And the Winner is …

XS, the best mega-club in America

Quantity doesn’t always mean quality, but more is more in Las Vegas nightlife—especially when that “more” is at the top of the 2010 Nightclub & Bar Top 100 list.

Las Vegas dominated annual index, with Tao, Pure, The Bank and sister clubs Tryst and XS eclipsing the top five, XS in front of them all.

“It’s obviously a great honor,” XS managing partner Jesse Waits says. “The club is such a big success [but] I was a little bit scared, going into the recession.”

He says the glittering nightspot at Encore sees an average of 7,000-8,000 people through its doors most Saturday nights.

XS unseated last year’s winner, Tao, to claim the No. 1 spot in the Top 100, and was also named New Club of the Year and Mega-Club of the Year in the 2010 Nightclub & Bar Awards (formerly the Five Star Awards).

Tao, meanwhile, was bumped to second place on the Top 100 but was given the Nightclub & Bar Award for Nightclub of the Year.

The Top 100 listing is based on total revenue (2009), while the Nightclub & Bar Awards are based on nominations from within the industry and are ultimately judged by a panel of industry experts. All winners were announced on Feb. 3.

Other Nightclub & Bar Award winners include the Hard Rock Hotel’s notorious pool party, Rehab, which won Ongoing Promotion of the Year; Rain’s Saturday night headliner, Paul Oakenfold, who captured the Resident DJ category; the Palms, which won Single Promotion of the Year for Midsummer Night’s Dream; and Blush, which was recognized as Ultra-Lounge of the Year.

More than 235 entries were received for the 14 various Nightclub & Bar Awards, with 18 clubs vying for Mega-Club title and 21 clubs competing for New Club of the Year.

Although Tao is undeniably one of the city’s hottest nightclubs, it wasn’t eligible for the Mega-Club award because that category is reserved for venues 15,000 square feet or larger. (Tao occupies more than 44,000 square feet across three floors at the Venetian yet the club itself is only 10,000 square feet. The restaurant, lounge and pool deck make up the rest.)

A 40,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor playground, XS beat out fellow finalists Pacha NYC (New York), Stingaree (San Diego) and Las Vegas’ own Rain for the honor of Mega-Club of the Year. Infusion Lounge (San Francisco), Playhouse Hollywood (Los Angeles) and Voyeur (West Hollywood) were also nominated for New Club of the Year.

The Nightclub & Bar Top 100 and Nightclub & Bar Awards are announced every year in advance of the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show, which will take over the Las Vegas Convention Center—and the city’s nightlife scene—on March 8-10.