If you’re from Las Vegas – or simply spend a lot of time here, you most likely have heard the name Jesse Waits. As managing partner of award-winning nightclubs XS and Tryst, Waits is a major player in the Las Vegas nightlife scene and was just selected as one of 2013’s “Vegas Dozen”, an accolade honoring 12 local Vegas men who exemplify great personal and professional commitment to the community since 2003. In addition, he was recently featured in AskMen’s Las Vegas newsletter “A-Lister Edition”, in which he revealed classy and trendy spots around town that gave some insight into what he does during his downtime.
But his reach extends far beyond the city of Las Vegas; Waits is respected nationwide as a major force in the nightclub industry, coming fresh off of his own XS Nightclub being ranked as the No.1 nightclub in North America in Nightclub & Bar’s Top 100 .
While it’s abundantly clear that Mr. Waits is good at what he does professionally, not much is known about his personal life and even fewer know about the special relationships he has cultivated with the DJs he works with. The relationships extend beyond a simple working partnership to genuine friendships with the artists, making them feel more comfortable when they come to his clubs to spin. “I think that one thing a DJ lacks is that they don’t have a lot of real friends on the road. And for them to go and play in a place where they have a real friend and feel comfortable, that’s a big deal for them”, Jesse told us.
When his DJ residents come to Vegas, it’s not uncommon to see them out and about during the day or grabbing a bite to eat at Botero or Andrea’s before their sets. A couple of months ago, he took Avicii to a gun range and taught him how to shoot. He’s taken Afrojack to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to race exotic cars. DJ residents AN21 and Max Vangeli have even lived at his house each for a couple of weeks, making it apparent that Waits’ business and personal life have become one and the same.
Unsurprisingly, this hospitality has led DJs to reciprocate Jesse’s kindness when he travels to their home turfs. Over the summer, Jesse visited Avicii in his hometown of Stockholm to hang out and watch him work in the studio. Before that, he spent time with Afrojack in his native Netherlands, going to BBQs and meeting his friends. “It was very chill” Jesse says about the experience, “we got to spend a lot of time outside of the club environment.”
From a hospitality perspective, it has been of great importance to Waits that his DJs feel at home when they play at his nightclubs and from what we’ve gathered in personal interviews with them, that feeling of being “home” is mutual. The friendships with his resident DJs has been a rewarding experience for Waits: “to be able to show these guys a good time, and to see how much they appreciate it, it makes you feel good, like you’re doing something right.