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Wet, Hot American Summer

Did someone say pool party? Not quite. What they said was “Las Vegas pool party,” which is a pool party on steroids: a flesh-filled, vodka-fueled bacchanal with cranium-shaking bass beats, smokin’-hot servers and megastar deejays. 

The Vegas pool-party scene turns a decade old this summer as pioneer Rehab Sundays at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino celebrates its 10th anniversary.

As the scene matures, more resorts are launching pool parties and the veterans are coming up with new offerings. 

New this season is Mandalay Bay’s palm-tree-fringed Daylight Beach Club. Tao Beach at the Venetian introduced a Sunday brunch with Asian-influenced menu items. At Wet Republic Ultra Pool at the MGM Grand, look for a tricked-out LED display and bigger deejay booth.

Want to keep the party going? Marquee Dayclub at the Cosmopolitan offers overnight poolside lodging in a three-story bungalow. 

If names like David Guetta, Kaskade, Tiësto and Skrillex mean anything to you, you’ll know that the caliber of EDM deejays working Vegas pool parties is as high as it gets. 

But Palms Pool at Palms Casino Resort, home of the popular Ditch Fridays party, is going against the musical grain this season by ditching EDM in favor of a top 40 and hip hop format.

While a number of Vegas pools permit “European-style” sunbathing, it’s not usually allowed at pool parties, which can draw thousands of revelers on a single afternoon. Even the new Sapphire Pool & Day Club, attached to the Sapphire strip club, is only sort-of-kind-of topless: Ladies must protect their modesty with pasties.

Regular admission to a Vegas pool party is usually $50 or less for guys, cheaper for gals. But a daybed can easily run $200 and you’ll be hard pressed to find bottle service for less than $350. A cabana or bungalow can set you back four figures. 

Over the July 4 holiday, all bets are off. A super-luxe bungalow with private infinity dipping pool and Strip view at the high-end Encore Beach Club can run $30,000. 

But with Las Vegas still fighting its way back from a crippling recession, a little wheeling and dealing might be in order. You certainly won’t be the first to try.

“People aren’t just showing up anymore, they’re calling ahead and asking, ‘What can you do for me?’” said Bronson Olimpieri of 9Group, which operates Palms Pool. 

  —Anne Burke, Brand Publishing Writer

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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