|By Sonya Padgett, Las Vegas
Review-JournalMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
March 4, 2010 --Spring has yet to arrive but you better have your beach body ready soon: Vegas' pool/dayclub season kicks off Friday.
If you're into that scene, you can expect a lot more competition for your time this year. Established pools such as the Palms plan to be more aggressive in snagging a bigger share of the pool party pie, while new pools are expected to open by May.
The Palms pool opens Friday , a couple of weeks earlier than usual, notes Melanie Salas, project manager for Nine Group.
Consider it a warm-up to the property's popular Ditch Fridays pool party, which officially starts its fourth season May 7. If you go to the Palms pool before that, you still will be treated to entertainment on the weekends and locals won't have to pay a cover charge, Salas says.
Expect this year's pool season to be bigger and better, she adds. Palms is extending Ditch Fridays hours to 7 p.m.; adding Skinny Dip Tuesdays when guests can swim at night; and extending hours on Fridays and Saturdays, when guests can enjoy poolside music and entertainment -- but no swimming -- from 8:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., Salas says.
"We're going to be more aggressive this year than ever," Salas says.
Last year, the Palms focused on big-name DJs, short performances and events where guests could get involved. Things will be similar in 2010, Salas says.
Though pool parties have been springing up in local resorts for the past five years, it doesn't seem to be reaching a pinnacle. Some people now plan their vacations around a pool party/dayclub season, says Steve Zanella, vice president of marketing for MGM Grand.
MGM Grand's Wet Republic is scheduled to open March 12.
Opened two years ago, Wet Republic continues to build on the previous years' successes, Zanella says, in an effort to perfect the offerings and best meet customers' needs.
"The pool scene has really become the dominant factor in the summer now," Zanella says.
Liquid topless pool will open at Aria sometime this summer. Perhaps the most anticipated pool opening is Encore Beach Club at the Encore.
The 60,000-square-foot venue, on the Las Vegas Boulevard side of Encore, will feature three pools, a nightclub, double-decker air-conditioned cabanas, a gaming pavilion and other amenities. Switch restaurant also will be integrated into the area.
The project will cost more than $70 million once construction is completed. It is on track to open Memorial Day weekend, says Sean Christie, managing partner for Las Vegas Nightlife Group.
The climate control features mean that the pool can stay open about 10 months of the year.
"Our intent is to develop the best pool and nightclub in the city" Christie says. "I believe we are doing that."
Contact reporter Sonya Padgett at email@example.com or 702-380-4564.
Here is a list of properties that offer pool parties during warm weather. In some cases, complete information is not available.
Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Garden of the Gods, featuring eight pools, opens March 19. Locals can reserve a daybed Sundays through Thursdays only. Venus Pool Club opens April 1, and operates 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. The cover charge is $30 for men, $20 for women. Local women with ID will receive a discount. For reservations, call 650-5944.
Encore, 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Encore Beach Club opens Memorial Day weekend. For information, call 770-7171.
Flamingo Las Vegas, 3555 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Go pool opens April 1, and operates 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. The cover charge is $20 for nonguests Mondays through Thursdays and $25 Fridays through Sundays. Call 733-3111 for details.
Hard Rock Hotel, 4455 Paradise Road
Rehab opens April 18, every Sunday through September. Call 693-5555 for details.
M Resort, 12300 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Henderson
Daydream Day Pool opens March 22. For reservations, call 797-1808.
MGM Grand, 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Wet Republic opens March 12. The pool will be open daily, from 11 a.m. until the party ends. DJs will provide live music, and celebrity guests will visit for big events and weekends. The cover charge varies depending on the event, but generally will be $40 for men and $20 for women. For reservations, call (877) 880-0880.
The Mirage, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Bare Pool Lounge, a European-style sunbathing venue, opens March 15, Thursdays through Sundays. Admission for women is free. The cover charge for men is $20 on Thursdays, $40 Fridays through Sundays. To make reservations, call 791-7442.
Palms, 4321 W. Flamingo Road
The pool opens Friday with no cover charge, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., with extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays, 8:30 p.m.-2 a.m. There is a live DJ on weekends.
Ditch Fridays starts May 7, with a cover charge to be determined. The party is 11 a.m.-7 p.m. every Friday. Palms also will host Skinny Dip Tuesdays and Sundance Sundays, both starting in May. To make cabana reservations, call 938-9999.
The Venetian, 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Tao Beach opens April 5, and operates 10 a.m.-sunset daily. Cover charges will vary. Call 388-8588 for reservations.
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