Jesse Paul Wins Rail Jam, Takes Steve Aoki’s Private Jet to Vegas

Sixteen hours after leaving Denver, I unload my pockets at the Vegas airport security. In the X-ray bin is a Snowboard on the Block Festival wristband, a wad of cash totaling $131, a mostly-empty bottle of peach schnapps (which I was told I could take through security), paper receipts for a $338 hotel room, my phone, party beads given to me by a guy dressed as a middle-ages knight, and my ID and debit card—sans wallet, which I’d left in Jesse Paul’s car in Denver. Yesterday, myself and five others thought we’d show up to Snowboard on the Block, watch some movies, see some bands, and have maybe one too many drinks that night out in Denver. Plans can change fast.

Words: Jenna Kuklinski

A park in Denver, where aliens dance to dubstep. Photo: Gunnar Schmauss
A park in Denver, where aliens dance to dubstep.
Photo: Gunnar Schmauss

12:00pm — Jesse Paul, Ashley-Dawn Byrd and myself show up to Snowboard on the Block.

1-4:00pm — Wander around the event, find friends, have eardrums assaulted by aggressive electronic music.

4:00pm — Contest is scheduled to start.

5:15pm — Contest actually starts. Chris Grenier is on the mic and announces that the winner of the rail jam will get not only a $2,000 prize purse but also a one-way flight in Steve Aoki’s private jet at 11pm from Denver to Vegas. Aoki will not be on the plane, but he has offered it up as some sort of homie deal.

Jesse's cat-like boarding shined on this setup. | Photo: Alessandro Giampaolo
Jesse’s cat-like boarding shined on this setup. | Photo: Alessandro Giampaolo

6:00pm — Jesse Paul wins the rail jam.

6:01pm — Jesse finds out that $12,000 one-way private jet flight to Vegas is not a joke and must find five people in the next 10 minutes to go to Vegas with him—no hotel or return flight included.

The realization that in 5 hours you will be boarding Steve Aoki's plane. | Photo: Gunnar Schmauss
The realization that in 5 hours you will be boarding Steve Aoki’s plane. | Photo: Gunnar Schmauss

6:20pm — Jesse Paul, Brady Lem, Jordan Morse, Nial Romanek, Ashley-Dawn Byrd and myself are all confirmed passengers on private jet. We provide full name, DOB and weight to the person who manages Steve Aoki’s plane.

6:40pm — Pack backpack with essentials for one night in Vegas, leave everything else behind.

7:00pm — Return to Snowboard On The Block and watch world premiere of Union’s team movie STRONGER. Mind blown.

8:00pm — Drink drinks, still in shock. At some point Afroman takes the stage.

9:30pm — Meet up with Jesse, Nial and Ashley and hop in an Uber to the airport.

10:30pm — Arrive at the airport. Brady and Jordan are late.

Not Denver International Airport. This is an obscure spot that only private planes fly in and out of. Left to right: Ashley-Dawn Byrd, Jesse Paul, Jordan Morse, Nial Romanek, Jenna Kuklinski, Brady Lem.
Not Denver International Airport. This is an obscure spot that only private planes fly in and out of. Left to right: Ashley-Dawn Byrd, Jesse Paul, Jordan Morse, Nial Romanek, Jenna Kuklinski, Brady Lem.

11:05pm — Brady and Jordan finally show up with a bottle of tequila by George Clooney and a case of Coronas.

11:10pm — Liftoff.

One thing you can't do on a commercial airline: fly shirtless.
One thing you can’t do on a commercial airline: fly shirtless.

11pm- 1:00am — Party in the plane. Nial tries to get the pilots to take tequila shots. No one backs the idea, and the pilots turn him down. Brady claims he’s going to take off his shirt. Jesse does it. Finish bottle of tequila, group professes love for each other on jet.

1:30am — Arrive at hotel where Jesse booked room for the night. Come to find out, Jesse accidentally booked at a spot in Reno, and we don’t actually have a room.

1:40am — Decide to pay $338 for one room for one night because fuck it we’re in Vegas, and Brady brought his board bag, so we need somewhere to put it ASAP—it’s party time.

Who knows...
Who knows…

2:15am — Make way over to Circus Circus casino. Jesse hands everyone $40 cash and tells us we can’t refuse it. Nial wins $175 on video craps. Ashley and I lose on slots.

Jesse had a long day.
Jesse had a long day.

3:45am — Ashley and Jesse go back to room. The rest of us decide we need to go out on the strip. Brady says we need to see the sunrise. I back him.

4:00am — Make it to The Strip. Get asked if we want a free limo to strip clubs by guys on the street. We know enough to know nothing in Vegas is free, and we turn them down

Brady, Nial, and Jordan feeling some type of way.
Brady, Nial, and Jordan feeling some type of way.

4:45am — Fading fast.

Nial contemplating sleeping on the street. He just needed a margarita.
Nial contemplating sleeping on the street. He just needed a margarita.

5:00am — Find an open bar ironically named, “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere” and order margaritas.

5:45am — Pray that the sun will come up so we can just go the fuck to sleep. Nial and Jordan say the homeless guys are doing it right and want to sleep on the streets. Brady and I won’t let them.

6:15am — So many joggers. Who are these people?

6:16am — See sky light up and immediately order Uber home.

Nial and Brady capture the sunrise.
Nial and Brady capture the sunrise.

6:30am — Arrive at hotel, take photos of insane sunrise.

7am – 10:30am — Sleep.

10:45am — Starving. Try to pack everything up to check out and get breakfast.

12:00pm — Actually check out and start looking for breakfast.

The type of photo that can only be obtained via AirDrop, from a random number, in vegas.
The type of photo that can only be obtained via AirDrop, from a random number, in vegas.

12:31pm — Wait for table at Denny’s, get airdrop notification from random phone. Immediately accept.

1:00pm — Get seated at Denny’s, none of us have eaten a meal in almost 24hrs. Everything feels weird.

Jordan and Brady—best buds.
Jordan and Brady—best buds.

1:30pm — Food arrives, conversations stop.

2:00pm — Brady disappears.

2:05pm — Brady shows back up, has post-breakfast peach vodka shots for everyone. We take them outside of Denny’s on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard waiting for the next Uber.

Jesse saving his shooter for later.
Jesse saving his shooter for later.

3:00pm — Find the best casino game ever next door. Get free mimosas.

3:40pm — Call an Uber to the airport. Flight leaves at 5pm and I have to make it back to Portland for work on Monday. Jesse, Ashley, Brady, Jordan and Nial stay for one more day, buy tickets to Cirque du Soleil.

A combination only Vegas can provide.
A combination only Vegas can provide.

4:10pm — Get to security and empty my pockets. Wow.

5:30pm — Flight finally boards after delay. Holy shit. What just happened?