Las Vegas is known for its extravagant nightclubs, like Hakkasan at MGM Grand and Omnia at Caesars Palace. But sometimes, people just want a place to drink and dance without spending a small fortune on bottle service.
Enter LAX Nightclub.
Though the club inside Luxor hotel is far from being the new kid on the block (It did open in 2007, after all.), Hakkasan Group stopped managing the space in December 2014. MGM Resorts International now owns and operates the venue, with LAX becoming the first nightclub it’s managed since Studio 54 closed its doors in 2012 at MGM Grand.
The VIP tables at LAX Nightclub — Photo courtesy of MGM Resorts International
Since taking over operations of the club, MGM Resorts International has remodeled the once-popular nightspot. The remodel began as soon as Hakkasan Group’s contract ended on Dec. 1, 2014, and on New Year’s Eve, Las Vegas club-goers were introduced to an entirely new experience with sleek, modern design features throughout.
“The old gothic theme is gone,” says Luxor’s Vice President of Food & Beverage Sujoy Brahma. “We’ve reduced the number of tables to open things up more, so it’s more comfortable now and there’s more space. The booths are more luxurious and spacious, too.”
Redesigned by Kurstin Schmitz of Urbane Design in Las Vegas, the 26,000-square-foot venue has seen other changes, too, including new state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems; refreshed interior décor emphasized by silver and gold hues (“The red curtains are gone,” Brahma notes.); and a larger dance floor.
“We added nine feet to the dance floor,” Brahma says. “The biggest feedback we used to get was that the dance floor was too small, so we widened the space. We also added a performance area in front of the DJ booth.”
The newly expanded dance floor at LAX Nightclub — Photo courtesy of MGM Resorts International
Additionally, MGM Resorts International transformed the space within the club previously known as Noir Bar and later Saville Row, converting it into LAX Lounge: an intimate space with a full bar and DJ booth, where guests can enjoy a cocktail before entering the nightclub.
“It’s sort of a holding area for our VIP guests who are waiting for their tables to be set,” Brahma explains. “Those on the guest list have access to it as well.”
The look of LAX isn’t the only thing that’s changed at the nightclub, either. To differentiate itself from other clubs in the market, LAX has revamped its programming to feature music with widespread appeal and a focus on emerging artists versus big-name celebrity DJs.
“LAX used to be known for hip-hop, but that’s played at a lot of the other clubs in town. We wanted to be different, so now we play music from the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s on Thursdays and commercial pop music on Fridays and Saturdays," Brahma says. "You’ll probably still hear some EDM or hip-hop music if a song is in the Top 40, but we’re not committed to playing just that.”
It’s all part of LAX’s plan to reach out to club-goers looking for a different type of nightlife experience.
“I’m not trying to make Hakkasan’s guests come to LAX,” Brahma concludes. “The way I see it, Hakkasan, Omnia and Marquee are the Nordstroms of this business. We’re Target. But we’re carving out a niche for ourself. We’re the club to go to when you don’t want to wait in line for three hours just to get in and listen to some good music. We’re the affordable, fun, accessible club."