Las Vegas Hotel Deals With So-Called "Death Ray"

The Vdara Hotel's reflection can burn guests and melt plastic, according to reports.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 18: A general view of Vdara Hotel & Spa at CityCenter under construction November 18, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 67-acre, $8.5 billion mixed-use urban development center, a joint project between MGM Mirage and Dubai World, is set to open in December. It is said to be the biggest privately financed construction project in United States history and one of the world's largest green projects being built with the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certified Green Building Rating System. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? Not necessarily -- there are some things that won't stay, like burned skin and signed hair.

    According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the sun's reflection off the south-facing Vdara Hotel is so strong that "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."

    Some hotel employees have dubbed the problem the "Vdara death ray," the newspaper reported.

    MGM spokesman Gordon Absher said that designers foresaw this issue and thought they had come up with an effective solution by adding a high-tech film cover to some of the glass panels. That turned out to not be completely effective as the hotel still receives complaints from some guests.

    Bill Pintas, a lawyer from Chicago, is one of the guests who got more than he bargained for after a visit to the pool at the Vdara, the Review-Journal reported:

    Pintas told the Review-Journal that at midday Sept. 16, after a brief dip in the hotel pool, he was sunning on a recliner. He was on his stomach, relaxed, eyes closed.

    But suddenly, the lawyer became so uncomfortably hot that he leaped up to move. He tried to put on his flip-flop sandals but, inexplicably, they were too hot to touch. So he ran barefoot to the shade.

    "I was effectively being cooked," Pintas told the newspaper. "I started running as fast as I could without looking like a lunatic."

    When Pintas returned to his chair, he noticed that a plastic bag he was carrying a newspaper in had partially melted. Pintas said that employees and other guests he talked to were aware of the problem.

    The "hot spot" as some employees are calling it, is 10 feet by 15 feet and moves with the earth. At this time of year, the spot is present for about an hour and a half each day.

    Vdara management is working with architects and designers to come up with a solution to the so-called "death ray." In the meantime, there have been extra umbrellas placed on the pool deck to try and satisfy guests.

    It will be tough to come up with a permanent fix because as Absher said, "This is quite literally an astronomical challenge. We are dealing with a moving target."