Is New Vegas Hotel Too Hot?

The sleek new Vdara hotel-condo on the Las Vegas Strip may be too hot to handle.

So hot, that if you're at the hotel's swimming pool, an occasional reflection off the shining tower may singe your hair or melt your plastic drinking cup.

The south-facing tower of the hotel at CityCenter, an $8.5 billion, six-skyscraper development, is bouncing sun rays so intensively that hotel employees have dubbed the phenomenon the "death ray."

"I was being cooked out there," Bill Pintas, a Chicago personal injury lawyer who co-owns a $450,000 studio condo at the Vdara, tells AOL Travel News.

Pintas says he returned to a sun lounger recently after a dip in the pool, "and then my head started burning and I could smell hair burning, my hair" he says. "I thought I had picked up a chemical burn in the pool or something. But then my legs and back were burning too."

He says he shot up and noticed the plastic bag his newspaper had come in was melted.

"My first thought was we've destroyed the ozone layer," he says. He says he ran under an umbrella but then noticed there was no shadow there.

"I realized I was sitting in a reflective zone and everything was burning," Pintas says. "When I told the (resort) employees they said, 'Yes, we know, it's the death ray.'"

MGM Resorts International, owner and developer of the property, admits it has a problem when the sun shines just so, and says resort staff is trying to come up with a solution.

AOL News has learned the sunlight-concentrating design was the subject of debate among architects back in late 2008.

A spokesman for MGM tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal designers thought they had solved the issue with a high-tech film on the tower's glass panes. But that has proven not enough for guests when there's an occasional "hot spot."

A Review-Journal writer reports finding a "hot spot" of about 10 feet by 15 feet, on one visit, but not on the next.

Employees say when they do appear, the super hot rays last for about an hour and a half, just before noon and after.

Pintas says other guests have told him of melted drink cups and other issues from the hot rays.

He says he has no plans to sue the Vdara, but he does expect the hotel to fix the problem sooner rather than later.

"If you're in that zone when it happens, there's no way you can sit there. It's as if you touched a lightbulb," he tells AOL. "If you were sleeping or had a baby under the umbrella, it's really not safe."

Photo, bcgrote, flickr
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