Around the Scene: January 7, 2010
Congratulations to the Tryst Nightclub team in Las Vegas, which will celebrate the fourth anniversary of the Wynn Las Vegas hotspot on Thursday, Jan. 21. Was it really four years ago that Victor Drai and the Waits twins rode in to the rescue of Vegas tycoon Steve Wynn after the original nightclub space, La Bete, bombed spectacularly? What would have happened had Wynn given the venue to the handful of other nightclub impresarios gunning for the space instead of Drai? Instead, Tryst changed the nightlife scene around the country and made Drai and the Waits brothers instant celebrities in the nightlife landscape, leading to the creation of XS, the growth of Drai’s After Hours and the soon-to-open Hollywood outpost. Tryst’s fourth anniversary — sounds like an appropriate milestone to celebrate!
Mining the relationship between a club’s ability to attract beautiful women and its success has been standard operating procedure for decades, but a new Miami nightclub is taking a novel approach to enticing female patrons. The pinkroom, a 4,300-square-foot venue opening this month in the heart of South Beach, has committed to giving a portion of its profits to breast cancer research. Additionally, the club will offer a monthly Pink Drink with a Cause, with half the drink’s proceeds also donated to breast cancer research. Obviously, the color pink is a key element in the club’s design, making a correlation with the pink ribbon traditionally worn to support breast cancer research charities a natural.
While most of the press on Vegas’ newest colossus, CityCenter, has been overwhelmingly positive, we like to hear what other resort owners think about it. Forbes writer Matthew Miller interviewed Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson (Venetian, Palazzo, Sands Convention Center, Venetian and Sands Macau, Martina Bay Sands Singapore, and on and on) who noted: “I haven't heard anyone who has seen it tell me it is going to be a winner. They have no strategy. They have no obvious plan. If they try to compete in the travel and tour business, they will cannibalize all their other properties, like the Bellagio. They don't have a convention space big enough to make an impact. So they built it without a strategy. How ill-advisable is that?” Fellow casino mogul Phil Ruffin, who sold his interests and acreage in New Frontier at the peak of the market and then scooped up Treasure Island for a bargain $775 million from MGM last year, also spoke with Miller about CityCenter, noting: “They have so many billions of dollars of debt on that project, they are going to have to make so much money every month just to service that debt. That's going to force the MGM guys to go through a lot of pain again, and they'll have to renegotiate their debt but probably also sell off another property or two. I've got at least $500 million in cash and loans I haven't drawn down. And I'd love to own the Bellagio or Mandalay Bay.” Just something to ponder while the local media falls all over themselves lauding a project whose viability is still in question.