Resorts World’s Ayu Dayclub readies for its second season

Miley Cyrus headlines the 4th of July grand opening celebration at Ayu Dayclub at Resorts World ...

The team at Resorts World Las Vegas is hoping Ayu Dayclub — The Sequel is a blockbuster.

“As we look at Season 2, there’s a lot of excitement,” Zouk Vice President of Nightlife Ronn Nicolli says. “It’s just great to hit a reset, you know, and move forward. We had some really great busy weekends, a very successful first season at Ayu, and I think we’ve got a lot of momentum right now.”

The vast pool deck at Resorts World Las Vegas hosts superstar headliners such as Tiesto, Zedd, DJ Snake, Deadmau5, Louis the Child, Becky G, G-Eazy, Jack Harlow and Madison Beer. The Bali-inspired, 41,000-square-foot venue features a sea of chaise lounges, day beds and dozens of cabanas on two levels. The resort’s dayclub oasis is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays through Sundays through November.

More from our chat with Nicolli:

Johnny Kats: What have you learned since the first season?

Ronn Nicolli: I think we might have confused the consumer a little bit, and even confused ourselves, with some of the hours of operation. So, we’re keeping it pretty seamless, with the days of operation on Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

How are you different from other Vegas dayclubs?

I think that we’ve done a really great job of building venues that hold energy. What I mean is, there is a lot of scalability to Ayu, similar to how there is with Zouk Nightclub. We have that structure of energy in the center core of Ayu. Just from a visibility and fan interaction perspective, you can really hold and engage an audience. I don’t think there’s another venue in town, from a footprint perspective, that can say that.

Ayu was actually designed outdoors, right?

Our design meetings took place in Bali. We went to the heart of what we were trying to re-create. Went there with sincerity, because we wanted to bring back that authenticity to Vegas.

Who is your audience?

Obviously, we are catering to the high roller that can spend an infinite amount of money. But it’s also about that kid from Ohio who is coming out here for a three-day weekend and has saved up for 51 weeks that year to be able to experience that one weekend. We have to ensure that his experience is just as memorable as the guy who might be spending 25K for a bungalow.

Over the past 10, 15 years we have seen this burst of dayclubs in Las Vegas, building on the popularity of mega-nightclubs. Fontainebleau is now planning its own big dayclub concept. Do you see any sign of this trend abating?

That’s the new question on the board. We were talking a few years back about electronic DJs, and would we ever see the trend shifting? We haven’t necessarily seen that trend shift, but we’ve seen micro-trends that have popped up with some venues leaning in specifically to more of a single performance style. It’s very similar now, and the dayclub is a very attractive item, not just from a nightlife-hospitality operator, but I think from a casino resort perspective, too. When there are executive planning meetings they’re checking the boxes, and they say, “We need a big pool-slash-dayclub.” It’s become more of a staple and foundation for most properties moving forward. They’re probably writing on a board right now, saying, “When we grow up, we want to be more like Encore Beach Club, or Wet Republic.” After this season, we want them to be saying, “We want to be more like Ayu.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.