Today, Oscar Goodman hands over the reigns of the city to his wife Carolyn Goodman, marking the end of his 12 years in the mayor’s office. It also ends an era of Bombay Sapphire martinis and showgirls that Oscar Goodman used to help bring international attention to Sin City.
Last month at the final Martinis with the Mayor, fittingly held at The Martini, two of Goodman’s showgirls reflected on their years of flanking the self-proclaimed “happiest mayor in the universe.”
Back in the 1950s, showgirls became the unofficial icon of Las Vegas. They opened and closed for headliners and outrageously large headdresses became the hat of the day. Take that, Princess Beatrice and your fascinator. The likes of Harold Minsky and Donn Arden created the two biggest showgirl productions. Oscar Goodman revived the showgirl as the icon of Las Vegas when he started making an entrance with one on each arm.
The bevy of beauties go through an interview process with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to get on the list of potential showgirls. “We’re here to represent the city,” said Porsha Revesz, who has donned a headdress for many of Goodman’s photo shoots since 2004. She was called upon five or six times a month to wear the outfit to events.
Revesz says her gigs started with the MLB winter meetings in 2004. “They had never seen a mayor with two showgirls and an Elvis,” she said. “There was so much buzz from it. It took off from there.”
Since, she posed with Goodman for Esquire and Sports Illustrated when Vegas was trying to bring a professional sports team here. She travelled to London and Rome with the mayor, and says people recognized him because of the showgirls. At the Mayor’s Conference in Washington, D.C., Goodman entered last and caused a commotion with his entrance. “We travelled the world. He wanted to bring as much attention to Las Vegas as he could.”
J.P. Howard, who also stood by Goodman’s side at Martinis with the Mayor, says New Year’s Eve was always her favorite event with Gooman. “[It] epitomized the energy of Vegas.”
She says Goodman is fun-loving and professional, always ensuring the safety and security of the showgirls. “We’re taken care of. He’s a big gentleman.”
So what happens now that Carolyn Goodman has taken office? She won’t be flanked by Chippendales or carry a martini glass with her. Resvesz remains positive that the showgirls will continue to have a role representing the city.
“The mayor is such a fixture. I’m sure we’ll always be around.”