On the revolving list of the most powerful people in Vegas nightlife, Victor Drai’s name is a constant.
The man behind legendary after hours spot Drai’s at Bill’s Gambling Hall and the Wynn’s posh club, Tryst, will welcome Vegas inside his newest venture tonight – the Encore’s architectural centerpiece, XS.
Designed with a European sensibility, the club is furnished in warm browns and gold. Tables with plush couches form concentric circles around a small dance floor, and a disco ball-inspired chandelier casts circles of flickering light onto the dark floor.
Textures are everywhere – metallic snakeskin on the banquettes, ultra suede on the couches – and large pillars covered in mosaics of tiny mirrors reflect the space.
From the first steps inside XS, the club makes an impression. Along the entrance way the walls are rippled with the life-sized outlines of nude women. Pushing against the gold façade, they look as if they’re trying to fight their way out of the walls and into the party. Behind the bar, inverted female torsos, also in gold, highlight the walls while bartenders in shimmering corsets mix drinks in front.
However, one of the biggest draws at the Strip’s newest club won’t actually be in full effect for its New Year’s Eve opening night. XS opens onto a large outdoor pool area surrounded by lounge chairs and cabanas with a bar and gaming area at the center. When weather allows, the back wall of the club will open onto the pool for an indoor/outdoor party starting in the afternoon and continuing into the early morning hours.
Even without the open-air addition, XS’s first night out should be a memorable affair. Tickets run $150 for gentlemen, $75 dollars for ladies, with an open bar from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. The hefty price tag might deter some revelers from making the trip to Steve Wynn’s still brand new Encore, but ringing in the first day of 2009 and the first night at XS at the same time has a pleasing symmetry. In with the new, we say.