Wasted Space to Close and Other Hard Rock UpdatesAugust 19, 2010 By: Leigh W. O'Quinn
Wasted Space has apparently become a waste of space for the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. After two years, the nightclub and live music venue is calling it quits before the spring of next year.
In 2008 motocross star Cary Hart’s “anti-club” opened its doors with other big-league investors: baseball player Jason Giambi (also co-owner of the Hard Rock’s Vanity nightclub) and rocker brothers Benji and Joel Madden.
Signs Wasted Space may have been losing momentum started showing last summer, when the side lounge area and second bar were reabsorbed into the casino, thus reducing the venue by almost one-third. At that time, management removed multiple booths and the bar — which already had gaming machines — making it, once again, an open bar area for the Hard Rock Hotel casino (which is what the space was before the Wasted Space incarnation). When Wasted Space closes early next year, reps for the Hard Rock say a new race and sports book will take its place. Execs won’t comment on the financial state of the club.
But that’s not the only change happening at Hard Rock. Hard Rock’s nightclub Body English, which celebrated its last night of operation on New Year’s Eve as Vanity rang in 2010 for its grand opening, was supposed to open again by June after a remodel as Afterlife Afterhours. That project is on indefinite hiatus and hotel representatives are still unable to confirm the future of the space, but rumors are out that it could reopen sooner rather than later — Deadmau5 is scheduled to perform in October.
On the positive side, Vanity nightclub seems to be thriving Thursday through Sunday nights, while the summer Rehab pool party remains as popular as ever, with a new season of “Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock Hotel” airing on TruTV this fall. However, a curious incident occurred on June 21 when management held mandatory drug tests for Vanity and Rehab employees and let go some personnel. Industry rumors swirled that the drug testing was in an effort to single out particular employees and that proper collecting procedures of hair samples were not followed. Multiple accounts cite scissors used to collect hair samples were not cleaned between collections. Though it may be a coincidence, Angel Management Group has taken over the operations of Rehab from The Nightlife Group at the Hard Rock (AMG also is the promotional marketing company behind Godskitchen Thursdays at Vanity and Daylife Sundays at Wet Republic, among other partnerships in Vegas).
Even with the imminent loss of Wasted Space and with questions mounting about Afterlife’s future, not to mention internal operation shakeups, there’s no shortage of partying options at the Hard Rock. SkyBar joined the ranks of venues this summer in conjunction with the expansion of the HRH Beach Club. The Vegas version of the Sunset Strip staple includes a sophisticated upscale alternative pool deck to the insanity below at the HRH pools with day-into-night socializing around the acrylic edge infinity pool with see-through cutouts that double as skylights to the Beach Club below. SkyBar’s already becoming a perfect venue for private events for the Vegas “It” crowd.