March 12-18 is Milwaukee in Las Vegas Week on OnMilwaukee.com. Last month, Funjet Vacations sent our editorial team to Vegas, where we sought out connections between Brew City and Sin City. These are our stories…
LAS VEGAS -- For anyone, moving from Milwaukee to Las Vegas would be culture shock. When Tiffany Marciniak did it in January 2006, having the same job -- even the same skimpy-meets-sporty uniform -- made the transition a little smoother.
After working for three years at Hooters in Greenfield, 7700 W. Layton Ave., the Milwaukee-born Marciniak moved to Las Vegas to work as a cocktail waitress at the new Hooters Casino Hotel, 115 E. Tropicana Ave.
"I thought it would be really cool to try living somewhere else," says Marciniak, 21. "And I knew I would make more money."
Not surprisingly, Marciniak made a lot more money as a "Hooters Girl" in Las Vegas. During a recent weekend, she says she made $700 on a Friday, $550 on Saturday and almost $500 on Sunday.
"A bad night here is still twice as much (money) as in Milwaukee," she says. "At home, $120 in tips is a good night, but out here, $200 a night is the minimum you'll make."
Also, it's not uncommon for a "high roller" to breeze in and tip her $25-$100 for a round of drinks. Despite high earning at Hooters, Marciniak says for some girls it's a stepping stone to bigger clubs or casinos wih even higher earning potential.
"To get the 'good job' you have to either know someone, or be here for a while, gain seniority and wait for your turn in line," she says.
Does Marciniak have to deal with more harassment in Vegas? Surprisingly, she says that it's pretty much the same in Vegas as it was in Milwaukee.
"I deal with the same crap from guys at both places. Guys are guys," she says, laughing. "You have to have a thick skin to work in this industry. Guys are hitting on you 24/7."
Marciniak says that Hooters Casino protects its employees, and that if a patron even so much as makes a waitress feel uncomfortable, a security guard will ask them to leave. "They really cater to us girls," she says.
And although Hooters tells the girls to be "camera-ready at all times," and Marciniak says she gets her photo taken at least 10 times per shift, there are rules that all photographers must adhere to. For example, it's against the rules for guys to photograph the waitresses without asking first -- and they cannot snap close-ups of the women's chest or behinds.
Marciniak says working in her industry puts a lot of pressure on her appearance, but that she's lucky because she doesn't need to diet or work out to maintain her figure. Other girls, she says, can get obsessed. Marciniak does, however, need to spend a lot of money and time on her appearance, but that's OK with her.
"If I save all of my receipts from tanning, getting my nails done -- even my bras -- I can write it all off on my taxes," she says. "That's pretty cool."
The Las Vegas Hooters uniform is very similar to the one in Greenfield: blaze orange shorty shorts, a Hooters tank top, nylons, white socks and tennis shoes. In Vegas, however, the uniform includes an orange bow tie. Marciniak says she's grateful to be allowed to wear comfortable sneakers rather than heels, which are required of most Las Vegas cocktail waitresses.
"We're the most covered girls on the strip," she says. "Which is funny, because in Milwaukee, Hooter's is considered almost risqué."
Marciniak, who graduated from West Allis Central, lived in a variety of Milwaukee neighborhoods, including the South Side and the Brady Street area. She says she plans to move back to Milwaukee someday because she loves Brew City and misses her boyfriend, Drew Deuster, who will open adjoining bars Decibel and DeepBar next month in the old Mantra nightclub space, 1905 E. North Ave.
"I realized what a cool place Milwaukee is after I moved out here," she says. "I can't wait to get back."
The same day this article posted, OnMilwaukee.com was informed that Tiffany was in a near-fatal car crash. Here's more about her condition.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.