Asking a Vegas nightclub to host a party honoring other nightclubs can be a sticky situation. Like any brand manager, Vegas club owners are very proprietary and fiercely competitive -- they're not always enamoured of the idea of highlighting other clubs, even if those clubs are in far-flung cities. Luckily, we've had some great bashes at top clubs in the past to honor the Nightclub & Bar Top 100, and this year, Jason Strauss and the team at Marquee Las Vegas went all out to celebrate the 2011 Top 100 operators. His team reached out to the Top 100 operators all over the country and extended a warm welcome, setting them up with tables and other amenities. Add to that generous support from sponsors Tito's Handmade Vodka, MillerCoors and Rums of Puerto Rico and the stage was set for a stellar celebration.
And stellar it was. When the doors opened, the Top 100 revelers flowed into the 60,000-square-foot space, spreading out through the main room, where the raised DJ booth reigns over the dancefloor ringed by multiple levels of tables. No matter where you sit or stand, the view is great; you don't observe the party, you are immersed in it completely. Since the night was beautiful, however, and we'd all spent the day inside the Las Vegas Convention Center at the Nightclub & Bar Show, so we quickly took advantage of the sumptuous outdoor area. Surrounded by cabanas with private pools and three-story suites, the pool and patio area affords a sleek and sophisticated respite from the frenzy of the Strip, and a crowd quickly formed out there to get the party started.
Back inside, the event featured a DJ Spin-off, and six talents rotated on and off the table throughout the night: Avicii, Jason Lema, Mike Remedy, Tina T, Lisa Pitman and Dig Dug. By turns, they took the room from grooving and moving in the early evening to a trancelike state in the wee hours of the morning. The dancefloor was packed all night, a swarm of thumping revelers moving in time with the music and taking their lead from the go-go dancers housed above the DJ in mirror-lined boxes.
Throughout the night, I saw many Top 100 operators partying and congratulating one another -- Eddie Dean of Pacha NYC, Greg and Ron Newman of Sharkeez, the team from Club 152 in Memphis, among others. By the time I left at 3:00 a.m., the crowds at the tables had thinned, but only slightly, and the dancefloor was still humming and moving.
Hats off to Strauss and partner Noah Tepperberg and the team at Marquee for giving the Top 100 honorees their due -- a night to celebrate their success in style. Based on the evening and the crack operations team and great hospitality, it's safe to say Marquee Las Vegas will be among the 2012 Top 100 celebrants!