Aussie Developers Eyeing Aria for New NightclubJanuary 21, 2010 By: Bryan Bass
A pair of Australian entrepreneurs are looking at doubling-down on their Las Vegas investments, announcing they will open a second Sin City nightclub, this one a 2,500-person capacity venue at Aria inside CityCenter that will carry a $15 million to $20 million price tag and lots of competition. The team of former motorcycle champion Mick Doohan and former Gold Coast club-owner and founding member of the male striptease act Manpower (Thunder from Down Under) Billy Cross are apparently hard at work creating the concept and layout for the nightclub, which is expected to open by the end of 2010.
The duo are co-owners of the bordello-themed restaurant and nightclub Cathouse, which opened at the Luxor Casino two years ago in partnership with rocker chef Kerry Simon and several other investing parties. While Doohan and Cross had a falling out with their Cathouse partners — a fate that is now being determined in a Nevada courtroom — they were left with a soft spot for Las Vegas nightlife in their hearts. “You don’t see violence there,” Cross said in an interview with local media, “People go to Vegas to have fun…We always wanted Surfers [Paradise] to be like Las Vegas…We’re too lenient here.” Cross owned several nightclubs in Surfers Paradise before a government crackdown in 2006 led him to sell off his nightlife assets.
While landing a newer, bigger nightclub in one of the planet’s most hyped resorts would seemingly be a homerun for the pair, the property is not devoid of nightlife as is. The Light Group, which partnered with MGM Mirage and Dubai World, is currently operating four nightlife-style entities on property including a high-end gaming lounge The Deuce, the upscale Gold Lounge, its newest nightclub venture Haze and the adult-themed pool/day club Liquid, which will open this summer. They also will face competition from Eva Longoria’s Eve Nightclub, which resides in CityCenter’s Crystals Mall, and a massive nightlife project rumored to be under consideration for the Cosmopolitan development right next door to CityCenter.
But Doohan and Cross continue on unfazed by the competition and confident they can succeed in a market quickly becoming (or has it already become?) over-saturated with large nightclub options. They have not announced a name or specific location within the property for the planned nightclub. Stay tuned...