Booming beats mean booming business in Vegas, as big-ticket DJs have become the city's real high rollers
When pioneering French DJ David Guetta first performed on the Vegas Strip in 2009, the crowds didn't get it. "It felt like they'd seen the world's best magician the day before, and now they were seeing the fancy, fun DJ," says Guetta, 47. "There was no scene."
Flash forward six years, and the scene has exploded. DJ-centric venues have opened all over the city, each bigger and more lavish than the last, culminating most recently in the 2013 opening of Hakkasan at the MGM Grand, an 80,000-square-foot nightclub and restaurant that cost a rumored $200 million. By 2014, seven of the country's 10 highest-grossing properties were in Vegas, according to Nightclub and Bar magazine. The publication estimates that XS, the ultra-luxe nightclub owned by The Wynn (and where Guetta has a residency), earned more than $100 million in 2014. To maintain momentum, it underwent a $10 million technology revamp in December.