Tuesday, Sep. 02, 2008

8. Party at the Pool

There's dirty Vegas — strip clubs, hookers, cocaine, hotel room swingers — and there's filthy Vegas: pool parties. Personally, if I'm by the pool, I just want to read and try to figure out if that woman in the thong is a trophy wife or a hooker. Or maybe I'll get on a raft and float with the kids around the Mandalay Bay river pool, or run into the fake waves at the fake Mandalay beach.

But the theory to pool partying is this: Why go to a strip club when you can let the strippers come to you? The Rio Hotel has a deal with the Sapphire Club, so that one of the hotel's pools is populated by off-duty dancers; but the scene doesn't seem to have gelled yet — it's just a bunch of dudes paying ($50 on weekends) to ogle strippers getting a tan. There's also Rehab, the party on Sunday at the Hard Rock, which has become a disgustingly overcrowded spring-break spectacle — a drunken, wet frat party — though there's something to be said for that.

Still, I'd stick with these just slightly more adult pool/club scenes (toplessness is strongly encouraged, so no kids): Bare at the Mirage; Venus at Caesars; Moorea Beach Club at the Mandalay Bay; and Tao Beach at the Venetian. You'll have to pay to get in (usually about $10–$20 for women, $30–$50 for men), which is kind of ridiculous. But once you get over that hurdle, you'll want to spend a whole lot more to get a cabana and feel really special. And you'll probably get bottle service to impress people. Also, you can play blackjack in the pool at most of these places — in Vegas that's called multitasking.