Meet the Wirral high school drop out who is now now giving celebs and tourists the VIP treatment in Las Vegas
1 month ago
Joel Gilbert from Birkenhead worked as a holiday rep around the world after dropping out of school – he now runs his own tourism business in Las Vegas.
A Wirral high school drop out with no GCSEs is now a high flyer in Las Vegas, working with celebrities, sports stars and thousands of holidaymakers. Joel Gilbert, 37, founded his VIP concierge and tourism business, Upbeat Vegas, in 2014 and provides adventure seekers with 5 star experiences in ‘Sin City’.
Joel launched his business after spotting a gap in the market — realising that so many UK tourists visit Las Vegas without knowing anything about the fast-paced and ever changing life there. Through Upbeat Vegas, Joel and his team provide people with bespoke itineraries, hotels, excursions, upgrades, VIP access to restaurants, venues and events and more.
Originally starting out as a nightclub rep, Joel created the unique concept to ensure tourists get the best Vegas experience for the best industry value without being ripped off. His business boomed and he now has a team of 10 staff — working with the likes of Charlie Sheen, Joey Essex, Jesse Lingard, Mark Noble, Darren Till and many other celebrities. He has now helped in the region of 5,000 holidaymakers.
Known as ‘your guy on the ground’ who will give you the passport to the ultimate Vegas experience, Joel has come along way since he was told he would amount to nothing as a teenager. After his father walked out when he was young, he rebelled as a youth and achieved one D, Es, Fs and a U grade at GCSEs — with little hope of a successful career.
Joel, originally from Birkenhead, Wirral, explained: “My Dad left when I was 2 and I never saw him again. He never contributed to child support either so my mother had to work multiple jobs and I was always dressed in hand me down clothes and was given toys from friends and cousins until I was a teenager.”
He continued: “We moved to Hertfordshire and struggled to concentrate in high school — I was even suspended a couple of times. Multiple teachers wrote me off and told me straight I’d never amount to anything. I was always a young entrepreneur though — I painted lines on football pitches for money as a teen and sold sweets to kids in school. I left school straight after GCSEs and got a job in a supermarket.”
Joel soon became disillusioned with life in the UK and landed a job as a holiday rep in Greece during a lads holiday. This led to holiday rep jobs in Ibiza, Tenerife, Australia, Asia and then finally Las Vegas –where he witnessed so many British tourists going to dodgy places, getting ripped off, losing money and having bad experiences.
Joel explained: “It was painful, having to catch a bus an hour into town in the freezing cold 6 days a week, to then have to work in a freezer for most of the day. I’ve nothing against the job but I was depressed at having no qualifications or prospects — with teachers convincing me I would go nowhere in life. I went on a lads holiday to Greece and ended up staying there but it was Vegas that changed my life forever.”
He continued: “Working as a nightclub rep, I talked to so many tourists. We all love The Hangover movie but things can go wrong here. I developed a great knowledge of life here and all the dos and don’ts so I created Upbeat Vegas to save tourists time, hassle and money — 10 years later we have thousands of happy clients. We have the inside knowledge and provide people with luxury 5 star experiences at industry prices.”
Upbeat Vegas works on a free consultation basis to establish what kind of holiday the client wants. Joel and his team can then provide all the expert advice and arrange a package and itinerary including things such as limousine transfers, hotel deals, upgrades, VIP access, excursions, adventure, offers and more. Through Upbeat Vegas, he takes away the hassle, headaches and pitfalls for people visiting Las Vegas.
Love Island’s Sam Bird said: “Picked up in a limo with loads of drinks, taken straight to the Vegas sign and then onto a Dancefloor table. No waiting in lines. VIP treatment and an unreal location. Next day we had a cabana sorted at Wet Republic. Joel proper hooked us up! If you want to do Vegas the right way, you have to go to Upbeat!”
Joel summarised: “It’s funny how life can turn out. My teachers labelled me as naughty and drilled it into me that I would amount to nothing without qualifications. I ended up believing that but was determined to prove them wrong — and prove my Dad wrong for walking out too. Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I’m hanging out with stars such as Floyd Mayweather and 50 CENT — it’s crazy!”
He continued: “I saw a gap in the market but honestly didn’t expect the business to boom like this! We have so many 5 star reviews and most of our business comes from referrals from people who have had an epic time through us. We’ve even been featured by FOX News, Digital Journal and others. My advice to others is don’t let your qualifications define you and just go for it!”
A British high school drop out with no GCSEs is now a high flyer in Las Vegas, working with celebrities, sports stars and thousands of holidaymakers. Joel Gilbert, 37, founded his VIP concierge and tourism business, Upbeat Vegas, in 2014 and provides adventure seekers with 5 star experiences in ‘Sin City’.
For more information visit Upbeat Vegas’ WEBSITE.
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