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Fun for all ages: The Vegas nightclub experience grows up

Fun for all ages: The Vegas nightclub experience grows up
It's like this, but you can sit down. (By Al Powers, PowersImagery.com)

Are you past the point of enjoying the "typical" Vegas nightclub experience, assuming it's overcrowded, over-sweaty, and hours (and hours) of standing? Not to worry -- Vegas is increasingly focusing its energy on its more, ahem, mature visitors, aka, the 40-plus crowd, many of whom want an over-the-top Vegas experience minus the loud noises and copious moisture.

The nightlife scene is, in general, shifting more toward immersive, concert-like experiences, said Richard Alexander, executive director of marketing for Hakkasan Group, which owns Hakkasan at the MGM Grand and Omnia at Caesars Palace. These days, he says, the VIP experience doesn't just buy you a table and some super-expensive bottles. It's now all about personalization, access and lasting, unforgettable moments.

So how does that translate into reality? The two-story LED screen in Hakkasan's main room has a library of about 4,000 different graphic designs, which can be customized for any occasion. The massive, spaceship-like chandelier at Omnia changes color, rotates and spits out confetti, depending on the event. Oversized VIP booths around Hakkasan's dance floor give guests a front-row seat to the talent, including Tiesto, Calvin Harris or Zedd, and after-hours conversations and pictures can be arranged (think: backstage passes). Want a bottle of bubbly? A carnival-style aerialist will spin and flip her way down from the ceiling, bottle in hand, delivering it straight to you.

Hakkasan -- Vegas' largest nightclub -- has a Rolodex (so to speak) of presentations (or activations, in club parlance), that they can call on for any occasion. As part of a recent presentation for a 40-something Superman-obsessed guy named John, the entire staff wore Superman outfits, glassware was engraved with a "J" in Superman script, the DJ created a personalized theme song featuring the Superman soundtrack, and, to create a flying effect, the bussers walked around with the Superman-clad waitresses lifted above their heads.

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Then there was the bachelor party for the 30-something doctor that featured all-things dinosaur -- from life-like costumes to fog and a final stampede.

For other, only slightly-less memorable experiences, adults can head to the Mezzanine on Hakkasan's fifth level and enjoy a private, VIP environment while enjoying the energy of the dance floor from above (vs. from within). And then there's the outdoor terrace at the three-level Omnia, which boasts gorgeous panoramic views of the Strip. Open-air areas are playful, romantic and decidedly lower key than the main floor, with sparkling lights embedded into the floor and walls, etched glass light fixtures, and lampposts that provide a soft glow after dark.

Perhaps the best part for the "grown and sexy" crowd? Omnia's state-of-the art air conditioning system. It keeps your drinks cold, and minimizes sweat on the dance floor -- just in case you want to bust some moves, for old-time's sake.

-Andrea Kahn, Custom Publishing Writer