Las Vegas’ daylife has become as legendary as its nightlife, and most of the credit for this is due to Rehab, the city’s first and most legendary pool party.
Launched in April 2004 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, this unbelievably raucous afternoon event is still considered the cream of the crop. It brings a young and glamorous crowd – numbering more than 4,000 people on average – together to recover after Saturday night’s excesses…with even more excesses!
“People are coming here for about eight hours of sheer fun,” said Michael Goodwin, vice president of daylife and nightlife at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. He was a patron during Rehab’s early years and is now extremely proud to be a participant in putting it on.
An assortment of entertainment including world-class music acts and nationally acclaimed DJs have been lined up to celebrate Rehab’s 10th year in operation. Kicking things off on April 21 is Sublime with Rome, who are bringing their reggae vibe as well as hits like “Take It or Leave It” and “Panic” to the resort’s poolside stage. Another major act has been announced for the subsequent Sunday. On April 28, the French electronic pop duo Justice will spin “New Lands” and “Audio, Video, Disco,” along with their other top tracks.
Rehab is also known for hosting celebrities, and you can expect to spot many of them this season. In past years, Ne-Yo, Pitbull and Drake have all appeared. Gorgeous Kim Kardashian even graced fans with her presence and hot bod last June.
Indeed the music and star watching are top-notch, but don’t be fooled. None of this is what built Rehab’s reputation. Although big-name DJs and performers like rapper Snoop Dogg were incorporated into the mix early on, they have never been the focus.
“[Party-goers] are here for the whole day, versus a performance by a specific entertainer or a particular set by a DJ,” said Goodwin. “Having those celebrities tied in is just the icing on the cake. At Rehab, it’s really about the whole experience.”
Originally, the goal of Rehab was to provide a $10,000 lift on Sundays for overall sales on the property. Opened up to guests from outside the hotel, the sun-soaked bash immediately exceeded expectations.
All you have to do is take a stroll through the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s 6.5-acre outdoor complex dubbed “Beachlife,” which consists of three distinct pool areas – Nirvana, Breathe and Paradise Beach, where Rehab is held – to see why. There’s a lazy river, a water slide, swim-up blackjack tables, several sand beaches and countless bars. The front section nurtures a Hawaiian-like atmosphere, while the back section (situated nearer to the HRH Tower) has a high-end resort feel.
“The comfort of the pools and that oasis vibe tied in with the great music and entertainment create the experience of Rehab. That’s what has made it survive,” said Goodwin. “They’ve launched similar events at a lot of places, but none of them have been better. People want to come to Rehab. Whenever Las Vegas visitors mention a pool party, Rehab is definitely on the top of their list.”
Naturally, those who come to Rehab are sure to indulge in the libations. In addition to an extensive bottle menu and beers (which can be purchased by the bucket), there are 13 specialty drinks. Two popular signature cocktails are the fruity Tropical Punch and Strawberry Shortcake. Up All Night, created with Absolut Citron vodka and Monster Energy Rehab, makes for a wonderful pick-me-up if your spirits are waning.
“Our No. 1-selling drink is the Twisted Lemonade because it’s so refreshing on a hot summer day,” said Goodwin of the concoction crafted from Ketel One Citroen vodka, fresh-squeezed lemonade and a splash of club soda. “It outsells any of our other drinks 2-to-1 on an annual basis.”
Guests can order it in the popular 30-ounce souvenir Rehab cup. During the past decade more than 2 million of these durable plastic containers have been sold. Want to know a few more fun facts about Rehab? More than 45,000 bottles of alcohol, 850,000 beers and 1,100,000 cocktails have been consumed since its conception.
Fortunately, if you need something to soak up all that booze, there’s a delicious food menu exclusively for guests at Beachlife. It includes everything from a breakfast burrito, salads and wraps to ceviche, loaded nachos, a black Angus cheeseburger and pizzas.
“I think our chefs have done a great job putting together items that are spectacular for the pools,” said Goodwin. “Our menu just gets better and better each year.”
A special section, designated as the “Cabana Menu,” is designed to feed parties of four to six people. Sample platters filled with tropical fruit, sliders or seafood are among the offerings. Two dedicated kitchens are located within the outdoor complex and will be cooking fresh food all day long for pool season.
If you’re planning a visit to Rehab in 2013, there are various ways to gain access. General admission provides you with entry to the event but no seating. Prices start at $30 for women and $50 for men. They are subject to change during holidays and when special entertainment is scheduled.
Seating consists of a lounge chair (for one person), a daybed (for up to six people) or a cabana (for up to 10 people). The rates vary greatly and depend on several factors – such as the entertainment, position by the pool and amenities. For example, VIP cabanas come equipped with plasma TVs, a telephone, a refrigerator, bottled water and a safe for valuables. All of these options have a food and beverage minimum attached. For more details or to make reservations, call (702) 693-5555.
Goodwin recommends procuring seating because it’ll speed up your entry to Rehab. That means more time spent reveling or cultivating a tan and less time stuck waiting in line. He has a few other tips for patrons as well.
“Hydrate yourself and use lots of sunscreen,” said Goodwin. “If you’re not buying cabanas, get there early. And if you’re traveling with a group of guys, you really should buy a cabana to expedite your entrance.”
Rehab takes place every Sunday through early October from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. It’s not the only weekly party you’ll find at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Beachlife pool complex. Summer Camp Fridays, a diversion from life’s daily responsibilities, and Relax Mondays, a more laid-back industry event, commence this weekend. On select Saturdays, Robbie Rivera’s high-energy Juicy Beach will bring the hottest electronic dance music DJs to town too.
Plus, Paradise Beach is open to everyone from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. throughout the week. Admission is free to both hotel guests and the general public on Mondays through Fridays, but costs $20 for women and $40 for men on Saturdays.
Of course, if you are looking for a wild and crazy pool party experience, then Rehab is the right place for you. It prides itself on delivering the absolute best daylife that Las Vegas has to offer. From the drinks and music to the crowds of beautiful bodies (including the bartenders and cocktail waitresses), you’re sure to have an experience you’ll never forget.