Nightlife

Five years of Tao

Looking back at the mega-club’s half-decade in Vegas

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Rub-A-Dub-Dub. Got anymore room in the tub?
Photo: Mikey McNulty

Spirituality first met sin five years ago. Delectable dining enticed guests before debauchery lured them upstairs. And don’t forget those girls in the tubs …

Tao has stood the test of time in a city that’s easily distracted by new shiny things. Five years after opening, the restaurant/mega-club inside the Venetian continues to rack up impressive awards and maintain its status as a playground for the stars, even as it evolves to embrace the interests of more music-driven clubgoers. To celebrate Tao’s milestone—and the more than 5 million partiers who’ve come to the Asian bistro/nightclub—we asked the people behind the parties to reflect on their most memorable moments:

• “It’s amazing to see people from all over the world get blown away by the party that we throw day in and day out,” says Hing Yip Yim, Tao’s director of nightclub operations. “I hate to sound so cliché, but I truly feel from the bottom of my heart that every night is the best.”

Tao Facts

210,000
Total bottles sold
125,000 and 20,000
Roses and bags of petals used
25,000+
Giant Fortune Cookie desserts (complete with naughty fortunes) enjoyed

Nightlife nirvana at Tao

• “For me, one of the most exciting things at Tao was creating such a successful industry party,” says co-owner and operator Jason Strauss. “Our first Worship Thursday we had 1,200 people, and by the end of our first month there were 3,000 people experiencing our industry night each week. Now, five years later, Tao’s Worship Thursday remains the most highly attended weekly party in the country.”

• “My most memorable nights—and mornings—would have to be when Jay-Z hosts,” says cocktail server Joey Williams. “Anytime Jigga Man comes to town it’s already a massive event, but when he comes to Tao it turns into an experience. The last time he hosted I had the pleasure of being his and Beyoncé’s waitress. He rocked the mic like a true MC and had guests like Diddy, LeBron James, Rihanna and Jamie Foxx.”

• “I really love the Kim Kardashian birthday [parties],” says Mike Snedegar, who works in entertainment and marketing. “I’ve been doing events with the family since 2006, and every year they get bigger and bigger. This last birthday for Kim was surreal. I have never experienced that level of excitement and screaming from crowds. It truly was like Kardashian mania.”

• “My favorite night every year, I have to selfishly admit, are my birthday parties,” says Bob Shindelar, Tao’s director of VIP services. “I always make sure to have different themes and keep it interesting and fun for my friends. Themes like the carnival fun house or the ultra-tourist theme of Vegas Vacation. Whatever it is, it manages to be a good party and bring out both the Henderson schoolteacher and who’s who of Vegas nightlife.”

Are you a fan of Tao who wouldn’t dare miss the party? The club’s big birthday bash takes place November 6, and Worship Thursdays marks its five-year anniversary on November 11. If you’re in the mood, you can add to the 35,000 bottles of champagne popped during Tao’s first five years.

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