Today’s Strip pool parties are a much different scene than the resort pools of yesteryear, where the high roller’s wife might park herself for a tan and an umbrella drink before meeting her husband for a show and dinner after a day of gambling. These pools have their own entrance lines with velvet ropes at the door and have the ability to charge night life prices, raking in as much as, if not more, than some of the city’s biggest nightclubs on busy weekend afternoons. They blur the lines of the city’s megaclubs and hotel pools, creating a whole new category of entertainment: The dayclub.
Here are five pool parties that are uniquely Las Vegas:
Encore Beach Club
Casino mogul Steve Wynn stepped into the pool party game in May 2010, in true Steve Wynn fashion, spending $68 million to turn the former entrance of his $2.3 billion Encore Las Vegas into the massive and ultra luxurious Encore Beach Club. The venue is the most expensive pool party venue on the Strip to date. Encore Beach Club features 26 cabanas, many of which are Strip-front, and eight two-story, 350-square-foot bungalows with private pools and private bathrooms that garner five-digit tabs on some weekends.
Tao Group recently opened its second pool party venue this spring, Marquee at Cosmopolitan. The $60 million venue is part pool club, part nightclub with 22,000 square feet of the 60,000-foot facility dedicated to daylife. It’s 4,000 square feet larger than Tao Beach and features two main pools with eight additional private pools in the VIP cabanas. Marquee is house music-driven venue, hosting some of the most popular electronica DJs in the world.
Rehab at Hard Rock is the pool party that started them all. The weekly party, which started in 2004, is now in its eighth season and more popular than ever. Patrons line up hours before the pool opens and by the end of the day, the venue has hosted more than 5,000 partygoers on a busy Sunday. Cover charge can go as high as $100, depending the celebrity host, and anything else (towels, drinks, chairs) is extra. Rehab requires its VIP cabana patrons to spend between $1,000 and $20,000 in food and beverage minimums.
The Internationally-known Nikki Beach brand landed at the Tropicana this spring. The brand operates clubs in Miami, St. Tropez, Cabo San Lucas and is opening several luxury resorts in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. But this pool party is going after a different crowd than others in Las Vegas: the 30- to 40-year-old jet-setter crowd. “We aren’t going to be the most expensive in town, but we will be more mature,” Nikki Beach co-owner Mike Penrod said.
Bare at the Mirage, operated by Light Group, is one of the few topless pool parties on the Strip. The pool has more of secluded, discrete vibe because of the European-style sunbathing. Bare features two dipping pools and several daybeds and cabanas. The venue also plays host to celebrities, reality TV stars and guest DJs.