Las Vegas adds yet another club to its nightlife ranks this weekend with the grand opening of Light at Mandalay Bay. The highly anticipated collaboration between Cirque du Soleil and nightlife operators The Light Group is just the latest addition to a slate of new nightlife and entertainment options that have transformed the Strip (and nearby) in the past six months.
Below, meet the Las Vegas nightlife Class of 2013:
A rebirth of Light Group’s original club at Bellagio, the new Light franchise at Mandalay Bay offers three party experiences in one. Its dayclub, Daylight Beach Club, spans a 50,000-square-foot space with a pool flanked by three wet decks and Mediterranean decor. On Wednesday nights, the space becomes Eclipse, a rave-inspired party where A-list DJs take to a 15,000-square-foot outdoor stage to spin for the crowds.
Then, of course, there’s the main attraction: Light. With nearly 40,000 square feet of space, the new venue breaks the mega-club mold, merging Cirque du Soleil performers and theatrics with specially crafted DJ sets from the likes of Skrillex and Baauer for an interactive performance experience that changes nightly.
Hakkasan Las Vegas
At 80,000 square feet, this five-story behemoth at MGM Grand — rumored to cost upwards of $100 million — raised the bar for nightlife when it opened in April as the largest restaurant-nightclub on the Strip. The venue also boasts residencies from the world’s top DJs, including Tiesto, Deadmau5 and Calvin Harris — a lineup that made Hakkasan the center of notorious buzz well before it opened for swooping up headliners from other nightclubs with unprecedented million-dollar contracts.
Cirque du Soleil's "Michael Jackson One"
The eighth addition to Las Vegas’ arsenal of Cirque du Soleil productions, “Michael Jackson One” at Mandalay Bay launched its preview opening Thursday night and will officially premiere June 29. The production is not a tribute act, but rather an interpretation of the late pop icon’s catalog and legacy that includes dazzling set design, acrobatics and, of course, plenty of dancing.
Sapphire Pool and Dayclub
“The World’s Largest Gentlemen’s Club” moved into the daylife market this month with the opening of Sapphire Pool and Dayclub located just off the Strip next to Circus Circus. The $8 million multilevel space can accommodate more than 700 attendees at its pool space, which in true Sapphire fashion comes staffed with a plethora of scantily clad women offering a variety of, ahem, services. Its reputation for salacious celebrity clientele (Dennis Rodman hosted the opening bash) lives on this weekend, with an appearance by Charlie Sheen scheduled for a Memorial Day party.
Expanding on Bagatelle’s supperclub setup, which launched in October adjacent to Tropicana, Bagatelle Beach opened its pool decks in April touting the champagne brunch that made the Bagatelle brand famous in New York and Los Angeles. The outdoor venue is decked out with tropical foliage and white sand beaches for a South France feel and even offers regulation sand volleyball courts that can be transformed into a beach soccer field. Bagatelle deviates from the EDM DJ fare of other dayclubs with a weekend concert series that features pop artists like Skylar Grey and hip-hop veterans like B-Real of Cypress HIll performing atop the beach’s raised stage and massive LED screen.