After the success of Tao and Lavo, you might think that the people at Tao Group wouldn’t have any fears when opening their newest nightclub venture, Marquee at the newly-opened Cosmopolitan. But apparently owning one of the top nightclubs in the country doesn’t do much to subside your worries.
“Still nervous that you’re about to throw a party that no one’s going to show up to,” said Louis Abin, a managing partner of Tao Group, prior to the opening of The Cosmopolitan. “I think that you always have the uneasiness. I’m confident that the people who do come are going to really appreciate what we worked so hard on.”
Marquee opens New Year’s Eve in grand fashion with international and resident DJ Erick Morillo spinning the crowd. The club is 60,000 square feet and features three rooms with three different vibes and an attached dayclub with two pools (for the warmer months), several private plunge pools for VIPs and bungalows that let guests sleep just outside of the nightclub.
“This is not like any other venue that we have,” Abin said. “This is really like something that you may find in Ibiza, but I don’t think anybody’s done something quite like this.”
The concept behind Marquee was to make music the center of attention. So in order to make that happen, Tao Group consulted V Squared Labs, which helped build elements of Rain Nightclub in the Palms and ROK Vegas at New York-New York. The result was a 40-foot LED screen and a DJ stage. The two work together, giving each DJ their own digital identity that will be shown on the screen.
Furthering the efforts to make music the focal point, the main area of the club is stationed like an old-school lounge where the band played on a stage, the dance floor was immediately in front and booths encircled them both.
And while getting quality DJs is always a priority in Vegas, Marquee needed to up the ante when staffing resident DJs.
“They’re very difficult to wrangle,” Abin said. “I mean, you used to be able to cut deals over a couple cocktails and a swap of a business card, now you’re dealing with major booking agencies that represent these DJs. The timing of the DJs and getting the calendar set is a lot harder than it used to be.”
The main room will feature primarily house music, which meant Morillo was a big grab for the club. Kaskade, one of the top DJs in the world, will take over the turntables on Jan. 1.
While guests could easily fall in love with the main room, there is plenty more to offer at Marquee. Upon exiting the elevator to get to the club you are met by a bar, which is a great meeting place. To the left is the main room, but if you go right you will run into Boom Box.
Like a boom box, this room is small but powerful. The look of the room screams Lavo with dark accents filling up the small room. There isn’t much of a dance floor here, but when Hip-Hop, Top 40 and other dance-worthy music starts playing, it probably won’t matter.
Up one level is the Library, which resembles exactly that, well if your library had a bar and a billiards table. Hundreds of books about the history of Las Vegas are placed around the room. There is also plenty of dark woods and leather seating to make this room feel like an old-school speakeasy. And what really makes this room shine is that you can look down on the main room from here, while taking in a completely different musical vibe – usually funk and R&B – than the rest of the club.
“We’re hoping that people will get a little lost in the venue and kind of stumble upon some of these rooms and not make it a right-of-entry, that they have to go through one to get to another…” Abin said. “But we feel that this type of concept, this type of design goes hand-in-hand with the hotel so it’s a congruence experience.”
Vegas is used to star-studded openings that bring out the crowds, but here it isn’t first impressions that matter as much as keeping that energy going for the long run. Tao, even five years after it first opened, always finds ways to remain relevant and you can already see that logic taking course at Marquee.
“It’s a hard act to follow. We’re having Erick Morillo New Year’s Eve followed by Kaskade the following night so it’s definitely a 1-2 punch,” Abin said. “We definitely want to leave the city catching its breath after the weekend and we feel that after that happens we will try to time the press accordingly and just as that’s getting out there, then we follow that up with another act.”