Jump Into Pool Party Season

Casinos compete for beauty and bucks.

Say you’re a guy with $50 burning a hole in your pocket and you’re faced with the decision of, if not a lifetime, at least a weekend: topless pool party or topless club?

There are so many reasons to choose that pool party, says Michael Kleen, general manager of the Sapphire Pool at the Rio.

First, you need to know that the pool party is operated by the people who own Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club. The strip club teamed up with the Rio to host a topless pool party last summer and is celebrating this year’s grand opening Saturday.

Former NBA star Robert Horry will host the party, with Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian scheduled to make an appearance. Lots of exotic dancers will be there, tanning and tantalizing guests with their toplessness.

Fifty bucks gets guys into the party; locals are in for $25. So what does that money get you? A great view, Kleen says. On any given day, there will be 30 to 100 exotic dancers from Sapphire soaking up the sun and “getting the party going,” he says. And they will be doing it topless.

Or, if you prefer, sunbathing in the European way.

But what if you saved that $50 for the strip club? There, admission is about $30. That leaves enough for a lap dance, something you won’t get at the pool party, Kleen notes. It might, in theory, be more economical to visit the strip club. An enterprising guy could even get comped admission.

“There’s way more to do at the club,” Kleen explains, referring mainly to getting lap dances or watching pole dances and half-naked women dancing onstage.

But some people don’t want the hassle of girls approaching and asking, “Do you want my services?” the way they do at strip clubs, Kleen says.

That’s where the pool party has the advantage.

“Guys love it,” Kleen says of the Sapphire Pool. “That’s what we sell, topless girls hanging out at the pool with you. You chill, have a couple of drinks. I’ve found when guys come here, they can’t wait to go to the club.”

Only a few years ago, a resort pool was used mainly for swimming and tanning. Then local resorts started inviting women to remove their tops while enjoying an array of amenities, including cabanas, daybeds, bottle service, plasma screen televisions, complimentary frozen grapes and free misters. Some quietly offered European sunbathing while others focused on the amenities. A couple of pools embraced both.

The Las Vegas night life became day life and now, resort pool parties have become more of a rule rather than the exception, says Justin Litterelle, spokesman for Daydream, M Resort’s pool party.

Some will promote their parties with celebrity hosts or high profile DJs while others, such as Daydream, will target locals.

“It’s like not having a spa at your hotel,” Litterelle says of pool parties. “It’s something every casino should have and will have, based on their level of success over the past few years.”

There are some fundamental elements of resort pool parties, stuff you will find no matter where you go, Litterelle says. He doesn’t consider any other pools as competition for Daydream, choosing instead to look at them as partners in party promotion.

They all have tricked-out cabanas with plasma televisions and refrigerators, daybeds, bottle service and live music, at the very least. It’s the little things that tend to differentiate the pools, Litterelle says, such as style of music or free chilled towels and frozen fruit.

Or topless hosts, like those found at Sapphire Pool.

The problem with most European-style pools, Kleen says, is that few women actually remove their tops. With so many exotic dancers sitting around in their half-naked glory, female guests at Sapphire pool feel more comfortable taking their tops off. And this appeals to male guests, he explains.

“The idea is basically we want our girls to have a place to go during the day,” Kleen says. “They’ve got to tan anyway, they might as well do it by the pool. We’ll compensate them lightly, give them drinks to hang out.”

Contact reporter Sonya Padgett at spadgett@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4564.

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