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Sex Sells In Las Vegas Day Club Culture

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Rehab Pool at the Hard Rock Hotel is just one of several pool parties around the resort corridor.

How else do you beat the heat of a Las Vegas summer than by finding the nearest swimming pool to lounge by?

Which is why the pool parties and day clubs at casinos on the Strip have become the hottest way to day rage. World famous DJs, private cabanas and bottle services are all offered - for a price.

Those prices can range anywhere from a standard entry fee of $45 to $100, to the more elite services upward of $15,000. This presents the opportunity for the food and beverage servers, who work off of tips, to have one of the most coveted positions in the industry.

But not everyone is cut out for the job. According to Brittany Bronson, an English instructor at UNLV and contributing op-ed writer for The New York TImes, job interviews often consist of crowded conventions, with multi-hour waits, all for about one minute in front of a judge. What are they judging for? A look that stands out.

If someone happens to acquire one of these coveted positions, the physical upkeep comes with the job. Women are often required to have manicured hands and feet, wear their hair down, have spray tans, shaving standards and even weigh ins, Bronson said. 

"I think some people really do enjoy that atmosphere, and a lot of women find being in a position where their sexuality is on display is very empowering," Bronson said. "But I don't think that excludes those women from fair treatment."

Upkeeping the look they were hired on can mean the difference between a hefty paycheck and the unemployment line. Although federal law protects employees from discrimination based on things such as gender and physical characteristics, there are some loopholes.

According to Ann McGinley, professor of employment law at UNLV, it depends on how you define the job.

"The employer has to prove that that particular look or being a woman and looking a particular way is, first of all, related to the essence or central mission of the employer's business, and secondly, that look is objectively and verifiably necessary to doing the job itself," McGinley said.

Which is why modeling jobs for brands such as Victoria's Secret or Abercrombie and Fitch can have the strict physcial and grooming requirements. But is serving food and beverage essential to the brand of Las Vegas pool parties?

"They seem somewhere in between," McGinley said. "It hasn't been decided really which way the courts would go. It might depend on which part of the casino you're talking about."

An area where kids are allowed, for example, may be harder for a casino to prove that a sexy brand is what they're selling. But discrimination lawsuits on the Strip aren't common. It could be a result of the fact that these food and beverage service workers could make anywhere between $80,000-$130,000 a year, Bronson said.

"I think the infamy of this industry is that this is just the way that it is and this is what it's like if you want one of these jobs and make that kind of money," Bronson said.

 

Brittany Bronson, english instructor, UNLV, contributing op-ed writer, New York Times;  Ann McGinley, law professor, William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV

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Prior to taking on the role of Broadcast Operations Manager in January 2021, Rachel was the senior producer of KNPR's State of Nevada program for 6 years. She helped compile newscasts and provided coverage for and about the people of Southern Nevada, as well as major events such as the October 1 shooting on the Las Vegas strip, protests of racial injustice, elections and more. Rachel graduated with a bachelor's degree of journalism and mass communications from New Mexico State University.