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A $60 Million ‘Bidding War’ May Have Killed KAOS Nightclub in Just 6 Months

On April 4, 2019, a 4-day celebration punctuated the grand opening of KAOS dayclub and nightclub at the Palms. It was the Palms’ hope that its $960 million renovation which included its crown jewel club KAOS would bring back the debaucherous days of when it first opened 18 years ago. It had already laid the groundwork by winning a bidding war with Wynn for a residency by one of the world’s top DJs, Marshmello. The price tag for that 2 year contract: a painful $60 million. This was the largest contract for a DJ in history and many wondered how the Palms could make a profit paying that much money. KAOS had also secured a residency with Skrillex and would feature other popular DJs like Kaskade and Deadmau5 as well as a few other non-edm acts here and there.

However, out of the blue in late September, people noticed that Marshmello disappeared from the club’s calendar. Shortly after, news came out that the Palms had negotiated Marshmello’s departure after he, who was making $600,00 per weekend, had fulfilled only half his dates. In order to kill that contract, the Palms had to pay Marshmello somewhere over $20 million. News of Skrillex and others pulling out followed as well. Their departures were the beginning of the end even if the Palms didn’t want to admit it.

After that clusterfuck of news, the club went dark while it continued with plans to erect their Kaos Dome, a structure that would cover the club and allow people to party late in the year. On October 31, KAOS re-opened with a Cardi B “Demon Dome” Halloween party. A few days later on November 5, KAOS announced it would be closing indefinitely.

According to reports, Red Rocks Resorts, owner of the Palms hotel and Kaos, reported a $26.8 million loss, largely due to one-time charges relating to termination of certain artist performance agreements. A source told Rolling Stone that the details surrounding Marshmello’s contract cancellation was the result of an internal investigation into executive management and an inability to cover both employee costs and artist costs. Basically, any money the club made was going into paying Marshmello.

What’s interesting is that “internal investigation” piece. A week before KAOS publicly ended its contract with Marshmello, Wynn Nightlife exec Alex Cordova had been kicked out. Wynn, as you remember, was the one involved in the bidding war for Marshmello.

A week after the mass DJ exodus, the GM of Palms, Jon Gray, was also fired. Well, he “resigned” but only because he’s friends with the the owners, the Fertitias. Most likely in connection with signing the worst contract in history. The timing was a little suspicious.

But back to Cordova. The guy who seems to be in the deepest of s**t. The rumor floating around is Cordova was paid $3 million to not match the Palms’ $60 million bid for Marshmello. He had basically engaged in a fake bidding war with KAOS with the intent not to outbid them. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was getting paid that $3 million on top of a little something from the other side for driving up the price.

If you thought Vegas had changed, it’s still exactly the same, but now with corporate money, shiny new buildings, more obnoxious douchebags and a plethora of electronic music used to seduce wannabe millionaires into buying a $10,000 table.

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