What happens when you conquer the biggest nightlife city in the world? If you’re Hakkasan Group, you set your sights on the rest of the country. At least, that’s what it seems like. With its Vegas entities thriving for another year, the nightlife empire has continued to focus on new ventures, with Omnia San Diego almost ready for its debut. Last month, Omnia SD’s initial roster dropped, bringing Sin City royalty to those who don’t enjoy the desert oasis. Armin Van Buuren, Afrojack, and Nicky Romero lead the charge of this star-studded affair, which also includes NERVO, Krewella, Showtek, Chuckie, Oliver Heldens, and newcomer Ansolo.
Clearly there is a desire for bigger and better experiences in San Diego nightlife, as proven by several successful venues that have opened during the last few years. Our aim is to raise the bar again and bring a new level of design, production, talent and service to the Gaslamp. – Nick McCabe, President of Hakkasan Group
Change San Diego to any other city in the US, and you’ve got a monopoly in the works. It’s impossible to deny Hakkasan Group’s success as they rule Las Vegas with an iron fist. Hakkassan, Omnia, and Wet Republic are three of The Strip’s premiere destinations. Now that they’ve doubled down by taking over Light Group (in charge of the Daylight and Light clubs at Mandalay Bay), the only person standing in their way of complete domination is Steve Wynn (of Surrender and XS nightclubs).
So what does this mean for EDM? Well in San Diego, it shifts the entire musical landscape of California. As Omnia is owned by Hakkasan Group, it’s clear that artists who frequent all of their properties will also be booked there during touring routes. DJs like Calvin Harris, Above & Beyond, Dada Life, Steve Aoki, Carl Cox, and plenty others will be seeing less LA and San Francisco dates in favor of Omnia SD. For fans who live in the area, it’s a dream come true; for other Cali natives, it’s a major headache.
However, that’s not to say that every Hakkasan Group venue is a smashing success. Atlantic City, NJ’s Revel Hotel & Casino was forced to shut its doors in September 2014, closing HQ Beach Club and Nightclub too, only a week before Skrillex was supposed to headline a sold out Sunday show. Though one could argue that the matter wasn’t totally in Hakkasan Group’s control, having the ax dropped on two of its clubs still leaves a small chink in the armor. The luxurious club and even pricier resort soared above the rest of Atlantic City, and never seemed to fit in during its time there.
Still, it begs the question: can Hakkasan Group successfully take over the US, or will some cities never be fully accepting of the type of luxury the company can provide? Not every region is like California or Las Vegas; cities like Seattle or Chicago might be more resistant to Omnia like Atlantic City was. Or Hakkasan might find it difficult to break into tough markets like New York City and Miami, where LIV and Story also compete for yearly ranks on the US’s Top 10 Nightclubs list. Much remains to be seen, as Omnia hasn’t even opened it’s doors yet, but this time next year we may be seeing another jewel popping up in Hakkasan Group’s crown.