Las Vegas Sun

December 17, 2014

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Summer pools keep Alex Mendonsa on the go

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Leila Navidi

Caesars Palace and Rio director of nightlife Alex Mendonsa

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In the pantheon of summery drinks, there are pina coladas, daiquiris, mojitos and, of course, the one invented by the Trader Vic's franchise, the mai tai. We won't lie: The one found on the cocktail menu at the Caesars Palace pool packs a punch thanks to the combo of 10 Cane rum, Southern Comfort and Grand Marnier, but it's tempered ever so slightly by some pineapple juice, grenadine and fresh lime and sour. Cheers.

Growing up in Orange County, Alex Mendonsa was never too far from some of the top surfing beaches in the world. He still returns home every now and then to catch waves, but his primary watery concern now that he resides in Las Vegas is not oceans but swimming pools. As director of nightlife for Caesars Palace and Rio, Mendonsa oversees two of the top pool complexes in the city.

"I get to come to work and do the dream job," Mendonsa said. "It's like being a professional baseball player to a kid who wants to be a professional baseball player when he grows up. It's all-encompassing and all fun."

Among the new toys Mendonsa gets to play with is Rio's new "anti-ultra pool" experience, Bikini Beach, and Caesars' expansive Garden of the Gods pool complex, which boasts eight pools over 6 acres and has become one of the top retreats in a city filled with them.

"We have an experience for everybody," he said — and he's not kidding.

Between the Neptune party pool, the family-friendly Temple pool, the Jupiter spa pool and the second-story VIP Bacchus pool, there's always somewhere new to make a splash. And now that nightlife has grown to include daylife at these two properties, Mendonsa's already hectic schedule has taken on a life of its own.

"Usually I go home and my wife doesn't recognize me and my son doesn't remember my name," he joked. "It's long hours, but it's fun. I enjoy what I do."

— Originally published in Las Vegas Magazine

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