With Krave Massive, big things ahead for Vegas' gay nightlife

Krave nightclubIn the Las Vegas spirit of all things bigger and brighter, the world's largest gay nightclub is expected to open in the city's downtown area by the end of 2012.

Krave Massive, the newest incarnation of the gay nightclub Krave, will take over the space formerly occupied by the 14-screen, 80,000-square-foot Galaxy 11 multiplex in Neonopolis on Fremont Street.

The nightclub will be located on the third floor of Neonopolis and potentially linked to Drink & Drag, the country's first drag queen bowling alley and bar, which is located on the second floor. It will have five themed dance rooms, each featuring a different type of music: house, top 40, hip-hop, country and Latin. Each room will have its own design and vibe including a state-of-the-art sound system, high-tech lasers and huge video walls.

Though Las Vegas is one of the top destinations for LGBT travel, it is not No. 1, but Kelly Murphy, owner of Krave and Drink & Drag, hopes that Krave Massive will change that.

"I developed a concept, Krave Massive, that would take LGBT nightlife to a different level than it stands now," Murphy said. "Nearly 50% of all gay men that travel do so to attend a gay event or party, and Krave Massive will definitely be an event worthy of gay travel." Murphy has been considering the move of the Krave brand to Neonopolis for several years.

Drink and Drag BarOther features in the club include three separate bars, a martini lounge, a comedy club, a members-only VIP lounge, a multi-purpose conference room, a performing arts theater, a movie theater, a lesbians-only dance lounge, a retail merchandise store and an outdoor pool with cabanas.

Several of the dance rooms and the main lobby will open by the end of the year, and the swimming pool and cabana area will open mid-2013. Krave, which is currently located in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, is expected to close before the end of the year.

The opening of Krave Massive is one of several new entertainment venues opened specifically for the LGBT community in the last year or so. The Garage, Share Nightclub and Drink & Drag are among the most successful of these, and several traditionally straight venues have started featuring a gay-themed night once or twice each week.

"Every club continues to strive to be the next hotspot," said Janise "Noah" Henderson, editor in chief and creative director of QVegas Magazine. "The interesting thing, though, is that many of these clubs are taking risks to just open up and wait for gays to come through their doors."

Unlike other cities that have so-called "gayborhoods," Las Vegas' gay nightlife scene is spread across the valley. The choice to open Krave Massive in the downtown area is timely, considering the growth of that part of the city due to the Downtown Project, a $350 million revitalization project. "There is certainly a buzz about the new location. The downtown area has seen a bit of the gay nightlife before, so it's an exciting thing to see the downtown area and many parts of Las Vegas opening up to the gay community," Henderson said. "While it has been very convenient for the tourist visiting the Strip to just drop in to Krave, it will be interesting to see a different tourist visit the nightclub in its new home downtown."

The growth of downtown Las Vegas includes investments in residential development, small businesses, education and tech startups. Neonopolis, Krave Massive's new home, has become a growing draw for visitors to Fremont Street. In addition to Drink & Drag, other recent and successful additions to the site include the Heart Attack Grill and Las Vegas Toy Shack.

"I have been following the resurgence of downtown Las Vegas, and it's exciting," Murphy said. "It's becoming cool and hip, and Krave Massive is cool and hip, so it was the perfect marriage."

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