A-listers site lets locals play part of travel agent

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Steve Marcus

Dana Manacher, CEO of Shrtlst, poses at a home in The Summit Las Vegas Thursday, May 9, 2024.

Mon, Jun 3, 2024 (2 a.m.)

Dana Manacher is a self-described avid traveler—the kind of person who’s planning her next vacation while already on one. But review sites like TripAdvisor or Yelp, social media and other platforms can often lead to an “information overload” when it comes to exploring a new city, Manacher said.

Her solution is Shrtlst, a Las Vegas-based site Manacher jokes she built “out of pure frustration,” which connects users with locals who can provide insider tips, unbiased insight and out-of-the-box recommendations.

“Ultimately, what we do is we go into a city like Las Vegas or Miami … and we find the tastemakers in that city for all different types of experiences—for the downtown hipster, for the luxury traveler, for the outdoorsy explorer,” Manacher, CEO of the company, said. “And it can be for travelers, and also for locals just exploring their own city.”

Users on the site can browse different categories—based on whether they’re looking for a date-night destination or a family getaway, for example—and be provided with a list of recommendations formulated by “A-Listers,” or locals selected and vetted by Shrtlst to ensure they are unbiased, informed, unpaid by venues and more.

“Growing up here, I’ve watched the hospitality scene evolve from the ground up, witnessing firsthand the transformation that has shaped the vibrant, dynamic Las Vegas we know today,” A-Lister Seth Schorr said in an email to Vegas Inc. “My history and local knowledge made me a natural fit to help Shrtlst’s mission to reimagine how we explore.”

You can also put in the date range you’ll be in any given city, where you’re staying and your budget, and the Shrtlst will recommend nearby brunch or dinner spots, late-night haunts and more, said Manacher, who noted that artificialintelligence technology also helps serve up the perfect ideas.

The site launched in Las Vegas this year, where it’s also headquartered and acts as a “sister company” to the Guestbook, a cash-back rewards program for independent and boutique brand hotels that Manacher co-founded.

In addition to the benefits of already having a network of seasoned travel industry professionals in Las Vegas, the city was also a great place to build out the site because of its nature as a destination for all kinds of trips, Manacher said.

Shrtlst stands out, despite entering an incredibly saturated market, because it is really focused on giving the most unbiased recommendations, said A-Lister Carmen Mesa, unlike the posts of paid influencers or promoters.

Her first impression of Shrtlst as someone coming from a hospitality background was just that it “makes so much sense,” Mesa said. Shrtlst is dedicated to maximizing someone’s experience, she said, providing users with advice on where to park or other small but game-changing details.

“Anytime … you look at Las Vegas, you think (of) a lot of fun, but it’s also extremely easy to get overwhelmed,” said Mesa, a longtime local. “So it’s just a matter of putting people at ease and keeping more of the excitement versus anxiety of the upcoming trip.”

The site has also gone live with A-Listers in Miami, and Los Angeles is soon to follow, Manacher said. There will be around 10 more cities added by the end of the year, she estimated, before the company goes international to places like Europe, Latin America and Canada.

A Shrtlst app will hopefully be launched by the end of the year, as well, Manacher said. Users should be able to plan their trip from exploration, to booking to sharing their itineraries and so forth, she said.

No one knows a city more than its locals, Manacher said, and in Las Vegas, they can provide information like where best to enter a casino for a certain show or restaurant reservation, the best time of day to visit attractions like the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign and the many hidden gems it has to offer.

For Schorr, who loves the outdoor opportunities and the food scene in Las Vegas, that means showing tourists and other locals alike the experiences that Las Vegas has to offer, especially off the Strip.

“Sharing my favorite local spots through Shrtlst, particularly those off the well-worn tourist path, is incredibly rewarding,” he said.

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This story appeared in Las Vegas Weekly.

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