It’s a sad fact of life: the coolest clubs come with the longest lines.
It’s partially because those clubs can be very discriminating when deciding who to let past the velvet rope. A group of gorgeous, flirty ladies looking for a good time? No need to read further; you’ll get in.
But what if you’re a group of single guys on the prowl? Or even a mixed group that just happens to be too large, or still have too many Y-chromosomes, or not be dressed to the nines?
That’s where a little strategy comes into play. Here are our tips for getting into the hottest of the cool clubs.
Part ways with wads of cash
A handful of options virtually guarantee that you will get past the line – if you’re willing to pay for them.
Pay for bottle service: This is pretty much the one guaranteed route to skipping lines, though it can get pricey: anywhere from several hundred dollars up to five figures, depending. But if you’ve got the cash, it’s actually often a pretty good deal: it’ll get you not just into the club but even into a special reserved VIP area, and it comes with top-shelf alcohol (that’s why it’s called “bottle service”). And trust us, the best clubs treat their patrons right: for an example peek behind the velvet rope at Marquee, check out this vivid Esquire article.
Go VIP: We’ve written about VIP service previously: it’s a way to get the full-on Vegas high-roller experience: limo service, special tee times, renting fancy cars and, perhaps most importantly, skipping lines. Services like V Card and Free Vegas Club Passes claim to be able to get you into the hottest clubs with no wait at all. You can also visit tourist sites like Vegas.com and BestofVegas.com and purchase nightclub tickets and packages. A word of warning: while these services will often work well, we’ve heard cases where they’re inconsistently recognized. The greatest, and final, power in skipping lines lies with the bouncer, and a single irritable or ignorant club bouncer can still refuse entry even with a VIP pass in hand.
It’s all about who you know
People with the right contacts can often get on unofficial lists and skip lines. Consider approaching, emailing or calling and respectfully requesting some assistance or advice in skipping lines from people who are likely to have club contacts, like club promoters/hosts or the hotel concierge.
For that matter, even taxi and limo drivers usually can and will offer to hook you up with entry to some club or another.
But the most important contact to get you into a club? Ladies.
No group will have more trouble getting past the velvet rope than a bunch of Y-chromosomes looking for a good time. Gatekeepers are under strict orders to maintain the right mix of guests inside, and that means absolutely no more than 50% guys. (Obviously that trend will reverse at gay-oriented hotspots.)
So if you’re a group of straight guys on your own, try to find some girls to join you before you enter the club. Charm them. Plead with them. Offer to buy them drinks. Pay their cover. (But remember that ‘no’ means try your luck elsewhere: women don’t like attitude any more than club bouncers do).
Just make sure you’re helping the gatekeeper maintain their desired balance inside the club.
Dress to impress
It’s their reputations that make the clubs so desirable and competitive.
Therefore, clubs have a vested interest in blocking those folks who will not enhance or maintain that reputation. Number one on the list to ensure you look like their desired patron: dress right. A full suit might be pushing it, but jeans are a no-go at the better clubs. In fact, stay away from clothes like:
- Baseball caps
- Jerseys or muscle shirts
- Tennis shoes
- Anything dirty or wrinkled
Now, keep in mind that you’ll see all of the above when you’re out and about; and you can risk wearing them if you have another guaranteed means of entry.
Many clubs will post dress codes online, so be sure to check those. But generally, if you’re planning on charming your way into a club, dress better than you think is really necessary.
Sometimes you just gotta wait
From time to time, despite doing every else right, you still end up with a brief wait. For example, if you pay for bottle service, you might not be able to get in immediately. (On the plus side, you usually end up waiting in a separate VIP line while others look on with envy.)
Vegas nightclubs, especially the major hotspots, differ from other places like New York or LA, in one important way: the wait is rarely for show. You’re unlikely to stand for an hour outside only to get inside and find the place empty; people come here to party, and the top clubs are never wanting for partiers. But nightclubs are legally required to enforce capacity limits; once they reach that limit, no one new can go inside until someone leaves.
So, bottom line, make sure you pack a little patience before your night out.
Settle for second best
The cream of the crop clubs can find literally hundreds or even thousands of people waiting in line on a Saturday night. The irony is that you’ll find pretty much an identical experience at the less trendy clubs; they’re just not the popular kids in the crowd this week.
So if you’re willing to forego the “see and be seen” part of the nightclub experience, you might opt for last year’s toast of the town nightclub instead.
Or, if you’re flexible, you might compromise in other ways. Go early, say around 10 p.m., before crowds will have built up. Or hit the hot spots in the middle of the week. Less competition means an easier time getting in.