Your Host: Sam Whitney
As the general manager of Tao Nightclub, Sam Whitney looks over just about every aspect of the sprawling venue inside The Venetian. He really gets into the details of day-to-day operations, such as overseeing staffing and managers, inventory and nightly reports after every single party. Whitney moved to Las Vegas in March 2011 and started his local nightlife career with Tao Group, so he knows the ins and outs of the operation like the back of his hand.
Tao has a number of bottle presentations to offer, but the club’s most extravagant display is reserved for only high-rollers who can meet the $1,600 bottle minimum for the big blowout. Whitney calls it the “Bottle Fairy” presentation, which includes an aerialist riding a zip line that is suspended from the ceiling of the club.
“She flies across the dance floor, from the LED stage to the catwalk, and hand-delivers the bottle to the servers waiting on the other side,” he says. Then, of course, the bottle makes its way to the correct table through the throng of excited partygoers. “The servers walk the bottle to the table in what we call a ‘light train,’ which is all the servers lined up, waving LED flashlights.”
Tao’s entertainment calendar is always full of top-tier talent. On any given weekend, you can catch DJs and performers such as DJ Khaled, French Montana, DJ Mustard, Jermaine Dupri and Ty Dolla $ign at Tao. Las Vegas favorites also regularly man the decks, including DJ Five, Justin Credible, DJ Politik and Eric Dlux. One new addition to the squad is DJ Inferno, who creates his beats and music live, rather than sticking to a traditional DJ set.
Tao also regularly hosts a plethora of pop-culture royalty within its walls. Past guests include Kim Kardashian West, Kanye West, Beyoncé and Jay Z, as well as professional athletes and social-media stars.
Just upstairs from the nightclub is Tao Beach, the venue’s daytime pool-party space. The sunny spot opens in March for the season and features all of the beats, bottles and babes you can expect from the nightclub—just in a different setting with a different vibe. “In my opinion, it’s probably one of the best parties in the city because of the way the venue is set up,” Whitney says. “You’re incorporated into the party wherever you are. You have a great view of the DJ wherever you are.”
Tao Beach offers daybeds, cabanas and a fabulous food menu among other amenities to keep customers comfy and satisfied. “The daytime pool parties themselves are a reason to come to Vegas,” Whitney says. The sun might’ve just set on summer, but this is Las Vegas—there are only a few short months to wait until partygoers are splashing at Tao Beach again.