A Las Vegas Nightclub Full of Damien Hirst’s Art Opened Seven Months Ago. Now It’s Already Closing
A Hirst-designed suite at the hotel cost upwards of $200,000 for two nights.
When the $690 million renovation of the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas was unveiled earlier this year, Damien Hirst’s work loomed large. A 60-foot bronze sculpture by the British artist, Demon With Bowl (2014), towered over the resort’s ostentatious new KAOS club, while inside guests were offered the opportunity to stay in a six-figure-a-night hotel suite decked out with Hirst’s work.
Now, less than eight months later, the owners of the resort have abruptly closed the KAOS club. But Hirst fans, have no fear: The works will remain as part of the Palms collection, a representative from the resort tells Artnet News.
The two monumental Hirst sculptures on the casino’s campus—Demon With Bowl and the 23-foot Warrior and the Bear (2015)—will stay where they are, while the suite experience will also stay the same. Hirst’s other works on view at the Palms, including a shark-in-formaldehyde sculpture over a hotel bar, will also stay at the resort.
Both outdoor sculptures came from the artist’s infamous 2017 show, “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” at the François Pinault Foundation in Venice. (The show reportedly cost $65 million to produce, and Demon With Bowl is rumored to have cost upwards of $14 million alone.)
Frank and Lorenzo Ferritta, the brothers and prominent art collectors who control the resort company, said in a conference call Tuesday that the club’s clientele wasn’t spending enough money to justify the operating costs, according to Bloomberg.
The customers “did not have spendable money” and “we didn’t see the crossover into the casino,” Frank Fertitta explained.
The Ferrittas purchased the Palms in 2016 for $313 million, then spent another $690 million to rebrand the place, adding luxury amenities and high-end restaurants. They also tapped Hirst to design the “Empathy Suite,” a 9,000-square-foot duplex sky villa overlooking the Vegas Strip.
There, Hirst added six new artworks as well as a medicine cabinet filled with diamonds and a 13-seat curved bar filled with “medical waste.”
A minimum two-night stay costs guests $200,000—that is, unless they opt for the $1 million “KAOS THEORY” package, which includes three nights and several hundred bottles of Dom Pérignon.
Inexplicably, the suite—which also came with a cantilevered swimming pool, a Himalayan salt room, two massage rooms, and 24-hour butler service—was named one of TIME Magazine’s “Greatest Places” in the world in August.
KAOS, which spanned more than 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, will close immediately while Red Rock plans what to do with the space. In the interim, the venues will be used for “private meetings and special events, in addition to everyday resort pool operations,” a spokesperson for the company said.
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