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JASON STRAUSS

“LOVIN’ LAS VEGAS: JASON STRAUSS OPENS MARQUEE DAYCLUB”

A Profile of Jason Strauss

May 2011

Among local charmers, one of this generation’s most remarkable rises to greatness is the story of club owner Jason Strauss, this month’s True Great, and his business partner Noah Tepperberg. They are the 30-something Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager of the new millennium here in Manhattan, in the Hamptons, and in Las Vegas, Nevada, where they really hit the jackpot. In Vegas, they now co-own and operate, count ‘em, seven enormously successful venues: Tao restaurant, the number one grossing restaurant in the country, Tao Nightclub, Tao Beach Club, Lavo restaurant and nightclub, as of New Years, Marquee Nightclub and, beginning just three weeks ago, Marquee Dayclub.
Strauss is the hunk with the toothy smile behind Strategic Group, a marketing company that he and Tepperberg founded in 2001; more recently, they’ve been invited back three times to help teach a class based on their business model for Marquee at Harvard Business school.

Strauss’s origins were humble if cool. Growing up, he spent summers in West Hampton as a tennis pro at the West Hampton Country Club. He later managed a roller blade store in West Hampton, where he taught Susan Lucci. He was captain of his football team at Riverdale. And he and Tepperberg, who attended Stuyvesant, promoted nights at Mr. Fuji’s Tropicana, Envy, and other clubs, using the money to open their first club, Conscience Point in Southampton.

Strauss and Tepperberg’s Stuff Magazine house in Noyak, with Guinness on tap and free-flowing Skyy Vodka, is the stuff of legends.

Through Strategic Group, they transformed Southampton’s Bentley Hotel into a slick event venue for Playstation 2 and a Sean Connery film, and at their Playstation Estate in Watermill, Jay-Z hosted a 4th of July blowout and Diddy gave his famed “Vote or Die”-themed White Party.

Early on, Strauss and Tepperberg brought us Suite 16, a club with a hip karaoke night on Mondays hosted by Sam Ronson. Their Strategic Group now organizes the starry Mercedes Bridgehampton Polo Challenge. And over the years they have launched a slew of successful nightclubs including Marquee in West Chelsea, Dune in Southampton (later Axe Lounge), Avenue, Lavo, and more recently Artichoke Pizza. But they made it really big in Vegas, where, three weeks ago, they opened the lavish 22,000-square-foot Marquee Dayclub at the Cosmopolitan Hotel of Las Vegas with not one, but two pools, gaming and multiple bars, and infinity edge dipping pools at rentable cabanas complete with flat-screen TVs.

At night, the Dayclub serves as an extension of the 62,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor Marquee Nightclub. “At night we convert the daybeds and chaises to outdoor bottle service,” says Strauss. The state-of-the-art open-air Dayclub has already served Alexandra Ambrosio and Selma Blair.

But Strauss’s A-list rivals the Oscars. Stars who partied at Marquee Nightclub over New Years when it opened included Cameron Diaz, Ashley Olsen, Beyonce and Jay-Z, Diddy, 50 Cent, Florence + The Machine, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez, John Mayer, and Mark Wahlberg.

Business hasn’t just bloomed in Las Vegas; the growth of their venues has been explosive. “We now have 2,200 employees at seven venues,” says Strauss. Insiders suggest that their gross revenues exceed $130 million per year.

So how does Strauss, who now resides in a power tower overlooking the strip, keep his feet on the ground? He plays tennis. “Even in December, we play in sweatshirts and sweat pants on clay courts. The weather is so great. And Tony Bennett plays at the same club I do,” he says. “And I go hiking in Redrock, this amazing desert thirty minutes away from the strip, with mountains tinged red with [Aztec sandstone]. There are trails into beautiful canyons and waterfalls. Once a month, I do a four-hour hike out and back.”

For pals who visit, Strauss makes an excellent tour guide. But PMc readers who plan to visit Vegas, which, according to Strauss, has recently undergone a kind of non-gambling, hospitality-oriented renaissance, shouldn’t miss Jason’s top picks:

Best show: Bon Jovi

Best Daytrips: Redrock Canyon and waterskiing on Lake Mead “surrounded by giant desert mountains,” he says.

Favorite restaurants: The Bartolotta at the Wynn. And, if you wake in time for Strauss’s power breakfast of champions, he likes Thomas Keller’s Buchon.

Jason Strauss is the co-founder of The Strategic Group & The Strategic Hospitality Group. He is also co-owner & operator of TAO, Avenue & Marquee in New York City and TAO & LAVO in Las Vegas.

LINKS:

Jason Strauss – Official Homepage

Strategic Group – Official Site

Jason Strauss by Jeffrey Slonim

Written by Jeffrey Slonim

Photography by Chance Yeh for Patrick McMullan.com

Design by Marie Havens

Captions:

Cover / Page 1:

Jason Strauss & Showgirls, Jason Strauss New York Birthday Party, Marquee NYC, April 5, 2006, Photography by Chance Yeh for Patrick McMullan.com

Page 2:

Jason Strauss, LAVO NY Grand Opening, LAVO NYC, September 14, 2010, Photography by Chance Yeh for Patrick McMullan.com

Page 3:

Jason Strauss & Fergie, Jason Strauss Birthday Party, Marquee NYC, April 7, 2005, Photography by Chance Yeh for Patrick McMullan.com

Page 4:

Jason Strauss, Jason Strauss New York Birthday Party, Marquee NYC, April 5, 2006, Photography by Chance Yeh for Patrick McMullan.com

Page 5:

Jason Strauss & Chloe Sevigny, Marquee First Anniversary, Marquee NYC, December 16, 2004, Photography by Chance Yeh for Patrick McMullan.com

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