The Encore Happens Early in Las Vegas Daylife SceneMarch 17, 2011 By: Sean Evans
As the sun began beating down on the Las Vegas desert over this past last month, the eager patrons began beating down the doors to the Encore Beach Club at Encore Las Vegas. Revelers were so antsy to pop bottles poolside, the daylife venue's management team decided to open one month early, beginning this weekend.
Official programming for the pool party season will still kick off as scheduled for the grand opening on April 16th, when Michael Phelps is set to dive into the pristine pool while Afrojack mans the turntables, but starting this Saturday, hankering clients will be able to dip their toes in the pool, their hips to the bass beats and their hands into their wallets to enjoy libations and tasty fare.
The venue's management conducted hiring last month, so the crew is in place and training is being finalized now, which they feel will work out “great for us, because we’ll have an opportunity to break people in slower than we would normally have. Other places may still be in slow and 'new' mode come April, but we’ll be pushing ahead full steam,” shares a spokesman for the for Las Vegas Nightlife Group, which operates the 60,000-square-foot Encore Beach Club, noting it was the right call to make because the demand for the product was so high.
As for what guests can expect to see at Encore Beach Club in terms of programming, the dayclub will be hosting some of the best DJ talent in the world. Exclusive residents such as Kaskade and Calvin Harris will be returning. They’ll be mixing up those regulars with one-offs, such as Steve Aoki – who spins at Surrender on Friday nights; it will be a treat to see Aoki spin in daylight. Special performances are planned, though nothing can be announced at this time, according to our source, who says, "The talent will be in line with acts we had last year, such as Travie McCoy, Bruno Mars, Brandon Flowers and the like.”
Since the Vegas pool scene has been a growing category over the past few years with last year particularly being a watershed moment when dayclubs took on a life of their own, operators and owners alike expect the genre to fare quite well. Driving that revenue success will likely be the caliber of talent being brought into the venues, because the price point for top named DJs and performers isn’t typically seen during the daytime.
With category expansion, anticipate seeing new trends emerging as a result of the daylife boom. Champagne sales are expected to be up, but more alcohol brands will begin to see the value in offering more daytime-friendly products - things that are lower than 80 proof and more sun-friendly spirits, predicts the spokesman. For example, Moët & Chandon has the Moët & Chandonl series, which is Champagne you pour over ice. “It’s fantastic for ladies in the daytime and is lower proofed,” he says.
Beyond liquor, you’ll see the amenities continue to expand. Bungalows and poolside cabanas will offer anything to enhance people’s time during the days. Whether it’s girls to mist revelers or sunglass cleaners like those employed at Tao Beach, everything will be designed to make the guests’ experience that much better (and make them stay that much longer).
Don’t count on bottle service to reign supreme poolside, either. “Our VIP areas are sold on a food and beverage minimum rather than a bottle-to-guest ratio, which allows guests more freedom and leeway. Encore Beach Club does offer single bottles that can satisfy the cabana minimum for the day or they can go with something else and get some food, too. Our goal is to make daytime friendlier and more approachable. We start at $500 to $1,000 and up. And up and up,” quips our insider.
Pools also effectively double a venue’s ability to throw parties and host events. Encore Beach Club will be offering a weekly nighttime pool party. At XS at Wynn Las Vegas, a night swim bash proves popular on Sundays, so Encore Beach adapted and on Thursdays does a party called "Dip and Dance.” “We have the pools lit up, and they really pop more in the dark. Combine that with a light show around the façade of the venue, add in beautiful bikini-clad women in the pool and it’s an incredibly sexy event.”