Cooling Off Period

Meeting Planning

POOL PARTIES

Ahhh, Vegas in July. With average high temperatures hovering around 104 degrees F, there's only one safe haven outside of full-blast air conditioning: swimming pools. The Vegas pool scene is getting hotter, as it were, with different properties offering frequent parties to lure sun-soaking fun-seekers. Further, they're opening private "clubs" in their pool areas that can be rented for special events.

PURE Nightclub announced that it will operate the Venus Pool Club, at Caesars Palace. On the program are such heat-seeking weapons as frozen towel service, Evian spritzers and roving bartenders skilled at making mojitos and margaritas; this area (and its chilly perks) can be rented for private events. The Flamingo Hotel will also be throwing parties in each of its tropical pools, including a Bacardi bash planned to last through the summer. They also allow private events.

Meanwhile, the king of Vegas pools, the Beach at Mandalay Bay, is also expanding its offerings for groups. Along with 1,000 tons of new sand, Mandalay has set up Beach Bungalows for up to eight guests, making them ideal for a relaxed breakout meeting or as an incentive reward. Each of the bungalows has its own music system, 40-inch TV, telephone and private bar. Mandalay's separate Moorea Beach Club, meanwhile, has "European" (i.e. topless) bathing, daybeds, opium beds and pavilions from $250–$750 per day, along with treats like foot- and cold-stone massage. In 2007, the Beach will add on a multilevel pool and cabana experience, complete with waterfalls and VIP lounges.

And the Palms is completing its pool re-design. One of the most well-known spots in town, the pool area has been expanded. There's a larger stage, enhanced bar areas, new VIP cabanas and even a new eye-riveting catwalk going into the center of the pool. The Palms pool is managed by the N9ne Group, which also operates numerous nightclubs around town.

LIGHT FANTASTIC

Located in several MGM-Mirage properties along the Strip, the Light Group properties are a boon to meeting planners, as they can be rented for events and meetings of all kinds. The Light Group's hyper-hip "ultralounges" tend to feature plush seating areas, amber lighting, bartenders who could be fashion models and A-list Hollywood clientele.

Most of the clubs are equipped with top-of-the-line digital lighting technologies for companies looking to present their "brand" with a little flair. And as a nice perk, private-party wrist-banded guests can come back in without waiting in line (as space allows), and at no charge, once the clubs open to the public.

The Bellagio has several Light Group clubs. Light, the flagship nightclub, can hold up to 1,000 people. It has less of the amber/caramel lighting and more of a blue- and red-velvet style. Guests ascend to the 7,000-square-foot club via escalator. It's $2,000 per hour, plus $50 per person with Bellagio banquet fees. Caramel, an elegant, mellow little bar off the casino, rents for about $1,000 per hour, with a $50 per-person catering charge (plus Bellagio catering if needed). Caramel is best suited for intimate, high-end cocktail receptions for groups of 50 to 200 people. Fix, a restaurant, serves up to 340 guests reception-style or 140 guests for a plated menu, and offers a private dining room for 24 guests. Fix is available daily except Fri.–Sat., from 5 p.m. to midnight.

The Mirage's JET, a sleek nightclub, has three rooms that can be rented together for about $3,000 per hour with a $50-per-person drink package (additional catering is handled by the Mirage). JET offers 15,000 sq. ft. of space and can fit up to 2,000 guests. Stack, a Mirage restaurant with distinctive wavy walls, is available for a buyout Sun.–Thurs. for up to 48 guests in the lounge, 18 at the slate-topped bar, 175 in the main dining room and 24 in the private dining room.
Mist Lounge, at Treasure Island, rents for about $500 per hour, with
a $45 per-person drink minimum.

The club can hold up to 110. (lightgroup.com)

WHAT'S YOUR FANTASY?

The Palms recently completed the last of its Fantasy Suites; these stylish, themed rooms are perfect for a cool event, brainstorming meeting or incentive prize. Imagine checking into the Kingpin Suite (with a two-lane bowling alley; $4,000 per night), or for a group of basketball fans, the two-story, 10,000-square-foot Hardwood Suite, which has a scoreboard, locker room and basketball half-court (capacity 325; rents for $25,000 per night). Located on the 25th and 26th floors, the suites all have views of the Strip; an entire floor (or two) can be rented for "block parties," for up
to 600 people ($25,000–$100,000). The Fantasy Tower, the location of the suites, has two floors
dedicated to meeting space, as well as a large concert venue. (palmsfantasy.com)

ENCORE, ENCORE!

Just a year after opening the Wynn Las Vegas, Wynn Resorts broke ground on the property's
next-door expansion, Encore, which is being built on the former site of the Desert Inn. Scheduled for completion in December 2008, Encore will be fully integrated with its brother to the south. Encore
will also contribute an estimated 40,000 sq. ft. of new meeting space to the Wynn's approximately 223,000 sq. ft. (wynnlasvegas.com)

Vive La France!

Finally, in honor of Bastille Day, we'd like to remind you that the Eiffel Tower, at Paris Las Vegas Resort & Casino, has two items of interest to meeting planners. At $9 per person, a trip to
the observation deck, 460 feet above the ground, delivers the "Eiffel Tower Experience" offering awesome views of The Strip, day or night. (In case you were wondering, Mesdames et Messieurs, the Tower is an exact reproduction of the la vrai thing in Paris, rendered at 1/2 scale and using the exact same shade of paint, bien sur!)

The Eiffel Tower Restaurant, meanwhile, is located on the 11th floor, and can be rented for special events. This elegant room has a fun French flair, as well as a wall of windows with fantastic views over the Strip. As Drew Varga, vice president of group sales for Harrahs Entertainment, joked to us recently, "We thank Steve Wynn every day for building the $50-million Bellagio fountain across the street just so our restaurant guests can enjoy the show as they eat." (parislasvegas.com)