Popular Poolsides

When the temperature rises, clients can find an oasis in Vegas

By: Kathy Espin

Las Vegas isn’t known for its balmy summers daytime temperatures often climb over the 110-degree mark and that’s miserable in anybody’s book. But at night, when the sun takes a break from burning the hides off people, the temperatures dip to a dry 80 or 90 degrees. That’s when the fun really begins as several Las Vegas resorts host parties and special events poolside.

The biggest summer event has to be the Mandalay Bay Concerts on the Beach running from May through September. To call this a poolside event is a misnomer because the concerts are actually staged in the pool. A huge stage is built in the 1.6 million-gallon wave pool and concert-goers enjoy the show while sitting on the beach or wading in the water.

This year’s series kicked off on May 5 with Cheap Trick. Future events will include Sugarland, the Go-Go’s, Pat Benatar, Styx, the Beach Boys and the Doobie Brothers.

A new feature has been added to the pool amenities just in time for the concert series:Beach Bungalows are now available in the sand just a few feet from the wave pool. The cabanas-on-steroids can accommodate up to eight guests and come with a music system with CD player and iPod port; 40-inch LCD televisions; bar and refrigerator; private changing area; and a phone. For larger groups, two bungalows can be rented side-by-side.

The bungalows go for $350-$700 per day and for $200-$400 per night for a concert, not including the cost of concert tickets. Tickets run from about $40 up. (877-632-7800; www.mandalaybay.com)

The Flamingo Las Vegas is also offering a series of events in the hotel’s 15-acre tropical pool area. Starting on May 16, the hotel will host Pure Pink, a pool party where women are the guests of honor. The parties will feature drink specials, giveaways and special entertainment. The parties are open to anyone, but women drink free from 8-9 p.m. (www. flamingolasvegs.com)

As the sun begins to dip, the Flamingo hosts happy hours from 4-8 p.m., Tues.-Sun., beginning May 24. Drink specials include two-for-one on frozen cocktails and Fosters Oil Cans. The event features a DJ, giveaways and free shots hosted by Bacardi models. Guests will have a chance to win a 2006 Jeep, which will be awarded over Labor Day weekend.

On Monday nights, the pool is the site for Battle of the Bands, where amateur musicians compete for prizes. The events, open to guests of all ages, run from 7-10 p.m. from June 5 to Aug. 27.

The Flamingo pool is also offering live gaming in the Beach Club through Sept. 30. (702-733-3111; www.flamingolasvegas.com)

Another longtime favorite poolside event is the Imperial Palace’s Imperial Hawaiian Luau that kicked off on April 18 and runs through Oct. 28 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays beginning at 6:30 p.m. The event, now in its 15th year, includes a Polynesian Revue with hula lessons, sing-alongs and fire-knife dancers. Authentic Polynesian food is served buffet-style and the Mai Tais and Pina Coladas are non-stop. General admission is $33.95 ($20 for children) and VIP seating is $54.95 ($41 for children). (888-777-7664; www.imperialpalace. com)

While the I.P’s event targets the babyboomer set, the Hard Rock Hotel sponsors an event definitely aimed at a younger crowd.

On April 30, the hotel will reopen its annual Rehab, an outdoor beach club that runs from noon to 8 p.m. on Sundays. This is the place to see and be seen for those young enough to still look good in swimwear. (800-473-7625; www. hardrockhotel.com)

Other events are in the planning stages and TravelAge West has it on the best authority that some innovations are in store at several major resorts, but they don’t want to talk about them yet. For example, look for a new European (read topless) pool area at the Mirage and new adult areas at Caesars.

When the weather gets hot in Las Vegas, the party moves out to the pool. Be sure to ask about poolside events when booking your clients’ summer Las Vegas vacations.

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