A&E

Sizing up KAOS after its big debut weekend

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Marshmello amps up the party on the first day of KAOS Dayclub, April 6 at the Palms.
Denise Truscello/Getty Images

KAOS Grand Opening

It’s been four years since a true megaclub opened in Las Vegas, Omnia at Caesars Palace. Since then, new or renovated nightclub spaces have been trending smaller and focusing on creating more intimate and customizable experiences. We’ve seen it with Jewel at Aria, Intrigue at Wynn and most recently at Park MGM with the innovative On the Record.

The team at the Palms threw that strategy out the window. KAOS is 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor party space, which might be hard to imagine if you’re familiar with Vegas’ other giants. It’s bigger than Omnia, Hakkasan, Encore Beach Club and XS, but if you cut it up into nightclub (indoor) and dayclub (outdoor), then KAOS is another intimate nightspace and the biggest pool party club in town. But you can’t do that because it uses most of its acreage every night (or at least it did for the past four nights), changing the flow of the party between two stages and keeping guests thrilled and guessing what would happen next. It’s the best kind of chaos.

The 29,000-square-foot nightclub is a multi-tiered spherical kaleidoscope of color and sound. Moving from the pool into this space is like boarding a spaceship, and the Tesla coil disco balls that “play” music at the center of the ceiling only add to the sci-fi vibes. There’s ample bar space at the back, like a concession concourse at a mini-arena, and a tight dancefloor facing up to a DJ booth that allows its artist-of-the-evening to play to both indoor and outdoor crowds.

The second stage sits between the two main pools outside, a flexible performance area visited by Marshmello, J Balvin, Kaskade, the Zac Brown Band and others over opening weekend. That’s a lot of different stuff. Damien Hirst’s now infamous “Demon With Bowl” statue dominates to the west, planted in the middle of a pool and surrounded by cabanas and the two restaurant patio spaces of Greene St. Kitchen and Shark.

Travis Scott performs at KAOS on April 5.

Travis Scott performs at KAOS on April 5.

Unless the venue is going to continue packing in record-breaking crowds every day, moving around the 73,000-square-foot KAOS Dayclub is pretty easy, making it the best kind of pool club: one you can enjoy without buying a cabana, daybed or bottle service setup. There are four huge bars around its perimeter, and the larger pool to the east end of the club creates a bit of an oasis amid the insanity. Every other second-level cabana is outfitted with its own private pool cantilevered up to the edge of the overlook, creating yet another cool Instagram shot when those sparkling blue mini-pools are filled with party people. Everything about KAOS’ design is impressive, including the hotel tower-sized LED screen flashing above it … and we won’t even get into the food and booze packages. Another time.

It’s worth noting that KAOS is an instant success because it builds on everything that’s come before it. It’s long been true that there’s no nightclub environment in the world like the one we have in Las Vegas, and the Palms has pushed this style of entertainment to the next level, borrowing successful innovations from the competition and expanding upon them. Tao Beach was the first Vegas venue built specifically for day parties. Wet Republic and Marquee Dayclub brought new ways to party and different sounds to the Strip. Encore Beach Club added luxury and superlative service, Drai’s Beachclub was the first to throw concert-length live performances into the mix, and both of those venues, along with XS Nightclub, advanced the trend of nighttime pool parties.

KAOS looks and feels like it can do all of the above, not surprising considering many members of the team that engineered it have been leading these advancements for years. That’s a great thing for the Palms, an exceptional story for the nightlife industry in general and an even greater thing for Las Vegas, which is what matters most.

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Brock is an award-winning writer and reporter who has been documenting life in Las Vegas for 20 years. He currently ...

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