World's Largest Nightclub Closes its Doors

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The world's largest nightclub is going the way of the rest of the beach. Club La Vela is making way for a 982-unit condominium, but that doesn't mean the end of the spring break mecca.

Profits have been down 20 percent in the past two years for the world's largest nightclub. Now after 21 years of entertaining thousands of people every spring break, Club La Vela is cashing in on its valuable beachfront property.

"Club La Vela will remain open throughout spring break 2005. The creators of Club La Vela already have plans underway for a tremendous new nightclub to be ready for business sometime next year," says Thorsten Pfeffer, Club La Vela owner.

Pfeffer has been looking at new locations on Front Beach and Back Beach Roads, but has not made a finally decision. La Vela was sold to a Destin and St. Petersburg development groups. They plan to build a 982-unit, all-inclusive resort called Aquatica on the beachfront property. The news makes La Vela's neighbors very happy, but for very different reasons.

"Our walls would shake, and even though the police were wonderful anytime we called them, It was just a constant nuisance every single night," says Linda Killingsworth, who lives next to La Vela.

"It's been a duel between us for the last 10 to 15 years, Spinnaker, La Vela and so on. Being the last ones standing, you can't be anything but excited about that," says Vaun Cook, Spinnaker manager.

Cook says Spinnaker's owner has no intention on selling. Club La Vela will close its doors April 2005. A new location should be open by next year.