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DAY FOUR — The $11 million night club has everything—the latest technology, a DJ every night (including celebrity DJs), young stars stop by for meet and greets, specialty drinks, a café.
Did I mention it is just for teens? In fact if you are under 13 or over 18, they won’t let you in – and like any self respecting club, you need to show proof of your age on your first visit.
Welcome to CRUSH, Atlantis’s brand new teen club in Nassau (www.atlantis.com). The place is huge—14,000 square feet with multi-touch computers and surface tables (want to send an e-post card to a friend? Post a photo on your face book wall?) Check your email (internet is free). They can order a snack on the table-sized tablet (pizza bagel, Panini or smoothie?) or a CRUSH T shirt and pick it up on their way out.
A 22-foot Gaming “tree” with 56 game stations surrounded by 24 comfy chairs that are “stations” with surround sound. The room is surrounded by 10 “cabanas“ that teens can reserve for 30 minute intervals for eight of them to play the latest games. A Gaming Concierge will help them choose a game—and give them tips to get to the next level.
In the Dance Club, complete with multi-purpose video walls, they can order specialty drinks. How about an Almond Joy (coconut, almond chocolate and cream) or a sour appletini (granny smith apple, sprite and sour mix).
On New Year’s Eve some 300 teens partied here. As Atlantis gears up for Spring Break, executives believe they will have as many as 500 teens—each paying $25 for the privilege. (And since their entrance card is scanned when they come in and when they leave, parents can know exactly where their kids are.)
CRUSH was built after listening to what teens wanted, said Amanda Felts, the Atlantis executive who oversees children’s programming. “I feel like we’ve more than delivered what they wanted,” she said. ”They wanted a space that was adult-like, a night club.”
Of course the younger kids haven’t been forgotten. A year ago, Atlantis spent 6 million dollars on an 8,000 square foot facility called Atlantis Kids Adventures for kids 3-12, complete with LEGO room, mini grocery store and Princess room, where little girls can have tea parties with the stuffed animals lined up and waiting.
For the older kids, there is all of the technology, of course—an entire Mac lab (parents will be glad to know kids are limited to a half hour at a time playing video games), a craft center (want to make jeweled flip flops or a candle perhaps?). But what sets this kids’ center apart is the Culinary Center with 21 seats and kid-sized utensils where the professional chefs might teach them to make pizza, pretzels or cupcakes. A group prepared thanksgiving dinner for their parents. They will have the opportunity to make brunch for moms on mother’s day—from scrambled eggs at omelet stations to focaccia bread (they pick the herbs in the garden out back) to fruit parfaits and strawberry shortcake. In case you are wondering, it will cost $85 for one child and mom, said Chef Chara Roberts, who oversees the program. There will be grilling with dad for father’s day.
Did I mention the bathrooms in this place? Little girls might have a sparkling chandelier in the princess stall while boys have superheroes. Everything of course is kid-sized. Amanda Felts said kids clubs—especially here=–have come a long way from a conference room with crayons and papers.
“Parents go on vacation looking for the wow factor for themselves and also for the kids,” she said. “We want them to go away wanting more.” Of course it isn’t cheap — with morning and evening sessions running $65 a child. But Amanda Felts promises, “We’re taking playing to a whole next level.”
NEXT: Touring the veritable city of Atlantis