Encore gets ready to play pool

A new pool and nightclub queue-up for the summer of 2010

The Wynn and the Encore.
Photo: Barbara Kraft

Hey Vegas, it’s pool season! Well, pool gossip season, anyway. The construction that led to the deforestation of the Encore entrance by Switch restaurant will come to a good end when the Encore Beach Club and Surrender Nightclub open there over Memorial Day weekend.

Coming in around 60,000 square feet, the project is said to include about 50,000 square feet for the three-pool Beach Club complex, with 30 private VIP cabanas plus outdoor gaming, around 4,000 square feet for Surrender Nightclub (size-wise, think Blush and a little bit over), and another 6,000-8,000 square feet of multiple, climate-controlled decks between the two.

Neighboring Switch restaurant will also be drawn into the fold for the now-traditional Vegas ensemble o\f pool, restaurant and club, which makes for a nice day-to-night-to-day transition. Switch will also be getting an overhaul to “be more in union with what we’re doing,” says Surrender/Beach Club operating partner Sean Christie. “It will have a different feel.”

Open seven days a week, the newly opened pool will be taking on Light Groups’ Liquid Pool at Aria—also opening this summer—as both new kids on the block host sizzling daytime pool parties. The Encore Beach Club deck is expected to remain operational up to 10 months out of the year, thanks to the climate-controlled patios, so nighttime pool parties are a possibility as well. The nightclub is currently slated to open three to four nights a week for starters.

Total budget for the whole shebang? Well over $70 million, a source says, and possibly up to $100 million when all is said and done. It will be “the most opulent and luxurious pool club ever built,” a source says with all confidence. The project’s operators intend to build a venue that can stay relevant for the next 10-15 years, so initial cost is understandably high.

Christie confirms to the Weekly that his Las Vegas Nightlife Group is indeed behind the projects, joining forces with owner Steve Wynn, who is said to be “intimately” involved in this important undertaking, which—with the help of Roger Thomas and the Wynn design team—will transform much of his still-new casino. “We’re looking to do something special,” Christie says. “All you have to do to understand that is drive by the front of Encore, and that gives you a glimpse of the scope and size of it. We’re hoping to change the playing field for these types of venues.”

Christie also confirms that three marketing directors have been brought on to work side-by-side: Longtime club operator Dave Pappas will focus on customer development alongside Larry Murphy (Light Group, Blush), who will work with the hosts and promoters, and hip-hop/entertainment mogul $hecky Green (aka Jonathan Schechter) confirms that he will tackle the events, talent and DJs.

“I’m focusing on a broad range of entertainment, marketing and event planning,” Green says, “including high-end performances (artists, DJs), brand tie-ins and local promotions.” Also poised to contribute to this formidable think tank is former MGM Mirage “whale”-hunter and host-of-hosts, Bob Mancari.

Competition is known to be fierce in the small-but-powerful world of Vegas pool parties, not mention its nightclubs, but the combined weight of this group’s “little black books” alone could tip the scales very much in this project’s favor.


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