XS Goes OutdoorsMay 28, 2009 By: Bryan Bass
The cover story in the May issue of Nightclub & Bar magazine says it best when referring to the nightlife trio of Victor Drai and the Waits brothers (Jesse & Cy) as “Game Changers.” Whether you’re referring to the nearly decade-long run of late-night supremacy at Drai’s Afterhours, the 180-degree turnaround the team implemented to morph a bleeding venue into a revenue goldmine called Tryst Nightclub, or the jaw-dropping debut of XS Nightclub, these guys are ahead of the curve and driving the trends that are envied around the country. And with that impressive introduction, here comes the next brainchild of Drai and his twin dynamos: the nighttime pool party.
XS is an extravagant venue that opens up onto the Wynn Encore pool deck, allowing the nightclub to taunt capacity levels and sell poolside cabanas as real estate just as coveted as the dance-floor booths Drai calls home during operating hours. Starting May 31, the team is transforming Sunday nights to an outdoor pool party meant to whisk partygoers across the globe to a sensuous destination party spot like St. Tropez. “We are going to close the inside of XS and our Sunday nights will be exclusively outside,” Jesse Waits says excitedly, “It will be very much like the day parties we are seeing have great success around the city, just at night.” Guests will still enter using the front door of the club, and the team is toying with different ideas for how patrons enter the pool area. But once outside, poolside cabanas and daybeds will replace bottle service tables, and the cocktail servers will tease guests in bikinis and wraps while the usually fashion-forward VIP team will ditch their digs for black summer attire. “This promotion will really fuse the daytime parties with what’s taking place at night,” Cy Waits adds.
Don’t get the wrong idea: Drai and the Waits brothers aren’t following in the cash cow success of Vegas day-clubbing. “It had nothing to do with the decision,” Jesse Waits counters adamantly. “It really has more to do with the success of our Monday Industry Night and trying to do something different on the Sunday so we’re not offering the same product four consecutive nights.” Once again the pioneer, Jesse Waits says it was Drai’s idea to close the indoors and focus on the Wynn Encore pool deck. “The space is so gorgeous. When Victor came up with the idea, we all just ran with it.” The outdoor pool area features two large bars, 26 cabanas, more than 30 daybeds and even outdoor blackjack tables. “It really is the perfect venue for this type of event,” Cy Waits says. “It will really allow us to create an amazing atmosphere and energy out there.” With the party at the pool, the dress code will be different, but Cy Waits insists it will remain upscale. “We will allow nighttime swimming and encourage people to wear their bathing suits, but we still won’t allow sports apparel. Instead of jeans and shoes, guests will be allowed to wear shorts and sandals, but we will still be tight on how people are dressed.”
Hours of operation for the venue will remain the same, as will the $30/$20 (men/women) cover charge. Plus, Las Vegas locals will still be offered free admission because they make up the bulk of the Sunday night business.
How long the outdoor party will last is yet to be determined, though. “At least for the summer,” states Jesse Waits, while Cy Waits counters, “We will hold onto it as long as the weather will allow.” And while rumors circle of a daytime Wynn pool promotion, both brothers insist they are just rumors, noting that to do so they would have to displace Wynn hotel guests, which would never happen. Plus, there would be plenty of logistical challenges of operating a daytime event alongside two nightclubs and an after-hours club.
All of this just points to yet another smash hit on the trio’s stat sheet and will make for a busy summer for the team. And they’re already looking at an even busier winter with the addition of a new haunt on the roof of the new W Hotel in Hollywood by the year’s end. While the twins quickly become tight-lipped on the subject, it is already known the space is perched on the 11th floor of the property and will sport 20,000 square feet of space that is sure to be as luxurious as the two Wynn clubs that bear Drai’s fashionable fingerprints. For now, though, the focus is on XS, Sundays and the introduction of Vegas’ first weekly nighttime pool party. See you poolside!