Friday, May 28, 2010

Pictorial: Encore Beach Club

[Update: See Norm today for more fun stats about EBC.]

Until I started writing this post and moved that image to the top, I continued to think the new 60,000-square-foot spread that the Wynn folks build where the Strip porte-cochere for Encore Las Vegas once stood was known as the Switch Beach Club. Evidently, they've gone to Encore Beach Club and Surrender, an indoor-outdoor nightclub.

Whatever they're calling it, it opened today and already lots of douc...err, customers willing to pay $40 (for guys) and $30 (for babes) were lined up. There is, by the by, no discount if you're staying at Wynn or Encore. And the fancy cabanas, which I'll get to in a sec, can cost as much as $750 a day to rent. Recession schmecession, eh? (There's also no Asian Equation on the bar menu out there, a great, great scandal indeed.)

If you want to gorge yourself on images and video, I have a Flickr batch, as does Hunter Hillegas here, and the Wynn folks have posted a YouTube video. Anyhow, here are some of my pix as usual with my narrative and random thoughts.

This view...

...covers a lot of ground in showing off the place. That thing in the middle is some sort of shower apparatus with what's clearly a stripper pole in the middle. Hmm. The structure you're looking at was part of the old porte cochere, according to Hunter, who saw them move it. The Wynn publicity peeps actually didn't know that.

Under that structure is...

...gaming! And that means that if you say you want to play, they've gotta let you in -- and you gotta play. That's the law.

There are eight of those bungalows -- cabanas are evidently so Aughts -- and here's a view from one of their front porches. (There are also 26 cabanas.)

There are four bungalows each on two levels, and each has a balcony overlooking the Strip. If anyone actually walked north of Encore -- is there anything there that's not terrifying? -- that would be fun to observe. Instead, you get front-row views of the mocking half-built Echelon and empty never-to-rise Plaza. But here's a more flattering view:

Hi, Hunter! He and I were evidently the only media to ask for a preview tour of the place, one hour before its 11 a.m. opening. Beth Jinks from Bloomberg, with her enchanting British accent, was also present for a little while but "out of personal curiosity" and not to write about it.

Here's what it all looks like from the Strip:

Hate to say it, but it kinda has a little of the faux-olde San Fran look of this:

Here's something that that place sure doesn't have:

Ever wonder what sort of technology those bungalows that you and I will never be able to afford have? Here's the lighting switch panel for one:

Each bungalow has a full-service bathroom with sink, toilet and shower. But given the cost, this kill-joy admonishment over the potty seemed unfair to me:

This is Vegas! If I want to be lewd or invite my harem into the shower with me in a private bathroom that I'm spending a mint on, I should be allowed, no?

I found this piece of art on the back wall of that casino area a bit bold:

Hunter had far better images of the inside of Surrender than I did, but I did like this cracked-mirror shot of us that as very Lost-Flash-Sideway:

Hmm. Maybe the Encore Beach Club is the place we all created for ourselves so we could meet up in the afterlife but if that were so, where the hell were Smitty, Tim and Michele and Chuck Monster? [End of Lost geek-out.]

It's all very serpentine, very Original Sinesque in there, as Wynn designer Roger Thomas first revealed to me. So here's the snake version of that huge crystal dragon in Wazuzu:

The pillars all had these statues:

Alas, Switch is not gone or forgotten. In fact, the original gimmick restaurant, where the walls and ceiling change form every 20 minutes -- "Would you LOOK at those fucking curtains?" Smitty famously mocks -- now has a glass wall looking out on the pool. The place will be open for lunch and there's a poolside menu, too:

One reason I love previews is so we get moments and images like this, where the dudes are setting the drapery just right:

And I'm a big fan of one thing that did that has nothing to do with nightclubs or dayclubs or whatever else. They built a bridge from the Wynn parking garage to the Beach Club area that also allows access to the Encore casino.

That means no more walking halfway around the world to get from one side to the other. Yay.

Finally, I love odd signage and I have never seen the guy and gal in the bathroom icons...

...with swimsuits drawn on. Does the guy have his hands down the front or the back of his trunks?

Again, to see more, visit my Flickr page at


Anonymous said...


I did walk north of the Encore on our last trip, at 7 A.M. no less. needed a $1 sausage McMuffin after the magnificent bit $8.50 egg and cheese croisant at the Encore.

The Wallgreens is mediocre, the souvineer shops are scary, but the Peppermill is there of course.

And the Riviera is just looking old.


detroit1051 said...

What a jarring juxtaposition in the photo of Hunter standing on the bungalow balcony. The contrast between the east and west sides of the Strip brought a flashback of East and West Berlin in the 1960's. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration, but not by much.

The bridge from the Wynn parking structure is a great idea. Are there marked walkways on that level of the garage, or do you have to zig and zag around parking spaces? said...

Does anyone have a clarification on the "open entry anywhere gaming is allowed" law?

For years, it was simply that if gaming was allowed, you had to be let in for free (which some people I know used to get in to Olympic Gardens for free, saying they were there to play video poker).

However, didn't they pass a private gaming law a while back that lets them operate gaming (Playboy Club comes to mind) while still charging a cover charge?

Encore Beach Club certainly is no Rehab, LOL!