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May the best club win: Vegas racks up WCA nominations

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Las Vegas is often regarded as the top party destination in the nation, so it comes as no surprise that many of the city’s nightspots have been nominated for the 2009 World Club Awards.

The highly coveted WCA disco balls will be handed out in Miami late next month at the Winter Music Conference. Finalists were selected from over 300 applications from across the North America, and winners will be decided by a 12-person panel of so-called “industry expert judges.”

Not in the running, however, is Tryst, which has not been short-listed in any of the 21 award categories. Noting the absence, one might assume Victor Drai’s shining nightspot at the Wynn boycotted the awards program’s self-nomination process.

A Wynn spokesperson did not immediately return an after-hours e-mail sent Wednesday to confirm or deny this theory.

Tryst isn’t the only club that is MIA from the WCA list of nominees released yesterday. Tao is also notably absent, represented solely by DJ Erick Morillo in the “Best DJ Set” category. Other than that, the popular Venetian nightspot, which has won several WCAs in the past, including the 2008 WCA for “Best Bottle Service,” was essentially skunked this year.

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Lavo

There is, however, a silver lining: Tao’s little sister club next door, Lavo, has been spotlighted for several 2009 WCAs, including “Best Resident DJ” (DJ Vice), “Best New,” “Best Lighting System,” “Best Video System” and “Best Interior Design.”

The intimate club’s five nominations are the most that any Vegas-based nightspot received.

LAX comes in right behind, with four WCA nods, for “Best Club,” “Best Resident LJ (light jockey),” “Best One-off” and “Best Bottle Service.”

While most nominees are located in the U.S. – Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami and New York, especially – Canadian and Mexican clubs also made the cut in a few categories.

The organization noted that this year’s competition drew the most interest and number of applicants in WCA’s seven-year history.

“The cliché uttered by movie stars annually at the Academy Awards, ‘It’s an honor just to be nominated,’ is actually true,” the Web site jokes.

Vegas dominated this year’s “Best Bottle Service” category, with Christian Audigier, LAX, Tabú Ultra Lounge and The Bank all up for the distinction. The only out-of-towner challenging is Shrine, out of Connecticut.

Local venues have also done the hometown proud in the “Best One-off” category, with LAX (DJ AM and Travis Barker), Wet Republic (Labor Day with Kaskade and Deadmau5), the Palms Pool (Made Event for N9Ne Group’s Midsummer’s Night Dream party), and Jet (Steve Lockwood at the Vegas Blondeshell Awards) all nominated. Two other Miami-based Made Event parties are also in contention.

Other notable nominees from the Vegas market include Rain and Pure, which are both nominated for “Best Party” and “Best Superclub;” Body English, which is up for “Best Party” and “Best Sound System;” and both Christian Audigier and Tabú Ultra Lounge, which, in addition to “Best Bottle Service,” are also contenders for “Best Interior Design” and “Best Lounge,” respectively.

For a full list of this year’s nominees, click here.

Local wins last year included Tao for the previously mentioned bottle service, Jet for resident VJ, Roonie G (who also won the award in 2006) and the video system John Lyons Systems created for Jet. JLS also took home the award for best lighting the year before.

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Melissa Arseniuk

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