As Managing Partner of the XS megaclub at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas, Jesse Waits has seen it all. Since 2009, XS—which recently underwent a $10 million production redesign featuring cutting edge technology—has been perched atop Las Vegas' nightlife landscape, an incredibly difficult feat in a fickle environment. But thanks to Waits' guidance and deep understanding of the Las Vegas experience, XS has managed to remain one of the hottest draws in town. Here, we ask Waits for his Vegas essentials.
What are the best off-strip things to do in Vegas? There are so many activities off of the strip. For example, Vegas in known for amazing gun ranges. Some other fun things include racing exotic cars at the speedway, hiking at Red Rock, boating at Lake Mead, and helicopter rides to the Grand Canyon. You can also head downtown to visit the Neon Museum and cool vibey bars such as Commonwealth. We also have two festivals annually – Electric Daisy Carnival and Life is Beautiful - that are really unique experiences.
What are Las Vegas' hidden gems? Las Vegas has a ski and snowboard resort at Mount Charleston. It’s a 30 minute drive that really only locals are aware of.
What are some Vegas nightlife survival tips? Start by creating a relationship with a trustworthy casino or nightlife host that can direct and book all accommodations. They will be able to book tables for you, so you can pass the velvet ropes and have a home base in a club. To survive the next day try out Mobile IV's for hydration, places like "IV Rescue" have become really popular and other hangover drinks like "Resqwater,” and "Never Hungover".
What are the essential elements to a great Vegas nightclub? A good nightclub should have the best DJs, hospitality, design, and production.
What are things you HAVE to do when you visit Las Vegas, can't-miss stuff. There are so many things to see in Vegas, but my “can’t miss stuff” would include the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign entering Las Vegas on the BLVD, visit an incredible theater show like Le Reve and new ShowStoppers at Wynn, shopping at the high-end stores, dining, and pool clubs like Encore Beach Club
What are the best restaurants in Vegas and why? I'm Vegan and I believe Wynn is the only resort that offers vegan menus at every dining outlet, so I'm a fan for obvious reasons. Botero and Andreas are my two favorites with cool club centric vibes and music.
What do you recommend doing once you leave the club? Drink a lot of anti-hangover hydrating drinks, sleep, get up early, call the IV Doctor and hit the pool clubs, nap, go to a nice dinner, nightclub and repeat.
If you're looking to splurge, what do you recommend splurging on in Vegas? Book the best dance floor or stage table in a top club, take part in the world class shopping at places like Givenchy, Dior, Alexander McQueen and Hermes, or make a reservation at one of the penthouses, like the three-bedroom apartment in Encore with a pool table and massage table.