The Best Night Ever© Lauren Greenfield
“The best club, ever,” is how revelers inside the Marquee Las Vegas nightclub describe the 60,000 square foot pleasure dome that promises an unlimited number of smiling girls eager to please in short, skin-tight dresses; a never-ending supply of premium alcohol hand delivered by beautiful VIP hostesses and Champagne Fairies; and the relentless, hands-in-the-air-side-to-side-head-bobbing sounds of electronic dance music played by the most in-demand DJs on the planet. In the unlikely venue of the city that boasts the highest foreclosure rate in the country, there is a temporary suspension of reality where there is no sense that we are in the midst of a painful and historic recession. On any given weekend night, 6,000 club-goers pack the club to spend anywhere from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands of dollars with the goal of having the best night of their collective lives making Marquee Las Vegas the highest grossing nightclub in America, an impressive bragging right considering the two-dozen other megaclubs on the Las Vegas strip. A key ingredient to Marquee’s success is the meticulously curated door policy where girls outnumber guys and are recruited from all over Las Vegas. For customers like Lucas and Ariano, friends who always party together and regularly spend $5,000 a night at Marquee – and love the club so much they moved into the City Center apartments across the street– a big draw is having girls, “…inside, outside, in the pathways, by the bars, you can always find [girls].” Marquee’s branded velvet ropes systematically filters the thousands of people that queue up outside the venue into streams of elite VIPs, the rest of the guys willing to wait their turn to spend a few thousand dollars for table service, girls so gorgeous they are out of the league of just about every guy in the club, and the regular girls a.k.a. “filler”. The more spirited and attractive of the filler girls, usually wrangled to Marquee by a team of promoters throughout Las Vegas, are often provided complimentary table service at the beginning of the night until the real VIPs arrive at which point they are either booted out or invited to stay at the table.
Marquee has established unrivaled success in the business of emptying wallets for those seeking a few hours of hedonism. Their winning formula is to bring together a sea of fun-loving beautiful girls, guys motivated to lavish those girls with all the bottles of champagne they can drink, and a well-trained staff accustomed to making every customer, star athletes or employees of the month alike, feel like they are at the party everyone wants to be at; that they are about to have the greatest night of their lives, ever.
The photo essay is accompanied by a 6:45 minute short film directed by Lauren Greenfield called “The Greatest Night Ever” with exclusive interviews with Lou Abin, co-owner of Marquee; Mike Diamond, head of Marquee security; Larson Legris, Director of VIP Services, VIP hostesses, customers, and colorful, intoxicating cinema verite footage from the Marquee Las Vegas.
click to view the complete set in the archive
click to view the short film Lauren directed for GQ