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[The Nightlife Issue]

Tao brings bottle service to the socially inclined masses

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Tao Entertainment Marketing Director Mike Snedegar.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

When Uber Pool and Lyft Line arrived in Las Vegas, Tao Entertainment Marketing Director Mike Snedegar knew he had to incorporate a similar concept within the nightlife industry. The question was how.

He went to the drawing table in December and dreamt up V.I.We, a shared social experience that allows partiers to enjoy tables and bottle service at a fraction of the cost.

“With the inception of Uber Pool and Lyft and Airbnb, I always had that [idea] in the back of my mind,” Snedegar says. “If this can be done here, how can it be done in the club? We’re seeing, especially [with] the younger millennial set, they’re looking for a communal experience. They’re looking for a deal, and a lot of them are on a budget.”

That realization was the impetus for V.I.We, which launched at Tao in April with plans to expand to Tao Beach. For far less money than standard bottle service, guests can gain access to a large area with tables and bottles (Absolut Elyx vodka, Avion Silver tequila and Camp Viejo sparkling wine) and drinks prepared by Tao’s cocktail staff. And yes, bottles are replenished throughout the night “as needed.”

“Bottle service has been in Vegas for roughly 15 years. It will always be a Vegas staple. But we’re trying to cater to the new clientele,” Snedegar continues. “I see a lot of couples and I see people who are here by themselves, and they would love an elevated VIP experience but don’t want to pay X amount of dollars.”

There’s no one more on top of trends than Snedegar, who has seen the industry change and grow into the phenomenon it is today. His job, one of many hats he wears, deals with forecasting trends in music and pop culture but also keeping his finger on the pulse of what his guests want.

“The customer has changed,” Snedegar says. “My main goal is to offer another level of a VIP experience. I’m trying to create another party within the party.”

So far, it’s working. “It’s been really cool to see the formation of these relationships,” he says, describing clubgoers who start out the night as strangers “and become friends by the end of the night.”

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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