vanity, haze & eve open, body english closes: new year’s in vegas
From most accounts and P&L statements, 2009 was a pretty tough year: A new economy and new ways of doing business became the norm. In Las Vegas, with certain exceptions, 2010 couldn’t get here fast enough and Sin City is clearly wagering on a bounce-back, using New Year’s Eve as an opportunity to launch several new nightclub haunts including Haze at CityCenter, the Light Group’s most impressive entry since Light Nightclub changed the game at the Bellagio way back in 1998; Vanity, the Hard Rock Hotel’s response to two new towers with 1,000-plus new rooms and a commitment to refreshing the property’s nightlife on the eve of Body English’s sixth anniversary; and Eve, another CityCenter offering, this one from Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria, co-located with the second outpost of her and celebrity chef Todd English’s Beso Restaurant.
The Hard Rock Hotel probably had the most novel approach to a new beginning, celebrating the closure of one club, Body English, while the new club opened less than a day and a dice throw away. From the beginning, Body English made a splash in the Vegas club scene, as club-goers from one of the Strip’s first on-property nightclubs, Baby’s, took delight in the plush décor of a “rock star’s English mansion,” as Body English was once described. The split-level concept and open balcony certainly influenced other Vegas clubs that would follow. Plus, it helped cement the status of several Hard Rock nightlife minds and VIP bottle-pushers extraordinaire, including Corey McCormack, Greg Costello and Shannon DuPont, as well as elevating the talents of others who made pitstops at the venue including Andy Hersch, now running nightlife at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego, and its opening GM Michael Greco, now running entertainment for George Maloof at The Palms Resort. As an added cherry to the closing sundae, the bottle client with the biggest tab for the evening got to take home Body English’s most cherished souvenir, the massive chandelier that hung over the dance floor since the club’s opening. Happy New Year’s and good night, Body English!
The next night over at Vanity, where a massive floor-to-ceiling, 20,000 LED light chandelier and outdoor cabanas stand out as high point elements, it was global icon Sean Combs, aka Diddy, who served as marshal for the opening parade, joining DJ Clinton Sparks in the booth for shout outs galore alongside other celebrity party-goers like hip-hop star Nelly, boxing champ Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, actor Keith Robinson and baseballer and Vanity investor Jason Giambi. Vanity certainly set the tone for the future year and showed off a venue that has a fresh look and enough unique elements to keep club-goers coming back for more, especially when the weather warms and the outdoor cabanas become some of the most sought-after tables in town.
Over at the massive CityCenter complex, the Light Group eagerly launched its new venue, Haze, with a New Year’s performance from superstar DJ Tiesto, who manned the turntables for a four-and-a-half-hour set that came complete with a laser and confetti shooting robot. With interactive projection screens, two levels of bottle service tables and a 100-foot performance platform, Haze has certainly been getting plenty of raves so far. While some of its New Year’s packages might have seem outrageously priced ($20,000 for 15 tickets, five bottles of liquor, two magnums of Dom P, six Red Bulls and six waters), the masses turned out to dance the night away alongside the planet’s most popular DJ. With a big venue and an even bigger financial nut to cover, Haze and the Light Group probably won’t be the friendliest door or have the most reasonable table ratios in town, but hey, no one has ever accused the most popular nightclubs of being accommodating. Other big name appearances at Haze in the month of January include: David Guetta, Usher, Kaskade and Katy Perry.
Across the casino at Eve, Longoria used her own star power to launch the club, bringing hubby and champion baller Tony Parker as her date. But he wasn’t even close to the biggest male paparazzi magnet in attendance, as even the purple paisley one, Prince, stopped by to show his support. Former Super Bowl champ Michael Strahan, two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash and the omni-present Floyd Mayweather rounded out the sports stars in attendance.
Add to the mix Christina Aguilera’s bombshell countdown at TAO, Nicole Richie’s return to Vegas nightlife at LAVO and 50 Cent’s hold down of Pure Nightclub, Paul Oakenfold and DJ Z-Trip’s concurrent performances at Rain and Moon, respectively, and the stars were shining on New Year’s. But even with all that star power around town, it was the three venues that opened, and one that closed, that got the most attention — and deservedly so. With the Champagne corks cleaned up and even the most painful hangover in the past, only time will tell if 2010 will be as big as the Vegas nightlife scene needs it to be.