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Nightlife: It happens during the day
After a night of pinball, what could be better than a morning of… clubbing? Yes, this is the latest trend in Las Vegas, made famous by an MTV reality show and, more sensationally, Prince Harry. Dayclubs are essentially hotel swimming pools with DJs, bouncers on the door and a recliner-side food and beverage service. Crucially, you don’t usually have to be a hotel guest to get in, as the clubs are run by outside promoters. Cover charges can also be avoided with promotional fliers – but you must agree to spend a certain amount once inside. At Liquid Pool Lounge, located inside the Aria Hotel and Casino complex, it’s $100 per chair, rising to $10,000 for a cabana fitting up to a dozen people during, say, a busy American holiday weekend.

‘People like coming here because there are no kids around, and no old people swimming laps,’ says Pearce Cleveland, a DJ and all-round ‘mood director’ at The Light Group – which operates several day club venues – when we meet for a drink at Liquid. This is one of the more intimate pool parties in Las Vegas, with a capacity of about 850, I soon learn. Others, such as Encore Beach Club at The Wynn (infamously attended by Prince Harry) can host up to 3,000.

Surrounding the pool are wicker loungers with orange cushions, and flawless young women in shiny bikinis. They alternate between serving drinks and dancing on platforms. House music pumps, courtesy of San Francisco DJ Greg Lopez. We order frozen fruit, a welcome refreshment in the heat, then move to a cabana, where there’s a pile of iced towels, a misting machine, a safe, a fridge and a flatscreen TV.

Dayclubs have become a lot more luxurious since Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel pioneered the craze. ‘Sometimes you just don’t want to be sprayed with a water gun, or have someone throw up over you,’ confirms Pearce, referring to the city’s more hardpartying establishments. ‘Actually, here at Liquid, we get a lot of locals who just want to relax and work on their tans.’ He pauses. ‘And by locals,’ he adds. ‘I mean strippers.’(admission from £12 for women and from £25 for men)

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The article ‘Rediscover Las Vegas’ was published in partnership with Lonely Planet Traveller.

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