As Las Vegas prepares to celebrate its 50th birthday next month, the city has become the epicenter of a fight over what it means to be a club in the city, and what constitutes a “candy shop.”
The battle has pitted clubs from the likes of Nike, the golfing club of choice for both the NFL and NBA, and the UFC, who’ve both invested in clubs.
The city is a gambling destination, and as a result, clubs from those groups are seen as legitimate options for locals.
The NFL is currently negotiating with the UFC to bring the Super Bowl to Las Vegas in 2020.
However, the two sides have been feuding over whether or not the NFL will play in Las, with both sides reportedly pushing for an additional stadium in Vegas.
And while clubs like the UFC have been around for a long time, the Las Vegas Strip has become a new hotbed for clubs.
Clubs have sprung up in the downtown, the Wynn, the Palace and, of course, the Mandalay Bay.
There are also a few in the desert.
But as Vegas prepares for its 50-year birthday, clubs are on the rise, and clubs that cater to the masses have popped up on the Las Strip in the past year or two.
According to a report by the Las Nevada Review, clubs have been growing in popularity in the resort town, with nearly one-third of the adult population in Las being a member of a club, according to data from the state of Nevada.
Club owners and operators have also begun to move into new locations, and in some cases, they are getting away from the Strip altogether.
“The casino, the strip, the casinos are all crowded with clubs,” Las Vegas resident Tom Ojeda told the Review.
“We’re going to continue to have clubs.”
Club owners like Ojada are quick to point out that they are not trying to push their clubs in a city that is already full of them.
“There’s not a lot of space to have them, and they’re not being forced to stay,” Ojadas said.
“You can go to any strip club you want.
There’s no need for us to be there.”
One of the club owners in the area, Matt Calkins, said that the growth in popularity of the clubs is a result of the city becoming more welcoming to the clubs, as people become more aware of their value and the clubs’ importance to the community.
“It’s been a slow but steady growth, and it’s really great that it’s been happening, because it’s so important for the local economy,” Calkens said.
One of Calkers favorite places to watch the fights is The Wynn.
“I always go there,” he said.
But not everyone is happy about it.
“If you want to have a drink at The Wynns, you better bring your own drink,” one resident said.
In addition, some locals say that club owners are trying to capitalize on the city’s reputation as a gambling hot spot.
“They’re taking advantage of people that come here to gamble,” resident Jessica O’Neil told the Reporter.
“Because they don’t have any clubs, they can take advantage of it.
There was a guy that was trying to get a room in a hotel that had no clubs.
And they let him in, and he just spent $1,000 on a room.
And the next day, he was here.
That’s what it’s about.”
According to the Review, the number of clubrooms in Las is estimated to be around 2,000, with clubs in some of the casinos having capacity of more than 500.
The Strip is also becoming more tourist-friendly.
In fact, many casinos are planning to open more tourist attractions to make up for the loss of clubbing.
However this will be hard to maintain if the clubs don’t grow in popularity.
“Las Vegas is a huge, huge, big city,” Las Nevadas club owner Tom O’Neill told the Las Review.
He said that there is room for clubs, and that they just have to keep their doors open and continue to provide entertainment.
“A lot of the places that have the biggest capacity and the biggest clubs are just the wrong kind of places,” O’Neills said.