Wednesday, July 25, 2012 | 11:45 a.m.
Map of Neonopolis
450 Fremont St., Las Vegas
A mainstay on the Las Vegas Strip for eight years, Krave nightclub, which caters to a gay and lesbian clientele, is moving downtown, where it expects to nearly triple its business.
In the former 14-screen, 80,000-square-foot Galaxy 11 multiplex movie theater on the third floor of Neonopolis, on the northwest corner of Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard, Krave owner Kelly Murphy said he expected to open the “world’s largest gay nightclub,” calling it Krave Massive, in December.
In the spring, Murphy launched Drink & Drag, a drag queen bowling alley and gaming lounge on the second floor of Neonopolis. In just a few short months, that business is drawing about 4,100 people per week. His Krave nightclub inside Planet Hollywood on the Strip drew about 4,500 per week.
Murphy said projections were for Krave Massive to draw about 12,000 people per week.
“In the gay world, 50 percent of gays and lesbians travel to a location with a party or event going on,” he said, adding that Krave Massive will provide that. “My goal is to knock New York out of the number one spot for gays and lesbians in the United States.”
With most of the structure for a club already in place, Murphy expects to spend about $1.5 million in renovations, plus another $750,000 if he adds an outdoor swimming pool.
Plans call for a main dance floor, a hip-hop room, a Latin room, country-western room, space for gay comedy club (Tickled Pink), space for a performing arts center, a movie theater and martini lounge.
The opening of Krave Massive will bring an end to the existing Krave, Murphy said.
Murphy was joined by Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Rohit Joshi, head of an investment group that bought Neonopolis in 2006, at a news conference this morning to announce the plans.
“Are you the luckiest man in the world?” Goodman congratulated Joshi. “I’m just so excited about this.”
Joshi has faced withering criticism over the years for not bringing more businesses into Neonopolis, which quickly emptied of numerous retail stores shortly after opening in the early-2000s. He said he was never one to give into pressure from the media or politicians. The timing wasn’t right and he didn’t want to keep bringing in businesses only to see them close a short time later. Now the timing is better, he said.
“It’s the right thing to do,” he added. “We are not leaders, we are followers. Retail follows residential. We have to go after tourism.”
On the first floor, Denny’s is opening a supper club, he noted, which will also include a wedding chapel.
“That’s perfect for downtown,” Murphy said with a smile. “Getting married at Denny’s.”