Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vdara Hotel Death Ray in Las Vegas

Vdara pool (image credit: MGM)
Interesting article about the 'Vdara death ray' when news broke of the phenomenon last fall. Let's hope the hotel has solved the issue before summer returns to the Las Vegas strip.

Vdara hotel (image: lvrj)
From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
The tall, sleek, curving Vdara Hotel at CityCenter on the Strip is a thing of beauty.

But the south-facing tower is also a collector and bouncer of sun rays, which -- if you're at the hotel's swimming pool at the wrong time of day and season -- can singe your hair and melt your plastic drink cups and shopping bags.

Hotel pool employees call the phenomenon the "Vdara death ray."

(image: lvrj)
A spokesman for MGM Resorts International, which owns Vdara, said he prefers the term "hot spot" or "solar convergence" to describe it. He went on to say that designers are already working with resort staff to come up with solutions.

Designers foresaw the issue, and thought they had solved it by installing a high-tech film on the south-facing glass panes, according to Gordon Absher, the MGM spokesman. The film scatters more than 70 percent of reflected rays. But that's not enough, Absher acknowledged, as some pool guests are still uncomfortable.

Viewed from above, the Vdara tower resembles a crescent. The crescent's southern-facing side is concave. There is no tall building farther south to block the sun's hot afternoon rays, so Vdara receives the full brunt. Its pool lies at the center of this southern-facing wall, on top of a low-rise building that is three stories tall.

A plastic bag melted by the "Vdara death ray". (image: lvrj)

A new building's first season of operation always uncovers glitches, Absher also said. Vdara solutions under review include adding more foliage to the pool deck, offering larger sun umbrellas and building a shade structure. But the challenge of constructing shade is that the sun, and the reflection, are moving targets.

CityCenter's Vdara isn't the first high-profile structure to reflect brightly. In Las Vegas, both the AdventureDome at Circus Circus and the Mandalay Bay have reflection issues, Absher noted. In early spring, he added, some pool guests at Mandalay Bay even seek out the hot spots, because they are more comfortable for sunning.

Click here for the complete article or visit the Las Vegas Review-Journal website at lvrj.com. For more info about the hotel, visit vdara.com.


Anonymous said...

This phenomenom was first disclosed in Sept 2010. This article was written in Jan 2011. I was at the Vdara in early April 2011 and experienced the "death ray" first hand.

Obviously the MGM owners have done nothing to try to fix this.

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