Traditional dart games get a high-tech makeover in the whimsical, yet elegant Flight Club Las Vegas in the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian Resort.
Six types of "social darts" can be played at 20 oches (pronounced like "hockey"), where guests let the darts fly amid the sharable food and selection of drinks.
Easy-to-operate touchscreens (like those at a bowling alley) quickly introduce the games, register players' names and guide the action. Automatic scoring eliminates the hassle of keeping track of points (something that's ruined many rounds of miniature golf). Four cameras at each oche record what often becomes a spirited competition among friends, family or colleagues; one camera is trained on the players while the other three precisely capture each dart's flight and landing.
Slow-motion video replays -- closeups of the traditional steel-tipped
darts piercing on the fiber board and players reacting to key moments --
are displayed above the board. The videos form a digital story, which
is emailed to the guests as an electronic memento of the occasion at no
The oches encircle a distinctive 27-seat bar reminiscent of a carousel. Elegant drapery, detailed wallpaper, framed art, glowing lights and expansive windows that overlook the Strip highlight the 16,0000-square-foot space.
It's "where Victorian fairgrounds [where the modern game of darts was invented] meets British pub," said Steve Ely, Flight Club Las Vegas' general manager. "There's a lot of thought put into everything that we have here. We try to use premium finishes everywhere we possibly can with amazing wallpaper. Everywhere you turn, there's something that's new that you see and it draws your eye to."
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The Las Vegas spot, which debuted last fall, is the fourth and largest U.S. location of Flight Club, opened by State of Play Hospitality. The brand began in the U.K. in 2015. Other U.S. locations are in Boston, Chicago and Houston. A fifth location opened in Atlanta's West Midtown district last month.
Planned since 2020, Flight Club Las Vegas' construction and opening were delayed by the pandemic. Being in Las Vegas will help the dynamic dart-throwing venue grow throughout the States, Ely said.
Guests are free to indulge in shareable bar bites and beverages in between rounds, or during rounds, at Flight Club Las Vegas. Photo Credit: Flight Club Las Vegas
"Vegas has been on our radar for quite some time," he said. "It's a great city because it really opens us up to an international market. Everybody [from around the world] can see Flight Club and what it is. It also really benefits us nationally through all of our expansion plans coming up. Everybody comes to Las Vegas at some point, and by the time we get to their neck of the woods, they'll already know what we are."
Each oche, with tables on either side of the dart board and banquette-style leather seating, can accommodate up to 12 guests, but the ideal grouping is four to six players.
The rules of Flight Club
"Demolition" (familiar to the 501 or 301 games dart players know) is probably the best ice-beaker. Each player starts with 180 points and tries to work their way down to exactly 0. While Flight Club doesn't offer the traditional game of Cricket, it has the similarly tactical Shanghai. Another game mimics the Chutes and Ladders board game.
"As you progress in our game … scores double or triple. So it gives somebody who may be relatively far behind a chance to catch up pretty quickly. But we'd like to try to even the playfield a little bit for everybody," Ely said.
The most confident players are inevitably humbled, first-timers almost always rewarded. A games master, who said she was there to "encourage, heckle and cheat," circulates among the oches, explaining games, providing comedic relief, trash talking and consoling players when needed.
"We hire them from local improv and acting studios," Ely said. "So they're great at getting everybody excited and part of the game."
Dart boards encircle the 27-seat bar, which resembles an amusement park carousel. Photo Credit: Flight Club Las Vegas
Guests play in 90-minute sessions. If they complete all six games, the games master can unlock a secret game (a bull's-eye challenge) to provide even more fun.
Larger groups can play in tournament-style competitions. Private rooms (one with its own bar) can accommodate larger corporate events, office parties, birthday celebrations and family reunions. The venue can accommodate up to 600 in buyouts.
"We're finding that people are looking for something different than just going to a standard bar or going to a sit-down restaurant," Ely said. "They want to be able to have some great foods and great drinks and really have a good time while they're socializing with each other. Instead of just sitting down every single time for a meeting or a dinner, they can combine that with a little bit of fun, as well."
On the menu
Food can be brought to the oches for sharing between dart-throwing turns, including dips, skewers, sliders and flatbreads. Among the most popular dishes are fried chicken sliders and lobster elote; the truffle fries and pork belly bao buns are not to be missed. The menu also has vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
As for drinks, the Butterfly (citrus vodka, orange blossom, honey, Cocchi Americano, lime, San Pellegrino blood orange soda) is the No. 1 seller on the signature cocktail menu. Flight Club also has 12 rotating handles of local and regional beer.
The 90-minute dart-throwing sessions are $16 per person before 5 p.m. ($18 after 5 p.m.) Sundays through Thursdays and $20 per person Fridays and Saturdays. Food and beverages are extra. Locals (and the parties they're in) receive a 25% discount on all purchases.
Flight Club Las Vegas is open from 11:30 a.m. to midnight Sundays through Thursdays and from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Visit Flight Club Social Darts Las Vegas for more information.