Intrigue Nightclub at the Wynn Unveiled: Q&A With Sean Christie

In a recent interview with the Las Vegas Sun, Wynn nightlife czar Sean Christie reveals Intrigue – a new club (taking up the old Tryst space) attempting to bring a fresh concept to the nightlife scene in Las Vegas.

The newest concept in nightlife, Intrigue, was revealed at Tryst’s “Final Affair” industry party, then the club with the iconic 90-foot waterfall closed Saturday night with DJ Dave Fogg, the venue’s opening and closing night party leader.

The 14,000-square-foot Intrigue will welcome 1,200 guests nightly, considerably smaller than many Las Vegas mega-clubs. The music will be contemporary party crossing genres for a high-energy dancing environment.

A few gems from the interview:

“If we find out that you’re tweeting or Instagramming or Snapchatting or Periscoping, we’re going to tell you to stop. And if you don’t stop, we’re going to ask you to leave, and we’re going to ask you to not come back because the great part of the financial freedom of a private club is it’s not there to make money.”

It would seem that Intrigue is attempting to make nightlife more intimate again – less about the DJ and more about the people and the venue.

One of the things we talked about with Tryst is that first of all financially we could probably pull it off in terms of paying people exorbitant amounts of money, DJs, to perform, or whatever it is because our check averages and things like that are high, but Tryst inherently is intimate. We’re not expanding the club in terms of the footprint. We’re just making it better, and it’s going to be a brand new club of, course, but actually more of what it is for me and for us as a team and Mr. Wynn, but really for the team that I work with every day, it’s boring to do the same thing time and time again.

It was exciting when we did Encore Beach Club and we brought in Kaskade, then XS started doing big DJs and we got together and tried to corner the market. All those things were organically exciting, but five years later that same level of excitement to do something new is not there.

We did not want to spend all this money so that we could put a pop star or EDM act or hip-hop star, we wanted to go back to the crowd and the people in the crowd having fun, not just staring at the performer.

With a smaller capacity, Intrigue will be able to focus more attention on each individual guest:

One club appears, and then its sister clubs become the same but bigger. Some are losing money because they’re paying the same as we are for DJs. When I go out, I say the same thing. There is no place for a person who doesn’t care about seeing a celebrity DJ. I also think that businesses are so focused on the DJ that they’re forgetting about the service of the customer.

Also something that we’re focusing on, there are all these amazing people who pay $30 to $40 to come in the club and spend $15 to $20 on a drink, those people don’t have the opportunity to have a wild moment at the bar, and they’re not given the same considerations that the person … we’re so focused on how does the table look and what are the petit fours trays and what are these great things that you can purchase for $10,000 and $20,000 that you do once in your lifetime so that you can talk about it with your friends.

We’re going to take that model so that the general-admission customer feels like someone cares about them more than just the table customer, and that’s one of our strategies. Everybody is a VIP.

There’s going to be an “invite only” section of the venue where social media is banned:

Please tell me about the club within Intrigue. Is that like Heart of Omnia at Omnia?

It’s completely different than that. When you walk down our stairs on the left-hand side, there’s a kitchen and it’s 1,400 square feet, and that club is a true private club and it’s invite only. So if you go to your example of Heart of Omnia, that would be a major nightclub in any other city; it’s a big room. This is a small room that holds just 150 people that’s a social media-free zone. It’s one of the policies.

How are you going to enforce that — no iPhones, no Androids? People will feel naked!

We’re going to try. First of all, it’s invite only. So if I invite you in and I tell you, Robin, look, you can have your phone because if somebody wants to text you or if your kids are at home and it’s an emergency, those things are important to stay connected, but if we find out that you’re tweeting or Instagramming or Snapchatting or Periscoping, we’re going to tell you to stop. And if you don’t stop, we’re going to ask you to leave. And we’re going to ask you to not come back because the great part of the financial freedom of the private club is it’s not there to make money.

So I don’t have to worry about. All of the finances that we’ve done for the club are for the main part of the club, and that was on purpose so that if we want to have 20 people in the room because there’s a celebrity or someone who’s discerning, we can do that. It’s invite only every single night.

Is a seismic change about to shake up the Strip when it comes to high-paid DJs in our jam-packed nightclubs? The news that Tryst Nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas’s closure after successful decade-long run and subsequent transformation was certainly a surprise, but the bigger shock was that the new club won’t be shelling out mega-bucks for big-name DJs. No more $400,000-a-night superstars to spin the wheels of steel. Who knows – if the concept proves successful, we may start to see other clubs follow suit. Jewel at the Aria is another club slated to open this Spring that will likely test a similar theory.

Visit the Las Vegas Sun for the full interview.