Look for a new nightclub in the near future at Wynn Las Vegas, as control of La Bête is being handed over to Victor Drai and Jesse Waits of Drai's After-Hours and Cy Waits, Jesse's twin brother and former general manager of Tabú ultralounge.
All three have been given a percentage of ownership in the still-unnamed nightspot, though it is abundantly clear after speaking with the Waits brothers for just a few minutes that their motivation comes more from a desire to excel than profit.
While Steve Wynn is involved with the club's new conceptualization and design, Cy says the man largely responsible for redrawing the Strip has told them that the old La Bête is the stage and it's up to them to perform.
"Steve has been there for us, supporting us," says Cy. "He said if it feels right to you, do it."
The troubled club has suffered from misjudgments in layout and marketing, both of which the new team is eager to address.
"It didn't go as well as they expected, but the place has so much potential—that's what Victor saw in it," says Jesse.
"It was never locals-friendly," adds Cy, "but it's a beautiful spot in a beautiful hotel."
Aiming to change the feel from luxurious restaurant to luxurious club, part of the multimillion-dollar renovation will include creating the ability for customers to easily do laps around the room and the stunning patios, repositioning booths to face into the dance floor, bringing in carpets of black and dark red, shaving down the wide pillars, and introducing candles and a Steve Wynn favorite—paintings.
With the club's entrance at the base of a staircase, the bottom landing area will become a sophisticated lounge, with martinis and champagne on the menu, gaming tables, and a DJ spinning house. Inside, the main room and patios will each have their own sound, with DJs to be recruited from the local talent pool and LA and San Francisco, and playing a range of music, including mash-ups of hip-hop and rock.
One thing they don't expect to have to change is the existing staff.
"We've got an amazing crew," says Cy, "host-wise, cocktail servers ... an amazing staff."
"We're consistent with how we treat people," adds Jesse, "from bar-backs to waitresses to managers."
Both brothers know of what they speak, having worked their own ways up through the business, with Jesse starting as a bar-back and Cy as security, both for the House of Blues years ago.
In speaking of the type of crowd they want to attract, Cy might as well be describing the brothers' entire club management philosophy: "We're not quantity people, we're quality people, rich or poor."
One of Las Vegas' most desired bachelors is putting himself up for grabs. Marc Jay, director of marketing at Ice and one of the stars of Spike TV's The Club, is the grand prize in the metaclub's Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo release party. According to Jay, he was picked because he's European (British) and has an accent (also British). "American women always like accents ... when we were doing the TV show, for instance, and the show was airing, everyone would get 10 or 15 e-mails a week and I'd get four times, five times that amount."
"Being in Vegas is an incredibly hard place to date," Jay says. "I think I've only met one girl here that I've actually dated and enjoyed being with, and at the moment I'm single, and they all know that, so they said, 'You have to do this, it's so perfect for you.'"
In looking for a love-match, Jay puts personality first, hoping to meet a girl who is "as normal as possible," and doesn't party too hard. Despite his role as the public face for the city's most successful stand-alone club, Jay doesn't drink or smoke. He adds that looks count, of course, but he has no preference for blondes, brunettes or redheads.
As well as enjoying Jay's company for the evening, the winner gets a room at Mandalay Bay, a spa package at Mandalay, dinner at Charlie Palmer's, a pair of Gravure diamond earrings, a limo ride to Ice, champagne and flowers. As a bonus, Jay promises to teach them "correct English," so they'll end the night with an accent.
In order to win, women have to answer the question: If you were stranded on a deserted island with Marc Jay, what three things would you bring? Submissions should be e-mailed to
[email protected]; the best entries will be selected and entered into a raffle to be held at Ice on August 10. The entrant must be present to win.
"You never know, I could meet the woman of my dreams."