LAS VEGAS -- Drinking, dancing and spending tons of money by the pool -- it's not just for tourists anymore.
Since the inception of the Hard Rock Hotel's Rehab pool party, Las Vegas club operators have capitalized on the desire of tourists to party in the daytime, too.
It's serious business: During last year's pool season, which runs from early May to September, Tao Beach and Marquee Dayclub drew between 500 and 600 people on weekdays. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, each of the half-dozen or so clubs can attract 1,000 to 2,500 bodies per day. Those would be bodies aged 21 to 35 that tend to look good in a bathing suit.
"People have really bought into this daytime experience," said Jason Strauss, co-owner and operator of Tao Beach and Marquee Dayclub.
In an adaptation of the concept, the off-strip M Resort is working to fill its 3-year-old DayDream venue with the same hard-partying youthful demographic -- but with a twist. Instead of targeting tourists, M has a laserlike focus on the boys and girls next door.
Joe Bravo, director of pool operations and nightlife for M Resort, said the local focus gives Las Vegas' legions of young service industry workers a place to play away from the heavy-duty debauchery of the Strip's dayclubs, plus some relief from sky-high prices.
Take Rehab, for example. Its April 22 season opener will be hosted by Pitbull and DJ Pauly D, with admission at $70 for men and $50 for women. Ads for the party feature a woman wearing tight purple tiger-print pants, a bikini top and a blazer holding a man's hand while they're navigating the poolside party.
Wet Republic at the MGM Grand, meanwhile, charges $30 for women and $50 for men.
The average Strip dayclubber, Strauss said, spends between $40 to $50 on drinks. Some rent a daybed or cabana, which can run $250 to $5,000, depending on the real estate.
"We're an escape from that," said M's Bravo. "Nobody wants to pay a month's rent for a cabana."
M's advertising gives off a more relaxed vibe, with a bikini-clad woman pictured in a seemingly zenlike setting.
M's cover charge is also more genteel -- $10 to $15 for locals, though cabanas start at $250, up from last year's $175.
"We aren't raising prices as much as we are adding to the experience," Bravo said. "Our cabanas were pretty bare bones last year, now they will come with a fully stocked fridge with water and energy drinks along with complimentary appetizers. Not to mention we are bringing in higher quality entertainment."
That means tournament beer pong tables and music from the Beat Clan group of DJs, including DJ Hollywood and DJ Hope. (So much for zenlike settings).
"We're stepping up our game," Bravo stated. "The dayclub scene has taken off like nothing else."
The locals-centric dayclub has to be less expensive and must pace itself so customers come back again and again, Bravo said. Other dayclubs operate at a dead run because their customers are in town for a limited time, flush with vacation cash and looking for a party-like-there's-no-tomorrow experience.
"People go to the Strip because they want a crazy story,' Bravo said. "For us, the people who come, pretty much, everyone has to work Monday."
As the dayclub scene evolves, Strauss said partygoers can expect to see more partnerships with brands and products that appeal to youth. Tao Beach, for instance, is hosting Maxim Fridays this summer in league with Maxim magazine. Marquee Dayclub's new partner is Insomniac, the production team behind the Electric Daisy Carnival, and the two will produce a Sunday promotion called Wet Wonderland, with joint bookings of electronic music talent and marketing to that fan base.
"We're looking for partners that have a national reach that target our demographics and that can provide interesting event content for our guests," Strauss said.
But, of course, locals are also welcome.
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