Las Vegas Sun

December 6, 2019

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The Strip:

Looking in on the Palms’ $600,000 pool renovations

Palms pool renovation 2012

Ron Sylvester / The Las Vegas Sun

A $600,000 renovation this summer gives the Palms Pool & Bungalows a new look with more daybeds, refurbished cabanas and a new performances stage for DJs and other music artists.

Palms pool renovations

New orange lily pads are part of the new lounging items in a renovation of the pool at the Palms in Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

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Poolside partiers in Las Vegas are getting a surprise when they slip into the Palms this summer.

After a decade of drawing thousands to MTV’s “Spring Break” and popular Ditch Fridays day parties, the Palms Pool & Bungalows have a new look thanks to a recent $600,000 renovation.

"This is the first time many of our guests have seen a renovation, so they're really surprised," said Nolan Lambertsen, general pool manager.

The Palms' poolside cabanas, which can hold a dozen people, received a makeover and expansion. Cabanas now include daybeds, and some feature couches outside for those who want to move out from the covered tents and into the sun.

"You're going to get a nice piece of real estate when you come out here now," said Rachel Wenman, marketing manager at the N9ne Group, which runs the pool and nightclubs at the Palms.

Cabanas require minimum spending of $2,500 to $6,000 on food and drink, depending on the event. For smaller parties, the Palms added 40 new daybeds, which hold up to eight people, and installed orange lily pads, like cushioned islands in the water. They hold groups of up to four and require smaller spending minimums, which vary depending on the day. Sand that used to surround the pool, and which Lambersen admitted "caused quite a mess," has been replaced by artificial turf around the deck and gaming area.

A new sound accompanies the new look, with a $150,000 sound system and $15,000 DJ booth. That's drawn bigger names to the pool. Award-winning house music DJ Roger Sanchez signed a residency at the Palms. Memorial Day brought in rap performers Busta Rhymes and Ludacris.

"Because we've created a bigger stage area, we're able to book bigger talent than ever before," Wenman said.

For a premium, partiers can reserve cabanas behind and next to the stage.

The changes also have allowed the Palms to triple its pool parties. In addition to Ditch Fridays, which draws about 3,000 people a week, there are now Palms Pool Saturdays. The weekend winds up with Sunday Scene, a music party catering to locals and those working in the Las Vegas entertainment industries.

Lambertsen, who joined the N9ne Group in January from the Encore Beach Club, said the company wanted to provide more than a prettier pool. It also stepped up its service staff, especially in the cabana and VIP areas.

"You could have a $70 million venue, but if you don't have that service, you have nothing," he said. "So that's something we're definitely focusing on."

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