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December 20, 2014

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Daytime partygoers at Las Vegas pool clubs can’t skirt strict dress codes

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Erik Kabik/Retna/www.erikkabikphoto.com

Encore Beach Club and Surrender on May 29, 2010.

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In a town with famously slack sartorial codes — you can dine at a fine restaurant or attend a top-tier show in jeans and a nice T-shirt — strict dress codes are being enforced in what might seem the most unlikely of places: at Las Vegas’ risque pool parties.

MGM Grand’s Wet Republic requires women to wear a swimsuit with a sundress or wrap and encourages them to do their hair and wear heels. Men should sport board shorts, a T-shirt and sandals or flip-flops; undershirts, cut-off shorts and athletic wear like gym shorts, sneakers and sports jerseys are forbidden.

The same goes for Encore Beach Club, where baggy clothes, chains and see-through swimwear will get you no farther than the door. And don’t expect to get into Marquee Dayclub at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas or Tao Beach at the Venetian without similar pool-appropriate attire and footwear to keep you covered as you navigate the hotel.

Inside the club, however, guests are free to keep clothing to a minimum, provided they meet the minimum requirements. Tiny bikinis and Speedos may spice things up, but don’t expect a string-and-pasties ensemble or mesh male thong to qualify as swimwear.

 

“Guests have an expectation of a five-star experience. Our bungalows, cabanas and lily pads go for a high premium, and that sets the attitude for what the people paying for them expect and how guests should behave,” said Pauly Freedman, director of operations for Encore Beach Club. “That includes dressing appropriately. We want people to have fun, and we encourage it, but we’re at the Wynn, not down the street. Dress to impress.”

Indeed, pool clubs are enforcing dress codes in a scene that’s more “ultra lounge” than “lounge by the pool.” As with the clubs’ indoor nighttime counterparts, a stroll past a pool club entrance on a weekend afternoon often reveals long lines snaking back into the hotel, with guests waiting as long as an hour to pay premium cover charges (which average about $30 for women and $50 for men) to get past the door. Inside, pricey cocktails and even pricier daybed and cabana rentals await, but so do star-powered DJ sets and raucous dance parties. For many, it’s a price tag worthy of the experience.

The dayclub pool party trend evolved out of the burgeoning nightclub scene of the late ’90s, emerging in the early ’00s with upscale pool clubs like Moorea Beach at Mandalay Bay (which also has a strict dress code, despite being top-optional or “toptional”).

Despite the upscale atmosphere, you don’t have to invest in a designer swimsuit or risk slipping in a pair of stilettos to partake in pool club festivities. Like many of the Strip’s nightclubs, the dress codes aren’t usually on display but exist largely to set parameters for what is and isn’t appropriate rather than to screen guests for chicness and style. Still, consider a quick phone call to the venue or go online beforehand to check up on dress codes and cover charges to ensure that your time in line isn’t spent in vain.

“If you’re going to a formal event, that doesn’t mean you have to have a tie or tuxedo, but there are certain things that look out of place, and the same thinking can be applied to our pool clubs,” said David Long, the director of security for Tao Beach and Marquee Dayclub.

His hard-line concern is that guests are covered and wearing footwear as they migrate between the hotel and the pool out of respect to other patrons.

Though pool personnel largely have to deal with guests being underdressed, they do sometimes encounter the opposite problem.

“We have a lot of guys who show up in suits,” said Rebeccah Gannon, director of guest services for Angel Management Group, which handles Wet Republic. “I think they’re dressing to impress the girls, which I get, because who doesn’t like a guy in a suit? But that’s not exactly proper pool attire.”

She encourages guests to have fun with the dress code and show off their personal style, but adds that there is one must-have fashion accessory for this summer’s pool party circuit: a valid photo ID.

Follow Andrea Domanick on Twitter at @AndreaDomanick and fan her on Facebook at Facebook.com/AndreaDomanick.

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  1. It's interesting that they encourage girls to wear heels because every time I've been to a hotel or their signature pool party strolling a hotel or whatever, there are girls falling drunk all over the place. Heels? They can't walk in them sober, add a slippery surface and blurred vision = disaster waiting to happen. I'd be interested to see if the older tourists like mom and dad, or grandma and grandpa are happy that these pool parties go on during the afternoons. And what about children? Are we not making this a "family friendly" destination? How can you say the kids will have a blast when they are walking to the pool w/ mom and dad and see Candy High Heels vomiting in a bush? Or Serena Slosh falling into a trash bin in the hallway of the casino? Family? Really?

  2. Buttercup,

    These pool parties are typically held in separate, adult-only pools and don't affect the G-rated frolicking at the hotels' family pools.

  3. My point is that with this type of dress code "encouraged", at some point one of these types of drunks will end up falling and cracking their head open. Men in flip flops, not as easy to do.

  4. Comment removed by moderator. Off Topic

  5. Comment removed by moderator. Off Topic

  6. These places are truly disgusting. A cesspool of disease. These places are known to be contaminated with the most grotesque bacteria. Gross!

  7. @Heather King, it's a free enterprise market. No one is telling you that you HAVE to go there. If there is a demand for such events, they will continue to be hosted. If you are as uncoordinated while drinking as you make it seem, then go more for flats of smaller heels.

    And for Vegas Dlight, the same could be said about the pools at any local gym. They're all screened similarly by the Health District. Maybe the bacteria you're talking about isn't from the water but cured from a trip to the 'clinic'.

  8. @Heather Kind, furthermore, how many instances of pool-related deaths have been reported in Las Vegas, yet millions of people visit these pools each year? Are you an actuary? Do you look at general liability claims for hotels for a living (or just for fun)?

  9. LOL, I don't go there, specifically because of the crowd that attends these parties. I am more of a flip flop girl when it comes to going to hang out at a pool, which is entirely at a friend's house, or my community pool. I'm Polish, meaning I'm pretty uncoordinated when sober, so why add alcohol to that mix? lol I haven't heard of any pool related deaths, primarily because they're probably kept hush hush from the general public so the hotels don't get a bad name. @Robert Glencoe, define adults and kids? If we're speaking of the "adults" I saw stumbling/holding each other up in the hallways of the Hard Rock a couple Sundays ago, I'd say that's borderline naive to think these people are adults. These "adults" you speak of, are only there to get trashed and stuble around the pool areas of the hotels. Now, the real adults, the ones that like coming to Vegas to try their hand at gambling, have more money to spend at restaurants and on cocktails to "sip", if we've changed this demographic in the entire city, then we'll be losing a ton of money in the future. These stumbling adults don't spend a dime in the casinos unless they're trying to get a free drink. Please send these "kids" to Circus Circus cuz they all act like they belong there.