‘Bar Rescue’ drives interest in Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show

The 28th edition of the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show opens today at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and one expert is bothered that many attendees will miss the main benefit.

“Only 10 to 12 percent of attendees sign up for the seminars, and that’s a mistake,” explained Jon Taffer, Nightclub & Bar Media Group president and star of “Bar Rescue,” a Spike TV reality show.

Everyone in the industry is just one idea away from their next $250,000, he said: “The bar business is so idea driven. If you don’t come home with promotional ideas, you missed the greatest opportunity of all at Nightclub & Bar.”

The industry-only show will bring an estimated nongaming economic impact of $43.3 million to the city, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Those attending include owners and managers of bars, nightclubs, independent and chain restaurants, hotels, resorts and casinos.

Entertainer CeeLo Green, who will attend the show to promote his TY KU Premium Sake & Spirits, will join Taffer, a Las Vegas resident since September, for a ribbon-cutting.

Taffer said last week that pre-show registration is tracking more than 12 percent ahead of last year’s 34,000 attendance. He attributed the increase, in part, to owners reinvesting in their businesses, but he couldn’t ignore the obvious.

“There’s no question ‘Bar Rescue’ has had an impact on the (convention),” he said of the show, now in its third season. It features Taffer working with troubled bar owners to turn around their businesses .

Among the 700 exhibitors trying to get attendees’ attention will be Gizmo Beverages, showcasing its Tea of a Kind line in three flavors: peach ginger black tea, pomegranate acai white tea and citrus mint green tea. The uniqueness is the bottle cap, which uses a nitrogen pressurized chamber to hold colors, flavors, herbs or concentrates. When you twist the cap, all the “good stuff” infuses into the drink, spokeswoman Jamie Krauss Hess said.

“It means it has no need for preservatives,” Hess said.

The drinks, at about $2.99 each, will be available in Las Vegas by the end of March at Walgreens inside MGM Grand, Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club, Bellagio, Riviera and Tropicana.

Currently available in four U.S. states, Gizmo Beverages plans to add seven more states by year’s end.

“I would love to pick up approximately 800 leads, and from those leads we close 300 immediately and 500 new points of distribution by the end of the year,” added Brad Foster, Gizmo’s senior vice president of sales and marketing.

Meanwhile, Las Vegas-based Xyience and its line of Xenergy drinks is growing again after recently signing an agreement with Safeway Inc. for shelf space in roughly 1,400 more stores nationwide.

Up next for Gizmo are alcoholic beverages, although no specifics have been released. Hess suggested imagining tequila with add-ins such as lemon juice and agave hidden in the cap.

That would follow a trend Taffer also cited, a rise in the flavored spirits category: “This year the whiskeys hit, the tequilas hit. It’s really taking off in every category.”

Show exhibitors will range from beverage manufacturers to nightlife services, including DJs , lighting, sound and software companies.

Allen Klevens, founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based Prescriptive Music, is a UNLV alumnus exhibiting at the show for the first time. His 14-year-old company creates custom background music programs for businesses that want to create a specific atmosphere for customers.

His firm’s Vegas clientele includes Nobu, Caesars Palace, Venetian, Palazzo, Flamingo, Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining, Four Seasons and Station Casinos.

Klevens said he hopes the show will help him build relationships with potential customers and continue to grow his brand.

One trend he cited is music players that use bandwidth to stream the tunes. His hard drive-based system doesn’t stream all day long, thus saving money and bandwidth. Klevens also is creating an app for clients to remotely control their music programs from anywhere.

Along with the annual nightclub and bar show comes the yearly top 100 clubs. And, based on revenue, four of the top five are in Las Vegas.

XS and Marquee tied for first with more than $80 million each in 2012. Tao Las Vegas was third with more than
$60 million, while Surrender came in fifth, with more than $45 million.

“The Vegas clubs in the top 100 just blew it out this year, and the trend seems to be the same throughout the country,” Taffer said. “People are consuming a lot of alcohol these days.”

The Top 100 venues generated about $1.5 billion in total revenue for 2012.

Nightlife in Las Vegas is so big, the city even has its own Nightclub & Bar category.

Winners this year are: Marquee, dayclub of the year; XS, mega-club of the year; Hyde, new club of the year; 1OAK, nightclub of the year; XIV Vegas Sessions at Hyde, ongoing promotion/party/event of the year; Lil Jon at Tryst, resident DJ of the year; STK, restaurant bar of the year; Spirit Day at Marquee, single promotion/party/event of the year; and Rockhouse, small nightclub of the year.

Contact reporter Laura Carroll at or 702-380-4588. Follow @lscvegas on Twitter.

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