It's not unusual for bull to be the center of a Vegas nightclub, not when club-goers try their best to impress.
But Gilley's Saloon and Dancehall takes that concept to a literal level with the club's $100,000 mechanical bull that beckons patrons to try their hand at taming the untamable beast.
"The bull is the heartbeat of the club," says Gilley's general manager, David Modello. "When it isn't moving, we're a regular club."
Indeed, the mechanical bull is positioned to be a focal point in the club, which opened at Treasure Island, 3300 Las Vegas Blvd. South, in April. Long a presence on the Strip at the New Frontier, Gilley's closed before the hotel was imploded in 2007. Not a day goes by, Modello says, that a customer doesn't mention that they frequented the old Gilley's.
The new Gilley's shares a few similarities with the old, aside from the name and country theme. They still have bikini bull riding competitions at 10 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays, where bikini-clad women battle on the bull for cash prizes. Alas, another popular Gilley's event, bikini mud wrestling, did not make it to the new location.
But that unassuming, laid-back feel is still in the air and serves as a nice addition to a club scene focused largely on wearing the right clothes and paying to sit in the VIP section. There is no cover charge, and bottle service consists of ordering beers at the bar.
"I love it when people call and ask if there's a dress code," Modello says. "I say 'yes, you must be wearing clothes.' "
In other words, come as you are. Many people don Western wear for their visit, but it's not mandatory, Modello says. Flips-flops, T-shirts and shorts are just as appropriate.
On Fridays and Saturdays, guest bands play live music while a DJ spins during the week starting around 8 p.m. The music is a mix of high-energy country, old and new, along with classics and the occasional rock song.
The club opens at 11 a.m. because it's not unusual for a couple to want to come in and two-step early in the day, Modello says. The bull starts at the same time and runs through closing, 2 a.m. Sundays to Thursdays and 4 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
For more information, call 894-7111.
Contact reporter Sonya Padgett at spadgett@ reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4564.