The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

May 6, 2013

Casino bosses transform Sin City into Club City

(Continued)

XS boasts that its layout is modeled on "the sexy curves of the human body." In practice, the design steers people to the bars on a back wall.

Female bartenders, their long hair draped over sequined black corsets, serve $15 shots of Jack Daniels whiskey, coordinating their pouring to the skull-rattling bass and synthetic blares vibrating around them. A supermarket a few miles away sells a bottle of Jack containing 17 shots for $16.

When newbies push through the swaying crowd to grab a table, they find that Vegas has monetized sitting, too. Patrons pay a $10,000 beverage minimum upfront to claim any of the dozen plush banquettes nearest the dance floor.

By the time Guetta hit his stride on this night, all of the club's 95 tables were full, including the cheaper seats away from the action and one uber-VIP table on stage. Near the bigger-than-your-apartment, 1,100-square-foot dance floor, four scantily clad girls gyrated in front of three men wearing suits and skinny ties.

One of them, Thomas Park, had filled the table with 2004 vintage Perrier-Jouet champagne and Gray Goose magnums — for $700 and $1,300 a pop.

"We have a lot to spend," said Park, who is in his mid-30s and works as a relator in Canada. "That's why we have all the girls."

Casinos learned long ago that some VIPs don't see the point of being VIPs unless everyone can see them being VIPs, so clubs oblige big spenders with spotlights and velvet ropes cordoning off their mini-empires.

But not everyone at a table is a high roller. Some are splurging, or sharing the cost with their friends. Superstar DJ Kaskade, a Vegas regular, said he hears from fans who saved for months to pay for a table and a weekend of fun in Vegas.

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