Flashback Friday: The Original Pool Club

Posted by on May 22nd, 2009 and filed under Featured, Xtra News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1953 Sands PoolMemorial Day marks the official kick-off of pool season in Las Vegas. While we like to think the concept of pool clubs, a place to party the day away surrounded by beautiful folks in swimwear, drink servers and floating gambling, is a relatively new concept, in reality folks have been bringing the party poolside in Vegas for years. 

So to celebrate the start of summer and all that entails, we feature one of the greatest staged publicity shots in Las Vegas history. In 1953, the late Al Freeman, director of advertising and publicity at the Sands, set up a literal version of the phrase “floating craps game.”  The stunt was designed to capture newspaper audiences with this illustration of how far the hotel would go to keep its players happy. Click on the photo to see a larger version.

Freeman was an innovative publicist and a man ahead of his time; 56 years later the Hard Rock Hotel pool, Mandalay Bay Beach, Palms pool, Tropicana pool and more offer either in-pool gambling or tables that are just steps away from pool.

For more information on Las Vegas pools, see our pool party article in this Sunday’s L.A. Times.

For the Vegas history buffs out there, this is a varitaion of the famous photo. In this version the diver has his head up and there are a few more folks in the pool. The picture has also been digitally colorized,. The original is black and white.

Jennifer Whitehair

I'm one of a rare breed of folks, a native Las Vegan. That's Las Vegan, not Vegan. Being born in Las Vegas has endowed me with crazy Vegas skills - must be all the exposure to neon. I'm a human casino GPS, celebrity locator (You never know who you'll meet in a casino elevator, right Richard Branson?) and tip calculator. My mom taught me probability and statistics with decommissioned casino dice. When I walk through a hotel, tourists think I work there. Maybe it's my smile, my purposeful walk or my friendly answers. Maybe it's just the black suit. But whatever the reason, Vegas.com gives me the chance to exercise my Vegas super powers every day. Now if I could just predict when Megabucks would hit... You can find me on Google+ and Twitter.

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