Sunday, May 23, 2010 | 12:05 a.m.
Summer is less than a month away, but the beach bodies are already out at the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard. The second season of DayDream Pool Club at M Resort is under way, and leading the charge as its new director of operations is Jeff Kenkel, who was impressed right off the bat at the resort's commitment to its guests.
"Everybody was extremely helpful, very nice, very knowledgeable about their product," Kenkel said. "Nobody had a bad thing to say, nobody had a bad attitude, and for me going in, that was really the thing that stuck out in my head the most."
Born in Huntington Beach, Calif., and raised in Ohio, Kenkel is a veteran of more nightlife and daylife establishments than could fill this page, but the opportunity to move off the Strip was, in his words, "100 percent refreshing."
"We're not dealing with the Jersey Shores and the fist pumping," he said. Instead, the pool club focuses on delivering "the same premium product that (people) can get on the Strip, at an affordable price."
That means cheaper cabana minimums, aggressively priced bottle service and Saturday night parties that give guests a chance to enjoy the venue under the stars.
"It's about putting a place out there, and I don't know if this is selfish or not, but it's about putting a place out there that I'd want to go. A place I know that I can get away and not be hassled and still have a great view and good service."
At M Resort, locals reign supreme. Anthony Marnell III opened this casino with value in mind. With affordable drinks and meals and lots of incentives to play, it's no wonder why M has been a hit since it opened its doors in March 2009.
The property is decorated with dark wood, rich colors and amber-like light fixtures. Gaming offerings include more than 1,800 slot machines and 60 table games, as well as a poker room and race and sports book.
The resort houses 390 guest rooms, including 39 luxury suites. Designed with a modern and contemporary feel, M’s rooms feature dark wood, chrome fixtures and white linens, and are accented by blue or burgundy throws and pillows. Rooms boast floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the mountains or the Strip.
M dining options include Studio B, a show kitchen buffet; "twisted farm food" at Hash House a Go Go; Baby Cakes bakery; Anthony’s Burgers & Brews, serving gourmet burgers and fries; Vig Deli; Anthony’s Prime Steak & Seafood; Marinelli’s Authentic Italian Dishes; and the Hostile Grape Wine Cellar, where guests can taste more than 160 types of wine. Plus, 32° Draft has one of the largest beer selections in the valley, with 96 different beers on tap.
The four-star awarded, 23,000-square-foot Spa Mio offers a variety of treatments and services with saunas, Jacuzzis, 16 massage and facial rooms and a full-service salon and barbershop complete with built-in ESPN in the mirrors. Locals also receive 25 percent off all regular price services.
DayDream Pool Club heads up M's adult pool party scene offering the only locals pool party in the Valley.
— Originally published in Las Vegas Magazine