At the Marquee Nightclub at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, a $1,500 bottle of Champagne is topped with a sparkler and delivered by a waitress under a spotlight. Life, a competitor opening down the street in August, will up the ante: Patrons will order by tugging on a rope; an acrobat will descend from the rafters to serve the bubbly.
That club, at the new SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, will be the latest to pull out all the stops. Sin City, home to 7 of the 10 top-grossing bars in the U.S., according to Nightclub & Bar magazine, has become a laboratory for all things innovative in the $20 billion industry. In Las Vegas, revelers are no longer content to nurse drinks and watch dancers in ostrich-feather headdresses doing leg kicks. “They don’t want to see a show,” says Sam Nazarian, chief executive officer of SBE Entertainment, which owns the SLS. “They want to be a part of it.”