Buying a Las Vegas souvenir at the airport used to involve a pair of fuzzy dice, shot glass, casino T-shirt or simple variation thereof.
These days, one of the more popular, yet curious places for last-minute gifts at McCarran’s C gates is the Hard Rock’s Rehab-branded kiosk, which sells merchandise bearing the logo of the resort’s racy, long-running pool party.
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The kiosk, the latest expansion of the Rehab brand beyond the Rehab-focused reality show on truTV, sells clothing basics along with curios like a $285 dive watch, of which 200 have sold so far this year.
It’s a temporary, though calculated experiment for the Hard Rock, which counts Rehab as one of the its best-selling brands.
The party and reality show have generated national publicity for the property and for Las Vegas. With the spread of Rehab-style pool parties across Las Vegas, the town has become associated with an over-the-top poolside lifestyle involving waxed hardbodies, dance music and copious amounts of booze.
For people who witness the party live or simply watch it from their living room couches, Rehab souvenirs represent a piece of this fantasy world, said Krista Tye, Hard Rock senior executive director of retail operations. Some are thankful for the opportunity to buy last-minute gifts, she added.
“They’re buying a little piece of Vegas so they can go home and tell their Vegas stories.”
The cabana-shaped kiosk, which opened July 7 and closes Oct. 15 to coincide with pool season, is a tame version of the real thing, with thumping house music and scenes from the Rehab reality show playing on flat-screen TVs.
Airport officials welcomed the store despite the raucous antics of its scantily clad customers, Tye said.
All kiosk employees completed the airport’s screening and extensive background check process. Airport officials also reviewed the television clips for inappropriate content.
Jiggling cleavage and bikini-covered bottoms, the epitome of the moneymaking miracle known as the Las Vegas pool scene, were deemed entirely appropriate.