Written by Vegas Transportation
Sin City has earned the benefit of the doubt. Remember when things really started moving for Las Vegas and naysayers couldn’t fathom people flocking to a desert for anything resembling fun? Remember when Vegas hotels started courting culinary superstars and New York and Los Angeles laughed?
Remember when you weren’t going to buy into that whole Vegas “thing” and then found yourself at the blackjack table at 4 a.m. after dancing all night on tables in a club?
Oh yeah, everybody knows about that. So, from where Sin City is sitting, it looks like the world owes it one. And if Las Vegas wants to run around calling a pool party “daylife,” well, the world’s just going to have to trust Las Vegas. Which brings the world here – to Wet Republic at MGM Grand.
Promotional material for Wet Republic promised the birth of “daylife,” which, to be fair, actually sounds like a lot more than just a pool party. The space, which also goes by the moniker, “the ultra pool at MGM Grand,” occupies 53,000 square feet and every single inch of it is dedicated to aspects of Wet Republic’s vibe. White, blue and other crisp, clean colors decorate the venue (and the servers, who, as it turns out, are all models). There are two saltwater pools, a first in Las Vegas, that together measure more than 6,000 square feet.
A bar area, complete with a very ultra-lounge feel (but outdoors and during the day), runs the length of the main pools and it’s set up to be a pretty great meeting spot. From that bar comes not only frozen drinks and cocktails, but Wet Republic’s “pitcher” service – pitchers full of fun, summer drinks, like mojitos. Not surprisingly, Wet Republic is for guests 21 and older.
How you want to sit at the pool (versus the bar) depends on how you want to spend the day. For in-pool action, 18 water lounges are scattered throughout the shallow end of the pool. If that sounds good, except for the whole being-in-the-water part, there are 80 chaise lounges laid out around the deck, with reversible headrests for when the sun is facing the other way.
If the pockets on your swim trunks run deep, there are 18 daybed options. If they run deeper still, 10 party cabanas line the side of the pool. If you’re going all out (but not all off – Wet Republic bucked the trend of European pools in Vegas and is requiring women to wear tops), check into a “VIP bungalow.”
The bungalows, which are probably nicer than what’s in your house, come with reserved chaise lounges, a fridge, an X-Box 360, a flat-screen TV and they share a private spa area and bathroom. Anthony Olhesier, director of nightlife for MGM Grand, sees all these different options as a selling point.
“You can experience so many different things in our venue,” Olheiser said. “The total experience…suits anybody’s palate.”
Whether you want to come in and throw a towel down, come in and check out the bar area or come in and rent a bungalow, “it’s the multiple experiences that really set us apart,” he said. But Olheiser’s just being modest, because if you prod him a little bit more, there’s actually a whole list of things Wet Republic brings to the table that Vegas is likely to embrace like a long lost lover.
No one ever wants to talk about parking, but it’s always there, lurking a 20-minute walk away from your destination, frustrating and inconveniencing you. Clearly the minds behind Wet Republic have made a few parking lot runs in their day because separate parking for the venue is on its way. A parking deck and valet located just off Koval Lane (or, for those that don’t drive around Sin City much, a street behind the MGM Grand) is another feather in Wet Republic cap.
“Most hotels, to get to the pool, you have to walk through the hotel,” Olheiser said. “[At Wet Republic], you can literally drive up to the pool, valet your car and get in the pool.”
Pool fare in Sin City has long pulled from kitchens belonging to other restaurants in the hotel, but Wet Republic is equipped with its own dedicated kitchen. Olheiser calls the venue’s burgers, wraps and eccentric dessert options, “fun, yet comfortable.”
Wet Republic is also spacious enough to host entertainers, when it’s warranted (which is always) and plans are in the works to bring in big-name DJ talent to spin for pool guests.
Olheiser promises that summer at Wet Republic is “going to be explosive.”
And if the new buzz phrase for spending an “explosive” day by the pool, sipping on mojitos and listening to a DJ work his way through a set is “daylife,” well, Vegas is already using that word like it was taught in grade school. You won’t be far behind. Go ahead, use it in a sentence. - Review by Jamie Helmick
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