The PR language for Bally’s new LGBT club Liaison—soft-opening June 20, with a grand opening August 23—includes the words “game changer.” Well, it wouldn’t be a new Vegas club without some hyperbole, right?
But in this case, the tag might just mean something. After all, Liaison is under the purview of independent club operator Victor Drai, a straight man who nonetheless rode in the recent LA Pride parade to promote his new gay club. Here are other ways it might represent a shift in Vegas LGBT nightlife.
• First and foremost, Liaison is the only dedicated gay nightclub in a casino. “This is an historic and exciting venture for all of us involved,” says Caesars Entertainment Regional President David Hoenemeyer.
• It’s being marketed as an upscale, sophisticated gay club, something both Drai and managing partner Eduardo Cordova felt the Vegas scene lacked. The old Drai’s Afterhours space has been accented with beautiful gold touches; VIP staffers will also act as concierges; coffee and espresso will be served at all three bars. And go-go dancers won’t be allowed to perv out for tips.
• The calendar will incorporate some famous faces. Come Independence Day Weekend, when Liaison expands to four-night operation, Yara Sofia from RuPaul’s Drag Race gets her own drag-themed Thursday promo, and former ’N Sync vocalist Lance Bass will kickstart his monthly Dirty Pop Friday party.
• Taking a page from the EDM megaclubs, Liaison has signed 12 international and local resident DJs to play its two rooms. Cordova says he’s also in talks with Vegas DJ and event producer Lisa Pittman to helm and develop girl-oriented dance parties—a rarity in local gay nightlife.
• Admission will be charged in the form of a $20 drink credit to ensure alcohol sales. However, locals can score guest-list placement via a text-messaging subscription, as well as free entry during the Sunday industry party Freedom, beginning July 6.
• And Liaison will be largely performance-driven, with talent highlighted on two yet-to-be-built stages. Cordova says gay men are a demanding clientele. “If we’re not being constantly entertained, we go home, log onto an app and get laid.”
Liaison Friday-Sunday, doors at 10 p.m., $20 drink minimum, free for locals who text "KEY" to 313131. Bally's, 702-737-5225.