salad or a hearty vegetable dish, are these items or similar items available at the NASCAR Café?

Mark Dyer: Our grilled chicken salad is excellent. I eat it at least once a week. We have a very good Garden burger, as vegetarian burgers go. The legendary Mel Larson is a card-carrying vegetarian, and he swears by our Garden burger.

Tags: Las Vegas Interviews · Las Vegas Restaurants

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