Cornelis_de_Vos_-_Triumph_of_BacchusThe 20 and 30-something party crowd who make up most of the Las Vegas tourist nightclub scene are pretty worldly; they may well have already partied in New York, L.A., Paris or Dubai. They are, in a word, blasé; after all, once you’ve drunk the finest champagne from your Louboutins, what’s left to sample of interest in the nightclub universe?  Vegas aims to answer that question with more of everything: outrageous, unique, unexpected fabulosity at every turn. And most visitors don’t leave disappointed. It is, indeed, a grouping that Bacchus, the  Roman god of wine, madness and ecstasy, would have fit right into. Of course, that was when ecstasy was an experience,  and not available in pill form.

Big Business

From a business standpoint, the Las Vegas nightclub scene is big bucks. Take XS, for example; located inside the chi-chi Wynn hotel and casino, it boasts $100 million worth of bodies slithering in bronze and gold; a gold-plated frieze made from actual casts of nude women; a football field-sized space with lasers slicing the air amidst thousands of attendees listening to deafening electronic, pulsating music.

Further adding to the Bacchanalian atmosphere are DJs who occasionally surf through the throngs on inflatable rafts, waste expensive vintage champagne by spraying it around, and even, oddly, throw sheet cakes into the faces of clubbers in a sort of ode to 1950s television slapstick. How that goes over with the chicks who’ve spent hours getting their hair and makeup just so – not to mention arranging their up-to-there uber-short club outfits to barely cover what needs to be – we cannot say.

Offer the Best

“We learned a long time ago that in order to continue to attract people from around the world, we have to provide things that are hard to find anywhere else,” said Jim Murren, CEO of MGM Resorts International, one of the Las Vegas Strip’s power players with nine hotel-casinos on the fabled boulevard of lights that offer this kind of nightclub scene. “These clubs,” he added, “if done correctly, are tremendous magnets.”

Vegas has fifty nightclubs of this ilk now, and there’s always something newer, bigger and better just around the corner, so impressarios need to stay on their toes to stay competitive.  Light, for example, opening in the near future at Mandalay Bay, will bring the city’s ubiquitous Cirque Du Soleil into the “superclub” realm, which, if you think about it, is really a perfect fit.

Murren minces no words when it comes to summing up which audience he wants to attract to his joints.

“We’re not interested in competing against everyone to get the 21-year-olds that are going to spend little to no money and are going to clog up the hallways,” he states matter-of-factly.

But if you’re young, hip and have plenty of cash to splash around, come on in.