“We dreamed of our own nightclub deal for many, many years; then finally we were given the opportunity.”
Ray Davila boasts about being a military brat with stays in Alaska, Georgia, and Florida as a child before settling in Alaska at the age of 10. He graduated from The University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Science in Community and Commercial Recreation. In August 2001, Ray moved to Las Vegas. While working at Enterprise Rent-a-car, he worked with his brother on promoting parties as a passion project. Eventually he became well-known in the industry, as they collaborated on successful parties from 2002-2005, and officially joined the nightlife industry as a full-time job. He later became General Manager of Empire Ballroom, a lounge-nightclub on the Las Vegas Strip. Ray joined Angel Music Group in 2007, which would eventually be acquired by Hakkasan Group in 2014.
Ray likes Hakkasan Group because the company rewards based on merit. He encourages everyone to stay humble, focus on immediate responsibilities, and always try to help others around you.
Q: What originally attracted you to Hakkasan Group?
A: Back then it was Angel Music Group. They hired my brother. From that, I was able to get small glimpses into life working at an entertainment/hospitality start up and it was so enticing. In 2007, I was GM of Empire Ballroom. The CEO at the time called me to discuss an opportunity to work on a nightclub project outside St. Louis, MO with Ameristar Casino. I jumped on it. The rest is history, as they say.
Q: Why do you like working at Hakkasan Group?
A: I’m passionate about entertainment/hospitality and have always enjoyed being part of a team that’s building something. Most importantly, I enjoy working with my colleagues. I’ve spent so much time focusing on building a career that my work family has become my family.
Q: What is your favorite Hakkasan Group venue and why?
A: That would be like asking a father who is his favorite child. Each venue has its own unique qualities that appeal to me. If I had to identify one, I’d say Omnia Bali. The team there is so humble and eager to learn. They view the opportunity to work in a Hakkasan Group venue as a legitimate chance to improve their lives and their family’s. Working in Indonesia gives you important context on how extremely lucky we are here in the West. My experience with that team has been refreshing and very special for me and that sentiment is often echoed by others who get the privilege to work with Omnia Bali.
Q: What is your most memorable Hakkasan Group moment?
A: Without a doubt, opening Hakkasan Nightclub. We dreamed of our own nightclub deal for many, many years’ then finally we were given the opportunity. When you plan something for so long and it eventuates, there are moments throughout the journey where things feel surreal. It was us versus the world. The level of teamwork within the company was unprecedented. The work environment was truly collaborative with everyone working towards the same goal. It was a moment in time, and in many ways, the launching pad for all that we have today.