Category Archives: Nightclubs

Tao Group Acquires Hakkasan Group as Foretold By Incredibly Modest Blog

In shocking news, Tao Group has confirmed it has acquired Hakkasan Group.

Well, the news is shocking for people who don’t read this blog, because we told you this would happen four months before anyone else. “Boom,” as the kids say.

While not surprising to those with good taste in Las Vegas blogs, this news is still huge as it involves two of the biggest nightlife companies in the world, as well as some of the most successful venues in the history of nightlife.

Tao Hakkasan

We are your sweeping generalizations headquarters.

The scope of this acquisition is staggering. The newly-combined company operates 61 entertainment, dining and nightlife venues in 22 markets across five continents.

And, yes, we knew that off the top of our head and most definitely didn’t just copy and paste it from the official news release.

Tao Hakkasan empire

Sorry Greenland and South America, no vibe dining for you.

Some of the company’s brands include Tao at Venetian, Marquee at Cosmo, Lavo Italian restaurant at Venetian, Beauty & Essex at Cosmo, Hakkasan at MGM Grand, Omnia at Caesars Palace, Jewel Nightclub at Aria and others.

As with anything related to Las Vegas, there was tons of behind-the-scenes drama leading up to the Tao Group acquisition of Hakkasan Group, and were are confident our local Las Vegas journalists are feverishly digging into the story right now.

Just kidding. But the Wall Street Journal, Business Insider or The Guardian might take a stab at it, eventually.

Now seems like a great time to watch the overhead light thingy at Hakkasan nightclub.

Suffice to say, this acquisition changes everything in Las Vegas. Tao Group now has undisputed dominance in the Las Vegas nightlife scene, a scene we tend to stay as far away from as possible, but a lot of people seem to like it.

Nightlife has been devastated by the pandemic, and only after a year have some venues begun to open up, often with capacity limits and other restrictions that make them unable to even break even.

Nightlife venues will get a big boost in the next month or two as capacities and restrictions are lifted, but some entities, like Hakkasan, weren’t able to navigate the financial challenges of a once-bulletproof business model.

It sounds like the Hakkasan name isn’t going anywhere, so there’s that.

There remain a lot of questions about that business model in post-pandemic Las Vegas.

Resorts World made a splash with the announcement (sorry, confirmation, because we ruin everything with our scoop) of headliners Zedd and Tiesto. High-priced talent is what doomed Kaos at Palms (now being purchased by the San Manuel tribe), but Resorts World is confident the landscape hasn’t changed, that Kaos was just a matter of poor management and a
challenging location.

Prior to the implosion of Kaos, several other nightlife venues closed, including Intrigue at Wynn, Hyde at Bellagio and 1OAK at Mirage, among others.

With the acquisiton of Hakkasan, Tao Group (majority owned by Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp.) is positioned for success if anyone is.

The world is ready to eat, drink, dance and fornicate in Las Vegas again! Please pass along video of that last thing for our official review and verification. Just saying.

Resorts World Confirms Tiesto Residency at Zouk Nightclub

Few things give us greater joy than scooping the world and ruining (sorry, amplifying) surprises.

This time, Resorts World has confirmed what loyal readers knew months ago: Bigtime DJ Tiesto will be a headliner at the casino’s Zouk Nightclub and Ayu Dayclub.

Tiesto Paradise

Make an album called “A Town Called Paradise” and you’re cool with us. Most of The Strip is in the town of Paradise.

Tiesto (sometimes with an umlaut over the “e)” is a certified icon of “oontz.”

He’s a Grammy winner, has sold 36 million albums and was named “The Greatest DJ of All Time” by Mixmag, whatever that might be.

Mostly, we know of Tiesto because of his light show at Fremont Street Experience. He also got his own fountain show at Bellagio.

Tiesto’s light show at Fremont Street Experience features three of his hits, “Secrets,” “Red Lights” and “Wasted.”

Tiesto is quite a “get” for Resorts World, as the superstar DJ has been a fixture at Hakkasan for some time.

Resorts World is going all out for talent, recently confirming another one of our scoops, that Zedd would also be a headliner at the resort expected to open by July 4, 2021.

Zedd Tiesto Resorts World

Waiting for official announcements is lame.

Zouk Nightclub is 36,000-square-feet and will boast a “state-of-the-art articulating ceiling with a center focal point called the Mothership.”

Inside Zouk, there will be multiple experiences, including Capital Bar and Empire, which can operate as distinct venues depending upon the night or season. Capital will have a “projection mapping canopy,” which we’re excited to see and we’re not even really a nightclub person.

The jury’s still out as to whether the pricey DJ business model still works for Las Vegas nightclubs, mainly because Kaos at Palms was a very expensive debacle the entire nightlife industry in Las Vegas is still face-palming about.

How “pricey”? Tiesto is likely to make between $250,000 and $290,000 a show.

Resorts World nightclub

Articulated AF.

One of the executives who ran Kaos, Ronn Nicolli, is in charge of nightlife at Resorts World.

Nightlife in Vegas has been through the ringer during the pandemic, and there are lots of changes on the horizon (including rumors of major mergers and acquisitions).

The Zedd and Tiesto residency announcements have already made a big splash for Resorts World, and they’re betting these seasoned and beloved veterans could provide a solid foundation for what’s to come.

Zedd Confirmed as Resorts World’s First Resident DJ

Resorts World has confirmed what you’ve known for months because you follow us on Twitter, ahem, Zedd will be a resident DJ at Zouk Nightclub and Ayu Dayclub.

Zedd Las Vegas

Zedd’s real name is Anton Zaslavski. The shorter name saves him a ton because his business cards are smaller.

If you’re asking, “Who or what is a Zedd?,” you’re old and are not living your best life.

That said, we also have no idea who Zedd is. Hey, we don’t have to know things to share scoop about them! Two months before Variety and Billboard and the Las Vegas Review-Journal and such.

Zedd Tiesto Resorts World

Q. Do we have to make everything about us? A. Do you know anything about this blog at all?

Anyway, Zedd is a multi-platinum, Grammy-winning artist, DJ and producer.

Translation: He’s expensive AF.

Which makes it awkward, because nobody’s really sure this business model for Las Vegas nightlife works anymore.

If you follow Las Vegas nightlife at all, you heard about the implosion of Kaos at Palms. The venue paid approximately one bajillion dollars for Marshmello, and while the DJ drew crowds, the casino lost money.

Cardi B was reportedly paid $300,000 for each of her 15-minute performances at Kaos. Unsustainable.

It’s worth noting one of the guys involved in Kaos, Ronn Nicolli, will now oversee nightlife at Resorts World. There’s already chatter about some behind-the-scenes drama. Red flags abound.

Resorts World nightclub

Vegas is about to get Zouked.

Beyond Kaos, a number of other Las Vegas nightclubs have closed in recent years, including Intrigue at Wynn, Hyde at Bellagio and 1OAK at Mirage.

Genting Group, owners of Resorts World, has deep pockets, but how deep?

Tiesto is expected to be another resident headliner at Resorts World. Again, Tiesto can pull crowds, but he earns an average of about $290,000 per show.

That said, Resorts World will certainly benefit from pent-up demand as Las Vegas rebounds from the pandemic, at least for awhile.

Competition is going to be fierce for those nightlife dollars, and hopefully Resorts World can use headliners like Zedd and Tiesto to entice guests to the resort, then keep them around with other amenities like restaurants. (Exactly what didn’t happen at Palms, which we believe won’t open again under the current ownership, Station Casinos.)

Resorts World will not be lacking in restaurants. Learn more.

Here’s Zedd making Selena Gomez famouser.

Unconfirmed, but Resorts World is expected to open July 4, 2021 with a soft opening about a week prior.

Setting aside any business concerns, we are ready to “oontz” and twerk and spend way too much on bottles of Gray Goose again, or whatever the kids are doing now! Let’s go!

We’re rooting for Resorts World to be a huge success, and nobody can say they aren’t swinging for the fences.

Rumors: Tao Group Buys Omnia Nightclub, Could Acquire Hakkasan Group

The Las Vegas rumor mill has been working overtime, and Sin City nightlife will never be the same.

We recently shared rumors Tao Group could be acquiring Hakkasan Group. Indications are the deal is moving forward, and the companies have entered the due diligence phase of the sale.

Tao and Hakkasan are two of the biggest nightlife players in Las Vegas, and once the deal is officially consummated, we’re looking at one of the biggest Las Vegas stories of 2021. You’re welcome.

Hakkasan Grid

We are not a nightclub person, but very much love this light thingy at Hakkasan.

It’s worth noting Madison Square Garden (MSG) is majority owner Tao Group. Madison Square Garden Co. paid $181 million for a 62.5 stake in Tao Group in 2017. Tao Group operates a slew of nightlife venues, including spots in New York, Las Vegas and Sydney.

MSG has been hard hit by the pandemic, although its MSG Sphere entertainment venue continues to make progress at Venetian.

The acquisition has yet to be confirmed, but our scoop about the departure of Hakkasan’s President and CEO, Michael Ryan-Southern, from his post has been. Confirmed, that is. Please try and keep up.

A new rumor seems to support the acquisition chatter: An insider has shared Omnia nightclub at Caesars Palace has been purchased by Tao Group.

Omnia

Thanks for the clarification, lawyers.

The deal is said to include all Hakkasan assets, including restaurants around the world, a coup for Madison Square Gardens (Tao Group).

In layperson’s terms: This is yuge.

Following the sale/merger, Tao Group will have a virtual monopoly when it comes to operating dayclubs/nightclubs, excluding Wynn’s popular venues.

Omnia

Possibly related: Omnia should never have scheduled Calvin Harris on Friday the 13th.

The Las Vegas nightlife scene has been shaken to its foundation by the pandemic, with nightclubs closed since March 18, 2020.

A couple have tried converting to lounge concepts, but have been hobbled by strict capacity limits.

Tao

Everyone pronounces it “tou,” but it’s “dow.”

The Las Vegas nightclub realm was already shaky, even prior to the pandemic.

A string of nightclub venues have shuttered, including Intrigue at Wynn, Hyde at Bellagio, 1OAK at Mirage and the grandaddy of all nightclub implosions, Kaos at Palms.

It seemed inevitable there would be consolidation in nightlife due to the pandemic.

Tao

We were honestly just looking for any excuse to share this photo of the restrooms at Tao.

Many Las Vegas companies are using this “downtime” to envision what their industries will look like when things return to normal.

We keep forgetting to put quotation marks around “normal.”

It seems clear Las Vegas nightlife will never be the same, and the rumors swirling around Tao Group and Hakkasan Group will be fascinating to watch should they come to fruition.

Update (1/9/21): A source familiar with the situation says the Tao Group takeover of Hakkasan Group has entered the final stages of a sale, although there has still been no official announcement or confirmation. The source says popular clubs Wet Republic, Liquid and Jewel will now be fully owned and operated by MGM Resorts after Tao Group (MSG) buys Hakkasan Group.

Resorts World Drops New Renderings of Pool, Nightclub and Restaurants

Resorts World continues to titillate with sweet renderings of the Las Vegas casino resort opening in summer 2021.

This time, we get a glimpse of the $4.3 billion resort’s dayclub, Ayu.

Resorts World dayclub

Damn it, never should’ve sold that Ab Roller.

As you know, “Ayu” means “beautiful” in Javanesse.

And as you also know, Javanesse is the language spoken by people at Starbucks.

Next up is the entrance to Zouk Las Vegas nightclub.

Zouk is a well-known nightlife brand in Asia, with high profile venues in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia, none of which we would be able to locate on a map.

Thanks a lot, public education.

Resorts World nightclub

Behold the newest place in Vegas to get your recommended allowance of oontz.

To the credit of Resorts World, they went outside the usual suspects to manage their nightclub.

The state of nightclubs in Vegas has been in flux for some time, with the closure of several Vegas fixtures, including Intrigue at Wynn, 1 Oak at Mirage, Hyde at Bellagio and others. The most recent implosion was Kaos at Palms.

New blood may be just what’s needed to shake up the town’s nightclub formula.

Here’s a shot from inside Zouk.

Resorts World nightclub

Zouk is a kind of dance music from the Caribbean. It’s also the sound your withdrawal slip makes when it goes up the vacuum tube at your bank.

There’s also Fuhu restaurant. According to the official Web site, “Fuhu is a vibe dining restaurant, conceptualized by the team behind the world famous number three nightclub in the world, Zouk Singapore.”

Nightclubs and restaurants? Echoes of Hakkasan and Tao up in here.

Resorts World Fuhu

Fuhu means “lucky tiger” in Mandarin. We like it, despite the whole “vibe dining” thing.

Among the new renderings is RedTail, which we’re pretty sure needs a space in it, but we’re going to play along.

Speaking of play, RedTail is a “social gaming bar,” where guests can mingle and playing games like beer pong, darts and pool.

Oh, stop judging, that idea has got to succeed at some point. Somewhere. Maybe even in Las Vegas. At some point. Have you seen the numbers at Dave & Buster’s? Neither have we, but you see our point.

RedTail will have hooch, which is really the important part, so there’s that.

Resorts World RedTail

We’re ready to get some consensual RedTail.

The renderings are sexy, and the rooms we saw in the sales center at Resorts World were appealing as well.

Bringing 3,500 rooms to The Strip when visitation was already on the wane in Las Vegas prior to the pandemic means Resorts World will face some challenges.

The resort will also rely heavily on conventions (near zero in Las Vegas right now), nightlife (nightclubs and dayclubs are closed) and entertainment (no headliners are currently performing on the Las Vegas Strip).

Resorts World seems to be using a tried-and-true playbook for Las Vegas megaresorts. The question is whether that playbook actually works anymore, especially in light of recent world
events and the proliferation of legal gambling across the country.

Resorts World Las Vegas

The size and scope of Resorts World has been fluid since it was first announced in March 2013. This is about what it will look like on opening day in summer 2021.

Resorts World is hoping pent-up demand will draw visitors to its shiny new destination on The Strip.

We’re rooting hard for Resorts World. Let’s hope science, visitor confidence and good luck align to help make this new Las Vegas casino resort a success.

1OAK Nightclub at Mirage to Close Per Sources

It seems the days are numbered for 1OAK Nightclub at Mirage, as a source says employees have been told the venue’s last day of operation will be March 28, 2020.

1OAK Nightclub opened on New Year’s Eve 2011.

1OAK nightclub closing

Not a bad run, 1OAK, when 80% of nightclubs close in their first year.

Prior to 1OAK, the space was home to Jet Nightclub. Jet closed Sep. 6, 2011.

1OAK joins a string of nightclubs to shutter in Las Vegas recently, including Intrigue at Wynn, Hyde at Bellagio and Kaos at Palms.

Here’s a fascinating interview on KNPR about the changing landscape of nightlife in Las Vegas, and we’re not just saying that because we were the one being interviewed.

1OAK Nightclub covers 16,000-square-foot and has a New York theme. As with all 1OAK nightclubs, artist Roy Nachum designed the space.

The club is operated by The Butter Group. While 1OAK stands for “one of a kind,” there are others, including in L.A. and New York City.

No official announcement has been made Mirage, or its owner MGM Resorts, about future plans for the 1OAK Nightclub space.

If you’re bored, check out our 10 Surprising Things About Las Vegas Nightclubs.

Update (1/25/20): Our scoop has been confirmed officially.