Wednesday, March 21, 2012 | 2 a.m.
Other Vegas Spring Breaks
The Palms has MTV's lights and glamour, but spring is breaking out all over Vegas for the next month. Here are some of the highlights:
- MGM Resorts is offering spring break packages at six of its resorts, including MGM Grand and the southwest corridor of Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, New York-New York and Monte Carlo. Packages include nightclub and pool admissions and featured entertainment.
- So those under 21 don't feel left out, Station Casinos are offering specials next month with special deals on bowling, ice skating and its movie theaters. From April 2-6, when most Clark County schools will be on break, Santa Fe Lanes is offering $8 for two games and shoe rental. The SoBe Ice Arena at Fiesta Rancho is offering extended hours during local spring break days. Movie discounts are being offered across Station Casinos. Contact the individual resorts for their deals.
The official temperature read 56 degrees, but the sun beaming over the towers of the Palms proved perfect for the crowds in the water and crammed in front of the pool stage.
It was spring break, after all, and they were on MTV.
For nearly 3,000 men and women, it couldn't have gotten much better.
"It could be a little warmer, but we've got a lot of energy," said Rachael Roberto, 22, of Los Angeles. "It's all about keeping the energy high."
The day before Tuesday's television shoot, mild concerns had been whispered behind the scenes about overcast skies and temperatures more like a brisk desert December than March. "MTV Spring Break" with people in parkas wouldn't be the same.
But the Southwest sun has a way of running a little hotter than the temperature suggests, especially if you're not from here. Tuesday didn't disappoint, with lines of party people in bikinis and board shorts stringing across the casino. They were waiting to get past the ropes and into the pool area, after such musical acts as B.o.B and Young Jeezy were keeping the crowds dancing outside.
Participants must go through multiple security checks — checking ages on IDs — before they get inside the pool at the Palms. MTV officials estimate about 2,000 people a day will get into the event, which continues each afternoon through Thursday, featuring performances by Dev, Big Sean and the Wanted. Cast members from the reality show "Jersey Shore" are also popping in to mingle with partygoers.
"We're looking for the biggest fans, people who can really bring spring break to life," said Eric Conte, senior vice president of programming and production for MTV2/U.
This is the second year the Palms has hosted MTV's "Spring Break," which will air beginning April 2.
"We look at where the spring breakers go, and this has really been such a fabulous destination. The partnership with the Palms had just been fantastic," Conte said. "No one else offers these kinds of facilities, experiences and clientele."
Over the last decade, MTV has helped boost the Palms' reputation as the young people's party palace since the network brought "The Real World: Las Vegas" to the resort in 2002. The Palms has also been home to the MTV Music Awards.
"It creates the atmosphere of a weekend in the middle of the week," said Jon Gray, senior vice president and general manager of the 9 Group Las Vegas, which manages restaurants, nightlife and the pool at the Palms.
Most of the people lining up for the pool parties are also staying at the resort, Gray said.
Lee Archacki, 23, of Manchester, England, had booked a spring break trip to the Palms with friends.
"We were going to be in Las Vegas, and it would have been rude not to come here," he said.
The set-up began last week. It took five days to build the stage stretching across the pool, said Justin Cohen, director of special events for Best Events. The Los Angeles-based group designed the pool set, which included staging for games where participants could interact with show sponsors such as SoBe beverages, Burger King and Lionsgate films.
Conte said most of the MTV production crew had just wrapped shooting of the network's shows at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.
"Guys, you're going to have to watch out, there's a camera over your head," MTV host Carly Henderson told the crowd as a boom swung down and into place before the taping.
"OK, five, four, three, two, one, let's hear it," she said.
The spring breakers screamed on cue.
"We're live from the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas ..." she continued.
It might as well have been 90 degrees outside.
"For the locals here, this might be a little chilly," Gray said. "But to kids coming here from Nebraska, Wisconsin and Michigan, this weather is paradise."
Palms Casino Resort has come a long way since its "Real World" debut in 2002. The boutique property features three distinct towers and a diverse mix of bars and restaurants across a 95,000-square-foot casino.
Palms, which features more than 1,200 rooms and fantasy suites, is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar transformation that will encompass an Ivory Tower room and suite redesign, new culinary additions, re-imagined gaming spaces and new, distinctive nightlife experiences.
In addition to newly designed rooms, during the first phase of the renovation, Palms will welcome Heraea, a high-energy American restaurant and lounge, and XISHI, a pan-Asian restaurant and lounge.
Fantasy Suites include the Hardwood Suite, the only hotel room in the world with its own basketball court.
Other amenities include the all-new Cantor Gaming® race and sports book, one of the few sports books in Las Vegas to include a poker room; SOCIAL; Scarlet; Chocolat Bistro; tonic bar; ghostbar; Pearl Concert Theater; Moon Nightclub; N9NE Steakhouse; Nove Italiano; Simon Restaurant & Lounge; Palms Pool & Bungalows; Kim Vō Salon; Drift Spa & Hammam; Brenden Theatres, a 14-theatre cineplex and more than 60,000 square-feet of meeting space.