There are, by rough estimate, three million nightclubs currently operating in Las Vegas.
In reality, the number of venues that would like you to classify them as a nightclub is closer to 40. And the number of nightclubs that would you like to classify them as one of the hottest nightclubs is also right at about 40.
Now, they can't all be the hottest clubs, right? This is why people go to LAX. Because instead of just talking about being hot, LAX is actually hot.
Located inside the Luxor, LAX came to Vegas in 2007 (there's an LAX in Los Angeles, too, and not just the airport).
The club operates as part of the Angel Management Family, which also counts Pure in Caesars Palace and Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel among its esteemed ranks. At 26,000 square feet, LAX is right in the middle of that group, size-wise.
With all that, on paper, LAX sounds a lot like the other three million clubs here, but the club immediately sets itself apart in person.
The entrance to LAX (set deep into the Luxor) is made up of huge, gothic-style gates that clubbers funnel through after they're done gawking. You might notice a space in the middle that the crowds are parted around, that's Noir Bar and we hesitate to tell you much more than that -- it's a little bit secretive (although if you do some digging, we're sure you'll figure it out).
Past the entranceway are dark, blue-lit stairwells that look like something you'd see in a room meant for laser tag, if laser tag were a lot cooler. The laser-tag stairs lead the way to a room that might feel a little bit cramped because it's full of a giant red-leather-padded centerpiece.
This room actually empty outs a little bit once it gets a little later (and everyone's already inside the club), so it's a good spot for a quick breather -- just don't linger.
Beyond that room, you can see the whole club. There are two floors to LAX, connected by a staircase that also serves as a stage for grand entrances from celebrities like Paris Hilton. You can make your grand entrance there, too, if you're so inclined, just don't trip because almost everyone would be able to witness it. And they'd probably laugh.
The lower level of LAX houses VIP seating, a dance floor and alcohol. The upper level of LAX houses VIP seating, a dance floor and alcohol. Somewhere in between those two levels, on a slightly elevated platform is the DJ booth.
It's not so much the elements that make up LAX that are important though -- it's the way they're presented.
The whole club is covered in interesting touches. There's a lot of red and black and low, sexy lighting (and some low, not-quite-as-sexy ceilings -- the club's built inside a building shaped like a pyramid, after all). Gothic accents in the same vein as the opening gates are all over the place, from the tables in the VIP areas to the banisters on the stairwell.
As a two-level club LAX could've turned into two separate parties existing in the same space, but instead it all works together. Views from the upper level overlook the lower level, with the dance floor right in the middle, which means you can see what almost everybody else down there is doing, even in certain VIP areas, so it makes for a sense of community and oneness. Or it makes for a sense of one giant blowout bash.
Despite not being around as long as other clubs, LAX already earned a place as a club that'll surprise you every time you stop by. In the summer of 2008, they hosted a series of surprise concerts, bringing in acts like The Game and Fat Joe for unannounced performances. Plus, there's almost always someone interesting sitting in VIP.
Sure, it's not like there are no other clubs in Vegas offering up some of these things, but ones that tie them all together like LAX does are a lot harder to find and with those three million clubs out there, do you really want to have to try them all?
Wait, don't answer that.
-- Review by Jamie Helmick