Industry Weekly

[Evolution]

Seeing the big picture at Jewel, opening at Aria

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Jewel’s LED staircase entry is just the beginning of the new nightclub’s unique details.
Photo: Anthony Mair

Today, we begin to explore the many brilliant facets of Jewel.

Hakkasan Group’s newest nightlife venture, a 24,000-square-foot space at Aria on the Las Vegas Strip, is brimming with incredible detail. Two intimate floors designed by the Rockwell Group. A mezzanine level boasting significant GA space and a bar plus five exclusive themed VIP skyboxes, like the European salon-inspired Gallery and the sports-themed G.O.A.T. First-of-its-kind technology seamlessly incorporated into the architecture and sound design.

As soon as the doors open tonight, all eyes will be on these details and how they form the experience. But as we get ready to go inside Jewel, let’s look at the big picture.

Simply put, Aria is the hottest resort on the Strip right now. Its grandeur has been overlooked, mostly because it debuted at the height of the recession with the CityCenter project in late 2009. It was already the pinnacle of modern luxury on Las Vegas Boulevard, and yet recent, refreshing additions have created a phenomenon. Its restaurant lineup is unparalleled. And with the debut of Jewel, the final piece of the puzzle is placed.

“Nightlife is an integral part of the Las Vegas scene and in partnering with Hakkasan Group, the preeminent operator in the industry, we will offer a distinct experience unique to our resort,” Bobby Baldwin, president of Aria, said during his fall announcement.

Knowing how crucial Aria’s club component would be, Hakkasan Group and the Rockwell Group set out to blow minds, just as they did in creating Omnia at Caesars Palace.

“We needed to make sure it was compelling, not just something that felt like renovating what was Haze into a new thing,” says James Algate, Hakkasan’s vice president of entertainment. “We want to change everyone’s perspective when you come into this venue, and we believe we’ve done that. We did the same when changing Studio 54 into Hakkasan, and with turning Pure into Omnia—completely different feelings and atmospheres.”

Jewel also manages to lay the groundwork for its entertainment lineup within its opening weekend, featuring Jamie Foxx as opening-night host and fast-rising EDM stars The Chainsmokers. “That’s diversity of programming, and that’s what we want to do,” Algate says.

Focus a bit tighter and notice not only how well Jewel fits at Aria, but how it rests in Hakkasan’s portfolio. With a capacity of around 2,000, Jewel affords a much more intimate experience for clubgoers, yet doubles down on spectacle and big-name talent.

“We’re trying to give everyone a different experience and not marginalize our existing [venues],” Algate says. “We’ve had a clear vision from the start on what we wanted to achieve and put in a large amount of effort and thought to make sure we don’t end up duplicating things we’ve done in the past.”

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Brock Radke

Brock Radke has been writing about Las Vegas for almost two decades. He currently serves as editor-at-large covering entertainment and ...

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