It’s finally happening. Pure nightclub will shut its doors May 26, although the space will be reincarnated with a new name and management in early 2015.
It was once owned by Shaq, Celine Dion and Andre Agassi. Britney got carried away there. The IRS raided it. Was Pure famous or infamous?
The Caesars not-hot-spot is currently in the hands of new owner Hakkasan Group. By shutting Pure, Hakkasan is only doing what many club and anti-club people in Vegas wanted to do for many years, in the days when it was previously owned by a collection of interests that has included namesakes Agassi, Celine and Shaq.
Who could forget the Pure memories?
There was the time Britney Spears reportedly had to be carried out of the place on Jan. 1, 2007, after collapsing. I’m pretty sure it was a different time when, supposedly, Britney took her pants off in a club, or when she walked around in her pajamas, or whatever those stories were? Oh, Britney is a blur. I apologize for loose memories.
There was, of course, the IRS raid that led to wrist slaps for former club bigwigs on evasion charges, an apex of Pure’s downfall.
But in a broader sense, Pure will be remembered for three things.
First, Pure launched Vegas’ contemporary marketing ploy of hiring celebrities to walk red carpets into a club’s VIP area, a practice that has convinced clubs to pay millions to the Kardashians, Paris Hilton and gobs of other stars.
Two, Pure made so much money with that celebrity/Sam’s Club-size gambit that other hotels were convinced to open giant clubs, which has changed Vegas by luring more young people with good taste in electronic dance music (but who don’t gamble much), and these giant clubs have also hurt ticket sales for showrooms and concert venues, because many tourists decide to stand in line to meet strangers in clubs instead of going to concerts. Pure lit that fuse.
Third, Pure revolutionized bottle tables, an enriching experience for nightclubs, doormen and hosts, cocktail servers and liquor distributors. But for we guests, bottle service across the Strip is a dividing line: You’re either such a wealthy male (or in possession of a corporate credit card) that you can afford to hand out thousands of dollars to giant bouncers crinkling their eyebrows at you so the table hosts will go fetch women in dresses to join your little booth and drink your $800 Ketel One, or you don’t have that kind of money/low self-esteem thus you wait in line forever and then you actually have a better time than the rich VIP people because you may have what’s called “a personality” and/or “skills.”
But I digress.
Pure. What a crazy place it used to be, what a lame place it became. And just to be clear, it only became lame because it was around for so long. Nothing anyone who currently works there could overcome the allure of rival clubs like XS and Light. Every club fades into obscurity. But I’ll bet you anything Pure is still making money, just as Studio 54 was making money before it closed its lame doors. I imagine Pure is just not making XS money. Hakkasan would prefer realer money, presumably.
I had a few good times at Pure, myself. And the Strip is a small town, so I have known people associated with the club. But I won’t be shedding any tears. And I’d bet that a woman or two who worked there during some bad old days won’t be mourning Pure’s final demise.
For people across Vegas who came to hate everything Pure represented, this could be regarded as Pure’s comeuppance. But comeuppances always come too late. Remember the quote from “The Magnificent Ambersons” on that book’s main character?
“(He) had got his comeuppance. He got it three times filled, and running over. But those who had so longed for it were not there to see it, and they never knew it. Those who were still living had forgotten all about it and all about him.”
Adios important club whose name I won’t remember in two years.