Beach Barroom Bingo

A new beach-themed bar debuts at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino

By: Kathy Espin

From the people who brought you Coyote Ugly, the in-your-face party bar at New York-New York, comes a hot new beach bar at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Worry not that Las Vegas is about 500 miles from the nearest beach. At Bikinis Beach & Dance Club, it’s a South Beach party five nights a week.

The big draw at Bikinis is well-built, beautifully toned cocktail servers, bartenders and dancers clad in beachwear. The women, of course, wear bikinis and the men bathing trunks and tank tops.

The 14,000-square-foot club is decorated in a funky ’60s retro style with Space Age-looking seating and geometric accents. The main room, designed to resemble the beach at night, sports an “exhibition shower,” a plexiglass stall with showerheads where bikini-clad dancers perform. An elevated stage holds a DJ playing popular, top-40 dance music.

A VIP area overlooking the dance floor has tables, oval couches and lounges reserved for celebrities or guests willing to purchase expensive bottles of spirits. A sunken seating area resembles a swimming pool with a diving board. Gawkers line up along the railing that separates the VIP area from the main room to scope out the action on the dance floor.

Lounge Acts

The Lava Lounge, named for the row of 5-foot-tall lava lamps lining the back wall, is open to the public but has its own entrance and can be leased for special events. Shag carpeting on the floor and walls and retro, Jetsons-like furniture provide a backdrop for another DJ playing disco music of the ‘70s and ‘80s. The water feature in this room is an exhibition whirlpool bath that also is the site of bikini-clad dancers. A window by the tank gathers a crowd of voyeurs from the other room.

“We wanted a club that was upscale but where people would feel comfortable in their jeans and casual clothes,” said Stephanie Wilson, the club’s marketing director. She said the club is designed to attract a slightly older demographic than other local nightspots.

The philosophy that rules Coyote Ugly also governs Bikinis, Wilson said. The aim is to provide good-looking personnel and an over-the-top fun atmosphere for drinking, dancing and connecting with members of the opposite sex.

A menu of specialty drinks includes the Bikinis Beach Bucket, a combination of four ounces of rum and fruit juices served in plastics beach pails. The drink is recommended for two and costs $16.50 (refills $12.50). The Bikini Blast mixes vodka, peach schnapps and cranberry juice for $12.50 (refills $10.50). Regular drinks run $7.50 and domestic beer is $5.

Cover charges run about $10 for women and $20 for men but may be higher or lower depending on the amount of traffic on any given night. A retail store selling T-shirts and sportswear opens daily at 10 a.m., as does a carryout bar facing the casino. The nightclub opens at 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and Monday night.

Call 702-777-6582.

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