Nightclubs Looking for the Next Big Thing to Keep Record-Setting Crowds Coming

Jon TafferSource: Las Vegas Business Press

The next big thing is coming, Las Vegas.

At least, that’s what nightlife guru Jon Taffer said while getting ready for his annual Nightclub & Bar Show to open in late March. During an interview with the Las Vegas Business Press, Taffer noted that nightlife operator Jesse Waits said that he has come up with the next big idea — he just has to implement it.

As co-owner and managing partner of XS and Tryst, Waits runs the top nightclub in Las Vegas. According to Nightclub & Bar’s annual Top 100 list, XS brought in revenue of $90 million to $95 million last year.

“The fact of the matter is, there is a next concept,” Taffer said.

In terms of the DJ craze in nightclubs, Taffer said that’s not a sustainable model.

“ ‘Been there, done that’ applies. I mean, how many times are people going to drive down from Southern California to see Tiesto?” Taffer said.

The popularity of DJs attracts a younger demographic to Las Vegas that doesn’t necessarily gamble, creating issues for local gaming properties. Also, DJs are expensive — an unnamed Las Vegas superstar pulls in $20 million with a local club — more than a live band would make.

“They’re unaffordable, and it’s going to play out,” Taffer said.

In 2013, 8 percent of Las Vegas visitors had been to a hotel nightclub that charged a cover fee, up from 5 percent in 2011, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s annual visitor profile study.

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