Yes, Going to Clubs in Vegas is Expensive

A table reservation requires guests to spend between $1,000 and $10,000, depending on the night, and among its perks is access to a special line. The table line is the line you’re supposed to see from other lines and think: Why am I not in that line? Or: Why didn’t my boyfriend get me into that line?

I have a diverse circle of friends—some are homebodies saving up money to take weeklong trips around the world every couple of months, some prefer concerts over readings (or vice versa), dive bars over lounges, restaurants over pretty much anything else, and then there are the club-goers—the ones who love dancing while Mark or Samantha Ronson do their thing, can stay out all night, and drop hundreds or thousands of dollars within a span of a few hours, or convince people (usually men) to drop hundreds or thousands of dollars on them. Spending all that money is easy to do if you’re looking for “bottle service.”

GQ has a story looking at Vegas nightlife and club culture, and includes tidbits like Pitbull “throwing thousands of dollars in the air like it’s just napkins,” a prince from Indonesia spending “$90,000 a day at the club, for weeks at a time,” and, of course, people like Kim Kardashian who get paid $100,000 to simply show up at a club for 20 minutes.

I have been to the club a handful of times with friends and have discovered that it’s not really my thing, but there has also been exactly one time when I experienced the sort of club-going outing described in the GQ story. I was 21 and in Las Vegas to celebrate the birthday of a college friend. We had a massive suite at the Bellagio that was paid for by the birthday girl’s generous (and wealthy) relatives. The room also guaranteed us a table at some fancy club I can’t recall the name of, and I just remember sitting at the table and having champagne and cigars (which I pretended to smoke, because I don’t smoke) and thinking, “Is this happening? People pay all that money to just sit here for an hour?” It was interesting to experience, but decidedly not for me. Especially when I saw the bill (which, thankfully, was also paid by the generous relative).

I’d love to hear if anyone else has had a similar experience.

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17 Comments / Post A Comment

Ktbspa (#2,054)

Last year I went to Vegas for a bachelorette party and lucky for me (and my bank account) the maid of honor met a promoter for Jet the first night. This guy got us in without a cover, got us tickets for free drinks, and a free table with bottle service until someone actually bought the table. A once in a lifetime experience that only ended up costing me $10 for my share of a limo to the club.

I always find this “bottle service” trend quite funny because in post-Soviet countries, having a bottle of vodka served at your table to share is the cheapest and lowest-class way to drink (in some bars and clubs a draft beer costs more than a liter of decent-to-bad vodka).

peanutbutterpie (#1,450)

YES. I went to Vegas last year for a dear friend’s wedding. The first night we went out and because I planned it and am relatively un-wealthy we got some thing where we did not have to wait in line but did not have bottle service. It was fun, but exhausting, because if you do not have bottle service there is literally no where to sit! You can only stand in heels for so many hours and at the end of it I thought I might never walk again.

The next night, after the wedding, a friend of the couple quite generously got us a huge table and bottle service and it was amazinggg. I almost feel like I never want to go to a club again without doing bottle service (even though I acknowledge it is totally ridiculous and basically a scam) so being the broke-ass that I am, that is probably the end of my club-going career.

Coach T (#1,240)

I went to school in Miami. I wasn’t there for long before learning that I.hate.clubs. Give me a dirty dive bar, a pitcher of beer and karaoke any day of the week.

Because so many of my friends enjoyed the clubbing experience, I would join them about once a semester if, and only if, we didn’t have to wait in line, we had bottle service, and our own sitting area. Dancing on banquettes requires a lot of rest periods. Also banquette dancing is key unless you want to subject yourself to the sweaty dance floor and all the uninvited grinding that comes with it. All in all, I never really enjoyed it but it was at least fun to get dressed up and waltz up to the front door of the hottest club in South Beach past 100s of people waiting in line.

On the other hand, I went to Vegas last summer expecting to hate it. However, almost as soon as we got there, my group of girlfriends and I met a group of nice British boys with a sad story. One of their friends had died fighting in Afghanistan. In his will, he allocated over $100,000 of his life insurance policy to this group of friends, to be spent specifically on a trip to Vegas. They were incredibly generous and spent much of the weekend making sure we were having fun. I still didn’t love the clubs, but at least I was in a dance circle with a bunch of goofy Brits rather than being molested from behind my a random dude every five minutes.

cmcm (#267)

I prefer dive bars and places not full of assholes, but my sister (who lives in NYC) is all into the club scene, and when I last visited her she insisted we go to this AMAAAZING CLUB. She knew some promoters or whatever, so we got a table and free bottle service. Her promoter friend kind of forced us to dance on the couches, and the music was terrible and everyone looked really bored and were just staring at each other. Even though I was pretty drunk, I remember thinking, “This is the worst place I can possibly imagine.”

Megano! (#124)

Uh I have been in a Monaco casino or two, but that’s about it.
Also it’s “da club”

Marissa (#467)

I think I could enjoy Vegas if I had a ton of $ to drop on shows and fine dining but a big no thank you, sir, to all the hot, crowded, overpriced clubs. Also, casinos creep me out so hard.

ThatJenn (#916)

Wow, this is… incredibly foreign to me. We have “clubs” in this college town but they’re nothing like this in any way (OK, I’ve only ever been to the gay club and certainly it is nothing like this). Why is this fun? I mean, I’m hella cheap and never bought more than one of the $5-10 drinks at the one place I did go in town, I don’t like “being seen,” and I also don’t like feeling like I need to stay somewhere loud & crowded to get my money’s worth of something, so I’m clearly not the target audience, but I guess it’s the exclusivity that’s fun? Or something?

rorow (#1,665)

vegas is very, very fun if you’re female and there with one-three other girlfriends, and can put on the hot girl disguise.

if you’re with a large group, or any dudes, there’s no point.

Went to Vegas with several good-looking girlfriends and we were able to skip the line at some club just by asking the doorman. He led us in, gave us a round of drinks, got us to a table with bottle service. The catch? Several men were also at the table and had clearly requested ladies. In fact, we replaced the first round of ladies who were apparently deemed unworthy. Ok, so maybe I sold my soul for some free vodka and champagne. But… yeah, Vegas is fun.

shannowhamo (#845)

@missedconnections Ug, I’m going to Vegas for a friend’s bachelorette party (which I am planning, with no plans to go to such a club) BUT some of her friends might have other ideas and they are all skinny, pretty gals who like to party whereas I am a non-skinny, non-party girl so we shall see, I truly do not want to be absorbed into that situation (since I will most assuradly be deemed unworthy by that kind of “gentleman”!)

@shannowhamo Oh, it was fun. It’s not like I’m ever going to see those guys again. Look at it as a chance to be as offensive as you want!

TheDilettantista (#1,255)

Oh I love Vegas but I’ve only ever been with my parents (who have a time share there and go every year and are those affluent middle-aged people to whom a certain part of Vegas caters). The first time was for my 21st birthday, the second was a big family trip for my grandmother’s 80th birthday (I know). During the big family trip my cousin and I went to Moon (I think it was called), the Playboy-themed club at the top of the Palms (where Real World Vegas was filmed). My cousin had a friend at Dental School at UNLV, and he had a friend who was a party promoter,and the party promoter friend enabled us to skip the looooong line (amazing!) and got us right into the club with zero cover (yay!). The group was two ladies (my cousin and me), my cousin’s straight male dentist friend, the party promoter (gay male), and the party promoter’s SUPER RICH but super obnoxious and super drunk date (party promoter didn’t really want to be on a date with this guy, but owed a client a favor). The rich gay decided to adopt me as his “hag” (I hate that term), and I actually got turned into a tug-of-war rope at one point because my cousin was trying to rescue me but the rich gay wanted to corral me into a corner to make me his pet or something? Anyways, my cousin and her friend won the tug-of-war, thank goodness, and then we ran downstairs and hid in the Playboy-themed casino where all the dealers are aging bunnies, and then when we figured we’d lost the rich gay we went back into the club, where someone gave my cousin and me wristbands for FREE GREY GOOSE ALL NIGHT (yay) and then the rapper who hosts Pimp My Ride played a surprise concert. AND WE DANCED A LOT and I wore heels and my feet hurt but you have to wear heels to a Vegas club, right? The scene was SO NOT MY SCENE at all, but it was way super fun, but I also will probably never do that again. Also FREE GREY GOOSE I didn’t spend ANY MONEY not even on a cab because the dental student gave us a ride back to our hotel!!! The end.

guenna77 (#856)

closest i ever came was during a cruise to Bermuda. while drinking at a dive bar in port, my brother made friends with a guy who turned out to be the owner of a club in the next place we were going on the island. my brother brought a crowd of people we’d met on the ship to his club the next day, and dropped a fair amount of money promising to bring even more people the next night. so the next night we walk in and lo and behold, the owner had given our core group an elevated, roped off VIP section, complete with it’s own security guard and private bar. i had never felt so cool in my young life. it was pretty heady to be able to nod at the burly bouncer to let people in or keep them out, and we’re not even talking about Vegas or other real high end places. the power to grant exclusivity, declare who’s inside and who’s outside, is hard to resist.

never (#2,071)

I’ve only had one semi-experience with bottle service. A few years back, I went clubbing with some friends in London — they were club rats at the time. Before we went out, they called up the promoters they knew, and then we took a taxi down to where the clubs generally were and hopped from one place to another. If the club asked for a cover or if the promoter didn’t meet us at the back door, we moved on to the next place. The bottle service part that I remember was: being led into a room off the main club, where there were lots of guys (the promoters and their clients) standing at stocked tables and lots of very hot girls dancing around. The girls were nearly all Russian and my friends said they were likely escorts. We were supposed to flirt with the random dumbasses who’d bought the tables for the night, in return for their booze etc. I *hated* it. I felt like a piece of meat, and there was nothing to do expect try to look hot and not get too bored. It was like being a prop. I’ve never gone to a big deal club since, because after that experience, I dread them. But it probably didn’t help that the same night was an experiment in wearing wigs, so I had this hot, heavy, sliding-off rug of Vietnamese hair on my head.

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