Club Axis - Salt Lake City, Utah



What happens when the bobsledding's over?

The “premier nightclub” in Salt Lake City, Club Axis is located in downtown Salt Lake in the heart of the Gateway / Beltway entertainment district. In August of 1999, the club was ripped apart by a tornado, only to re-open a few months later with a million dollar makeover. Some of the changes included an all-new 100,000-watt ShockWave digital sound system, a Cyberlight-Technobeam light show, extra restrooms, a VIP lounge, and a second dance floor. The big addition was the 30-foot disco ball that had to be installed through the ceiling because it was too large to fit through any of the doors. What you’ll also find in this Mormon den of sin is a showcase performance stage, an outdoor starlight patio, club vista balconies, a VIP lounge, a VideoDrome lounge, a Jungle room, valet parking, and raised arena cocktail seating.

The giant hovering disco ball is the centerpiece of the main dance floor, which is surrounded by a raised walkway. To the side of the main dance floor is a bar that allows for refreshment after hours of sweating alongside fellow patrons. Club Axis is divided up into several areas, including the Annex 2000 that does not serve alcohol and has no age restrictions, except on Saturdays. The older crowd can head into the Grand Ballroom in order to drink. They set their standards with a strict dress code, which is “funky, not frumpy,” aimed at attracting a more sophisticated audience. Offering two large parking lots and jumpsuit-clad bouncers, Club Axis also claims to have the most diverse crowds and refers to itself as the “Most Unlike-Utah Club” in the city. But do they hold true to all they promise? We sent our NightStalkers over to Olympics central to find out.

NightStalker #1
Club Axis made a decent effort to provide Salt Lake City with a suitable after-hours spot. It was a strobe-lit, smoke-filled club with foot-numbing bass and writhing dancers. It was a mostly younger crowd, and seemed to be the rage with locals and tourists alike. What was also interesting was the ratio of men to women: we’re talking about five guys to every girl on the dance floor. The place was a little too crowded, but with a little maneuvering you would be able to find ample dance space.

I think Axis managed to create an atmosphere that was appealing to their crowd. Their sound system was more than adequate, and it laid the setting for a relatively cool atmosphere on the multi-layered dance floor. The music was decent, mostly Top 40 dance stuff, but nothing too exciting. I heard from other people about staff problems, but I found that the staff were friendly enough. They interacted with the crowd and seemed to be supportive. The bartenders were actually pretty great considering the strict liquor laws in Utah. My only real complaint was the treatment by the bouncers outside. Though I didn’t have a problem, I did see some people be turned away because the bouncers said they “looked like crap.” I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s unnecessary to insult someone after you just told them they couldn’t come inside.

Overall, I had a nice evening at Axis. Everyone inside seemed to be having a really good time, and I think it was a pretty cool place considering what else I could have been doing in Salt Lake City in the middle of the night.

NightStalker #2
Wow, Club Axis’ bouncers are a bunch of losers. I’ve never been treated so rudely at a club, and that was even before I got inside. First of all, please check me up and down and act like you’re the fashion police. Then he takes my ID, looks at it, looks at me – this goes on back and forth for a few minutes. He tells me to smile and has a fit or Tourettes with the ID again. Finally, I’m in, and will remember to keep my hair exactly how it is on my license the next time I come here. I wouldn’t want to confuse the bouncer again.

So this place is totally overdone. They have the place set up as is they’re in a factory-sized building, but this place is not even half the size of that. The design of Axis was interesting, but overrated. They also have the legal-aged people separated from the under-aged people. Not that I’m looking to find myself a barely legal boy, but it cuts down on the socializing factor that comes with a fun evening. I think they should just give out wristbands to anyone over 21, wouldn’t that make more sense? I also didn’t like the music; I can J. Lo for free in my car. Axis did have a great sound system, but it made no difference when all I heard was the same music I heard on the drive over here. My eyes were getting blurry from the excessive lighting, and I think I developed asthma from all the smoke. To add insult to injury, I think I was molested on the dance floor. It was too crowded to figure out exactly who it was, but you could pick out the big jerks from the small-time ones. And did my friendly bouncers do anything about the little perverts? Of course not. They were still trying to figure out if it was really me on my license.

NightStalker #3
Axis was packed with people and the music was blaring, but it was not claustrophobic and it was not totally deafening. I think Axis was trying to be a superclub, but the music was not all that great and some of the staff were pretty rude to the customers. It wasn’t so much the bartenders, who were actually pretty friendly and helpful with all the drinking laws, but the bouncers were acting a little uppity. The dance floor for the under-21 crowd was really packed, but the dance floor for the over-aged crowd wasn’t too crowded. I will say that I did see a few guys getting into fights, which does lower my opinion of the place. Some females also informed me that they were groped on the dance floor, and that’s just completely unnecessary. Sometimes just the crowd can ruin a place, even if it is cool.

I do think that Axis made an honest effort to be classy, but should start by changing their standards of who is allowed in. The music was diverse, but it was all pop music. They did have comfortable seating, and I liked the bar areas, except for the fact that it was hard to talk to people over the music. I liked the overall décor, but the place was brought down by the other customers.

Copyright 2002 Club Systems International Magazine
Copyright 2002 TESTA Communications