We were expecting to be blown away by the fresh experience of watching a Vegas Golden Knights game on a mega-giant outdoor screen at a brand-new pool club in Las Vegas on a recent Saturday night. But our hometown hockey heroes turned out be an afterthought. Instead, we watched one of the all-time great NCAA Final Four games as UCLA valiantly went blow-for-blow with tourney favorite Gonzaga, only to fall at the buzzer thanks to a half-court shot by Jalen Suggs.
It was an exhilarating sports moment, made even more special at this exciting sports-based venue, and a reminder of why Circa owner Derek Stevens decided to build what he calls “the best pool in history.” Las Vegas is a great place to celebrate and participate in events that aren’t happening in Las Vegas, and Stadium Swim is the sun-drenched epitome of that concept. It packs its own punch and layers the ultimate watch party as the cherry on top.
The scary part is that this place hasn’t even been able to be its full self yet. It opened in late October, when pools and dayclubs traditionally pack it up for the season, but operating 365 days a year was always the plan for Stadium Swim. It serves hotel guests and pool party-ready visitors with daybed reservations, but those are secondary priorities. This is an event destination, billed as a pool amphitheater, and that event could be anything from a big game (or several big games at the same time) on the 143-foot screen to a private event, or a concert, or a pool party, or something else.
It’s a 4,000-capacity venue now operating at 50%, but because of pandemic social distancing restrictions, those numbers fall well below 2,000 people. When Stadium Swim can truly max out its 30 cabanas, 38 daybeds and six pools spread spaciously across the multilevel rooftop location, that will be a party for the ages, over and over again. And it will demonstrate a much broader appeal than the typical Vegas pool party crowd.
Until then, it does feel like the newest Vegas pool party that just happens to have those monumental screens framing a small central DJ booth—except when surreal vibes hit and you realize you’re on Fremont Street. Classic Downtown hotel towers spike up around you, and the back of the Viva Vision canopy stretches out behind the video screens. Big daylife hasn’t come Downtown before, because it didn’t exist 40 years ago when the last new casino opened down here. It’s fantastically weird, or weirdly fantastic, to have this experience in this location.
Our experience included a cabana, bottle service (starting at $300), a mountainous platter of vegetarian nachos ($60) and several dips in several pools. The menu also offers 32-ounce cocktails ($27) like the Golden Hour Margarita with Espolon Reposado and the Adult Beverage with pink strawberry gin and prosecco, plus Sonoran-style hot dogs ($16) and Impossible sliders ($18). And, you guys, swim-up bars.
Honestly, we were highly apprehensive about our first Vegas pool club visit since 2019. We might be getting up there in years. We might be lost on the dadbod spectrum. We might have gotten too comfortable staying home for a year. We were hoping Stadium Swim’s casual vibes would snap us back into gear, and that’s exactly what happened.
STADIUM SWIM Daily, 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Circa, 833-247-2258, circalasvegas.com.