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May 6, 2015

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Krave moving downtown, expanding into ‘world’s largest gay nightclub’


Joe Schoenmann

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman speaks with a showgirl from Drink & Drag at Krave Nightclub’s announcement to move to Neonopolis on Wednesday, July 25, 2012.

Map of Neonopolis


450 Fremont St., Las Vegas

Jesse Jane's Diosa Tequila Party at Krave

Jesse Jane's Diosa Tequila party at Krave on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Drag Queens, Drinks and Bowling

There are four lanes that can be curtained off for more private events at Drink & Drag, a new bar at Neonopolis featuring bowling and drag queens Thursday, April 26, 2012. Launch slideshow »

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.”

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  1. This will be a great addition to Downtown.

    Anything that can take up that much space in Neonopolis and draw people downtown is a good thing.

    We might see Neonopolis finally come to life.

  2. Finally another use for Neo flopolis

  3. Congratulations Joshi, I am so proud of you for holding your ground and building out Neonopolis one homegrown Las Vegas tenant at a time. You have proven yourself, now the city should just payoff and sign over the title of the parking garage to you. God bless.

  4. NY has benefited $275 mil for legalizing gay marriage.

    Are you listening Governor? Do what's best for NV not for GOP cronies

  5. Gee, this sounds exciting and all, but I can't help but be skeptical of the projected attendance. We gay men can be a fickle bunch and the location is not one where we would normally spend time or money.

    Still, I hope it's a huge success & look forward to checking it out in December.

  6. @milehighjoe why wouldn't gay men spend money there ?

  7. Hmmm. Well Krave was in bankruptcy not too long ago so I presume this has to do with a better rent structure. I'm sure Planet Hollywood thinks that that real estate could make more money.

    Doubling the square footage of a business is not a guarantee that the number of customers will double. The younger crowd that patronizes Krave likes the high-end atmosphere of the Strip. I have a feeling that a lot of them aren't going to want to head downtown just because the venue changed.

    The other thing that puts this project on a weak foundation is competition. How many gay bars are there now? How many gay nights at the various Strip hotel clubs? The gay community isn't that big to merit a massive venue of this size. There's no way they'd be able to fill it on any given night of the week and I think a lot of tourists who would have gone to Planet Hollywood aren't going to hoof it down to Neonopolis.

    Very strange move.

  8. ... Ah: Memories-OF-"Le Cafe'" at Tropicana near the airport!?! Long gone, but-NOT-forgotten when I worked for "Billboard Magazine" after starting my 39+ yr. Print-Journalism career at-thee-R/J in '73! Hung with Joan Rivers, Liberace, Rip Taylor, etc. GOOD-times! Good-LUCK-"Krave!"

  9. You'd have to get the local gay pop. down there to make this work. Downtown is far from Summerlin, Southwest and Henderson and the Strip. The owners even conceide that fact by offering shuttles to their complex. It's a nice idea, but I'd have to pass all the glitz of the Strip to go downtown where you have to pay for parking.

    I can't see the tourists flocking to this location considering that downtown hotels and casinos don't exactly market to the lgbt community.

    The great thing abt Kraves current location is that other gay bars where a 3 min. drive away and it felt like you were in Vegas. If it was dead at Krave I'd head to the Fruit Loop.

  10. I will not be going to downtown for Krave (or anything else at that matter), very sad news that the ONLY reason I looked forward to visiting Vegas has made such a poor decision.

  11. @misterbig Downtown is ghetto, dangerous, no free parking and smells like urine. Another important reason why gays wont attend downtown is that they will be premium targets for thugs that would see gay men (specially young ones) as easy targets to steal from, specially when drunk, for this and many other reasons, downtown is not gay friendly at 2 a.m. after drinking.

  12. @ howzie Time will prove one of us right, I've tweeted about this move and the general feedback from my friends has been negative, downtown has a bad reputation and that's all there is to it, don't shoot the messenger haha

  13. Read the San Fransisco rag-mags and you read story after story from Gay themed bars and clubs whining that they are going broke because being gay is no longer a big deal and most gay people are hitting the regular clubs...

    If they can't make it in the gay capital of North America, what makes anyone think this will work? Especially if the gay clientele have to pass thru middle class, middle American families that populate Fremont Street.

    Not smart business move (Location, location, location) - I wish them luck...