Celebrities and bikinis have become fixtures on the Strip pool party scene where the liquor flows from morning straight through to when nightclubs open.
Their names plastered on billboards, along with whatever birthday they’re celebrating or product they’re launching, is enough for partygoers to spend hundreds on cabanas and bottle service to say they partied alongside their favorite celebrity, fueling nightclub operators’ newest moneymaker.
And with pool parties popping up at hotels across the valley, it seems almost every resort is trying to cash in on the trend. Now, in the gated suburban community of Lake Las Vegas, the Ravella is trying its hand at pool parties but with a different take: the family-friendly pool party.
At Ravella’s pool parties starting Memorial Day weekend, guests won’t find $1,000 cabanas or a pool overflowing with boozy 20-somethings. Instead, they can expect balloon animals, face painting and cotton candy, along with other activities geared toward families.
“We really wanted to be able to drive locals out to the hotel, and we really thought that we should go the family route because the hotel lends itself to that,” said Marty Bertone, Ravella director of sales and marketing, who helped develop the concept.
The hotel has recruited its own celebrity host for some of the weekend’s festivities, “Holly’s World” star Angel Porrino. But instead of her usual friends such as Holly Madison and Playboy playmate Laura Croft by her side, Porrino will be hosting with her toddler son, Roman.
“When looking for a host, we wanted someone who had somewhat of a local following so we chose Angel, specifically because of her role in ‘Absinthe’ and ‘Holly’s World.’ We felt that if we were going to do an event promoting family, we wanted a celebrity who could bring a family member with her,” Bertone said.
Porrino will host a Memorial Day barbecue at the Ravella pool, and a DJ will add to the pool party vibe Ravella is hoping to create. On Saturday, the resort is hosting a tropical-themed party with authentic Caribbean dishes and drinks for the adults and shaved ice for the kids.
The cost for the two weekend parties is included in the $119 rate for the Memorial Day package at the hotel, but admission can also be purchased for less than $20 with the hotel’s $45 rooms during the weekend — a fraction of what other Las Vegas pool parties charge.
Bertone said Ravella executives looked at the pool parties on the Strip when developing theirs, but not as a model. They needed to gear their concept to their demographic, which is mainly meetings during the week and families on the weekend.
“The Strip tends to get a little crazy, especially the pool parties. We wouldn’t be able to compete with something like that, and we really don’t want to compete with it. We want to develop a concept that is exclusive to Ravella and the Lake Las Vegas community,” Bertone said.
Ravella will have some options for adults. The hotel has cabanas that go for $100 each and recently started bottle service at the pool.
Ravella will be starting with Memorial Day weekend for its family-friendly pool party concept, but Bertone said the hotel hopes to open it up to other weekends, depending on its success.
“The Las Vegas community is really important to our success so to have a local following, and we’re really encouraging the local crowd to come out and visit Ravella,” Bertone said. “This was the strategy we are going for to bring people out from the other side of the city and Henderson locals.”