The pool club that started it all has returned to Las Vegas. Tao Beach at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas was the first of the dayclub movement, and since its arrival roughly 15 years ago, dayclubs have opened up and down the Strip. Still, few have been as synonymous with Las Vegas as Tao Beach. The dayclub closed a few years ago to begin undergoing a complete renovation and expansion, along with the Venetian Tower’s pool deck.
Tao Beach officially reopened on April 1 with celebrity DJs (Afrojack and Kaskade were among the opening weekend lineup) and performers, and a star-studded weekend (the 2022 Grammy Awards celebrations brought in both celebrities and large crowds of partiers). While the size and scope of the venue have changed drastically, the "Balinese-inspired tropical oasis" vibe is still intact.
Inside the Grand Opening of Tao Beach
“Three days we pulled this off; it was a Herculean effort! It’s unbelievable. Tao Group is now 74 venues plus in 25 cities. What we were able to pull off here, in the largest size and scope venue we have in our portfolio, is truly unbelievable,” Jason Strauss, CEO of Tao Group, said to the press and employees during the opening ceremony, “For us to be part of the continuing narrative and evolution of the Las Vegas hospitality landscape is a true honor for Tao Group.”
“As Jason said, this project is truly a labor of love. It’s multi-year—not only for Tao Beach but really, for the entire pool deck of the Venetian Tower—so this has really been a multi-year process, and we are so excited that we are now opening,” said Marcy Miles, Chief Marketing Officer for The Venetian Resort. “When you look around at the design, when you experience the food and the cocktails and the talent, we’re bringing to the Venetian and Las Vegas an experience that has been completely reimagined.”
I was invited to the hosted media opening of Tao Beach to see the reimagined space firsthand and find out what guests can expect when they visit Tao Beach. I talked with Jason Strauss to get the inside scoop.
The Evolution of Tao Beach
WT: I was here for the hard hat tour, and it’s amazing to see how much the reality of Tao Beach looks like the renderings!
Strauss: Well, the only difference is that I have to let the greenery come alive because you can’t plant adult plants; you have to plant in infancy; otherwise, it won’t grow, so I think we will live up to that rendering even more as these trees get to blossom.
WT: How exciting is it to have the opening day arrive finally?
Strauss: It’s been over a five-year time since I pitched this, and it’s been three years since we had the deal, so to finally be here it’s a huge moment for me. It’s been a long journey, and I’m super excited to get this thing going because it’s been a lot of… a lot of work and a lot of energy.
WT: When you have people who’ve been to the old Tao Beach come in, are there little elements you hope they see that tie into the old space?
Strauss: Well, you know, I think when people come here, their orientation is completely thrown off, and they go, “where was the old thing?” they’re completely thrown off—where we’re sitting right now is the old pool. The whole goal with reinventing is just to blow everything out, so you don’t see anything from the old. When we take over an old venue, and we want to redo it, we blow out the bar and the bathrooms; we don’t want anyone to think of it the old way. So the answer is no, but I will tell you there were some artifacts that we have gotten from Laos and Cambodia from the original Tao Beach that we kept in warehouses, and we cleaned them and we beautiful them through the years. So if you see some of these sculptures in the flowers around as like little design elements, they are original sculptures that we went deep into the hearts of those countries originally and kept through the years and brought them back for this. It’s sort of our good luck charm and our ode to the old venue.
WT: Do you think that authenticity brings a different level to the experience?
Strauss: Yeah, I think so; we try. I mean, it’s hard to transport people from Las Vegas to Bali, but our whole thing was to bring lush greenery and authentic artifacts that we had gotten and bring the sculpture. So we’re doing our best to really bring a transportive experience here to Las Vegas all the way from Southeast Asia.
WT: And what’s next for Tao Group?
Strauss: We have a lot of new venues opening this year. At least two new cities are opening this year to be announced. And we have a new restaurant on the Strip that’s going to be announced. And, of course, the Las Vegas stuff here.