Andy Masi (born New York City) is an American entertainment executive best known as CEO of The Light Group, a Las Vegas-based hospitality and entertainment company. After starting his career in the Boston club scene of the 1990s, Masi co-founded The Light Group in 2001, overseeing their various construction projects and operations. Through the company Masi has helped create luxury lounges, restaurants, clubs, and other venues at Bellagio, Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, Treasure Island, The Mirage, the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, and CityCenter. In 2010 The Light Group was listed as one of “Nightlife’s Biggest Players” by Club Planet, with an estimated gross revenue of $125 million that year, and ventures in both Miami and Las Vegas.
Founding of The Light Group
Masi moved from Boston to Las Vegas in 1999. Shortly after the move, Masi was responsible for conceptualizing and then marketing the House of Blues venue at Mandalay Bay, which some years later was earning annual revenues of over $35 million.
In 2001 nightclub entrepreneur Andrew Sasson, together with Andy Masi, co-founded The Light Group, a hospitality and entertainment company based in Las Vegas. The company is named after Light, a midtown Manhattan after-work and late-night lounge and restaurant Sasson opened in 2000. The Light Group soon entered into partnership with MGM Resorts International, and Masi oversaw construction and operations for all The Light Group’s early ventures. The first was the nightclub Light at the Bellagio, which opened on December 26, 2001. The nightclub’s success was followed by Caramel Lounge at the Bellagio, the lounge Mist at Treasure Island, and in 2004 by FIX Restaurant & Bar at the Bellagio, The Light Group’s first restaurant.
In 2005 The Light Group opened JET Nightclub and STACK Restaurant & Bar at The Mirage, and in 2007 they added BARE, a European-style sun-bathing pool lounge. At the Monte Carlo, The Light Group opened two restaurants:Diablo’s Cantina in 2007 and Brand in 2008. Also in 2007, the Light Group’s original Fix Restaurant & Bar at the Bellagio had sales of $12.7 million. In 2008, The Light Group opened Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant & Bar at the Bellagio, featuring chef Akira Back.
A 50% stake in The Light Group was sold to the Dubai firm Zabeel Investments in 2008, and the next year The Light Group opened several nightclubs, restaurants, and lounges at Las Vegas’s new CityCenter. The Light Group openedDiablos Mexican Cantina at the Monte Carlo in 2010, and that year the company was listed as one of “Nightlife’s Biggest Players” by Club Planet, with estimated gross revenues of $125 million that year and ventures in both New York City and Las Vegas.
Cirque du Soleil lounges
Main article: Cirque_du_Soleil § Lounges
In early 2011 The Light Group formed a partnership with Cirque du Soleil to create lounges with live entertainment. The first, Revolution, is a 5,000-square-foot (500 m2) lounge concept designed for The Mirage resort in Las Vegas, in which Cirque du Soleil cast members perform to the music of The Beatles. Again with Cirque du Soleil, The Light Group afterwards opened Gold Boutique Nightclub and Lounge at the Aria Resort and Casino at CityCenter, which is themed afterElvis‘ former Graceland home.
The Light Group opened the nightclub LIGHT at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in May 2013, at a cost of $25 million. Like the other two lounges LIGHT is a partnership with Cirque du Soleil, and the first time Cirque du Soleil worked within a nightclub. Among other features the club has a large wall of LED screens and is illuminated with fog, lasers and strobes. DJs at the nightclub have included charting artists, with prices ranging to $10,000 for certain table placements. LIGHT had its first LGBT event, “Exposure,” in January 2014, with curated art exhibitions and performances by Cirque du Soleil and DJ Dave Audé.
Expansion, recent years
In 2011, a 90% interest in The Light Group was sold to Morgans Hotel Group for approximately $46.5 million, with Masi remaining Light Group CEO. As CEO Masi oversees day-to-day operations for all The Light Group venues, and according to the company’s website he “spearheads all new business ventures in both the nightlife and real estate realms.”
In 2012 and 2013, The Light Group introduced five new venues to Mandalay Bay: KUMI Japanese Restaurant & Bar; the 24-hour restaurant Citizens Kitchen & Bar; dinner and nightlife venue Red Square; LIGHT Nightclub with Cirque de Soliel; and DAYLIGHT Beach Club. As of 2014, The Light Group owns and operates 22 venues in Miami and Vegas, including nightlife, daylife, and dining venues at the Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, Aria Resort and Casino, The Mirage, and the Monte Carlo, as well as Miami’s Delano Hotel.
Masi is included on the Night Club Hall of Fame. Stated Masi about his business model, “You can’t always be the hottest thing, but you can always be the best. That understanding gives us the competitive edge.”
Masi has also espoused the business model of venues with multiple elements of entertainment, instead of relying on a singular facet such as gambling, food, or music. Stated Cigar Aficionado about the recently expanded club scene in Las Vegas, “There is chatter that electronic dance music is reaching its expiration date, though…it may just be the beginning of another, maybe even bigger, stage. Andy Masi envisions customers wanting more multidimensional evenings that go beyond just watching DJs dancing behind consoles and waving their arms—convenient for him, of course, since he has his Cirque component.”