Las Vegas pool parties won’t be so splashy this year. Here’s your guide

Mandalay Bay's wave pool.
Mandalay Bay’s wave pool is a popular, family-friendly escape from the summer heat.
(Michael Hiller)

Champagne showers and high-wattage DJs are part of Las Vegas’ traditional summer lure, but raucous pool parties spark fears of novel coronavirus infection.

Las Vegas continues to reopen amid coronavirus pandemic.

If you’re planning to visit a Vegas day club or pool later this summer, expect to find some changes since last year. Big crowds, marquee music acts and dance floors are out; hand sanitizer stations, local DJs and physical distancing are in — but so are stringent cleaning protocols and enough space to spread out that beach towel you dragged from home.

Cover up

You’ll need to cover up more than just the bare essentials when you’re not in the water. Nevada now requires virtually everyone to keep their distance from one another and wear a face covering when out in public.

The loophole for lounging poolside in Vegas? The governor’s June 24 order exempts kids younger than 10 and others “engaged in outdoor work or recreation such as swimming, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running, when alone or with household members, and when they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others.” The mandate also limits pool occupancy to 50% of capacity.


The upsides? More space between pool chairs, daybeds and even cabanas. And a new summer fashion trend: “Racoon bandit” tan lines from wearing face masks in the sun.

Keep your distance

Las Vegas pool scene
Las Vegas requires face coverings or physical distancing when you’re out in public, unless you are in the pool or live in the same household.
(Michael Hiller)

Most resort pools are currently restricted to hotel guests only, though a few are open to the public for a small fee. Some pools, such as Wet Republic and Liquid Pool Lounge, are open only a few days a week.

And new procedures can help you avoid waiting in line to access a handful of resort pools and day clubs. MGM Grand and New York New York, for example, will text you when your pool seat is available. The Pool Marquee at the Cosmopolitan staggers its reservations to minimize contact with other waiting guests.

Or you can distance yourself even more by reserving a private poolside cabana at most resorts and day clubs, including Encore Beach Club, Wet Republic Ultra Pool and Liquid Pool Lounge. But be prepared to pay handsomely for the upgrade: The prime perches can cost hundreds of dollars on weekends, though prices often include food and beverage credits.

Flamingo's Go Pool.
With its palm trees and meandering design, Flamingo’s Go Pool is a popular choice for adults and families.
(Michael Hiller)

Kids in tow? Many pools are adults-only, so take youngsters to the sand pool at Mandalay Bay or the Go Pool at Flamingo, which were designed with families in mind.

What’s new

If you favor an over-the-top Vegas lounge pool experience that feels like a nightclub, but with sunshine and bikinis instead of dark corners and little black dresses, you’re out of luck this year.

Those places have settled down this season and now resemble resort pools with bottle service, fancy food — and hand sanitizer. Wet Republic unveils its multimillion-dollar revamp this weekend, which adds two new 100-foot-long plunge pools and immersive audio-visual tech to a slew of other upgrades.

Private cabanas and daybeds at Cosmo's Marquee Pool.
Private cabanas and daybeds like these at Cosmo’s Marquee Pool are a popular (and spacious) choice at Strip resorts.
(Michael Hiller)

Poolside movies have returned to Cosmo’s Boulevard pool each Monday night, and the Venetian has revealed a renovated pool deck with a cafe from the creators of Yardbird and Chica restaurants.

Before you go ...

Not every hotel or pool has reopened, though more are expected to come online as business in Las Vegas picks up. Remember that stay-at-home orders issued by Los Angeles County and California remain in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, residents are asked to delay vacation travel that takes them far from home. However, Southern Californians may plan a future getaway to Vegas and elsewhere.

Tip sheet

Each resort’s pool has its own vibe, and all seem tamer this year. Since restrictions are fluid, be sure to check the venue’s website for the most current details. If you’re wondering what’s open now, here’s our tip sheet.

Pool reservations may be required:
The Boulevard Pool at Cosmopolitan, the Encore Beach Club (guests must be at least 21), the Pool Marquee at Cosmopolitan (guests must be at least 21), Wet Republic at MGM Grand (guests must be at least 21) and the Liquid Pool Lounge (guests must be 21).

Pool reservations aren’t currently required (but may be required for daybeds or cabanas):

Aria, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Delano, Excalibur, Go Pool at Flamingo, Golden Nugget (downtown), Harrah’s, Luxor, Mandalay Bay Beach, MGM Grand, New York New York, M Resort, Paris Las Vegas, Plaza Hotel & Casino , Sahara, the Venetian, Westgate Las Vegas, Wynn and Encore.

Resort pools that are currently restricted to hotel guests:

Caesars Palace, Harrah’s, Paris Las Vegas, Sahara, Treasure Island, Venetian, Wynn and Encore.