Ryan Hamilton may have the best resort job in Las Vegas.
He gets to hang out with a gaggle of women every workday, and almost all of them are naked down to the waist. Naked as the day they were born. Or as they say in some parts of the country, "nekkid as a jay bird."
Hamilton is the aquatic and fitness manager at the Stratosphere. If that doesn’t sound like the most exciting title you’ve ever come across, consider this: the Stratosphere, ever willing to push the envelope in terms of attractions, opened a swimming pool for female guests who are inclined to doff their tops, and Beach Club 25, as it is called, falls under the watchful gaze of Hamilton.
The view on the 25th floor, where the Beach Club has been established, is well worth gazing at for hours on end. View of the mountains, that is. The mountains that are made out of dirt and rocks and trees, the mountains that are, you know, off in the distance.
The pool, which opened as an attraction for the topless-inclined in mid-August, is now open for general family use until mid-March, when it will again be reserved for the topless set and those who appreciate the female form when it is unclothed from the belly button up. Hamilton said the pool, which was carved out of an abandoned space that had been used to store heavy equipment, will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for hotel guests who are 21 and over. Men will pay $10 for admission, while women, for reasons that are very obvious, are let in free.
The pool, which holds 45,000 gallons of water and an undeterminable amount of silicone, comes with a sound system and volleyball net and the area around the pool has exercise bikes, dumbbells and, for those who are inclined toward less strenuous pleasures, a full-service bar. The bureaucrats at Clark County, those spoilsports, have limited pool occupancy to 71 people.
There are, incidentally, other resorts in town that have "European" style pools, that is, topless optional. They include a pool in Caesars Palace’s Garden of the Gods and one at Mandalay Bay.
Hamilton says he carefully picks the male employee who is on hand during the summer season to provide towels, bottled water and answer guests’ questions about Las Vegas. He makes it clear the guy who gets the position will not be a new hire looking for the greatest job in Las Vegas.
He says he has had no problems with any of the male guests except for three guys who had too much to drink and got a little loud. "We don’t tolerate Animal House mentality" at the pool Hamilton says. The only incident he can remember so far involved a gentleman who mistakenly thought the pool was meant for people of both sexes who wanted to go completely naked. Hamilton saw what was emerging as the man was pulling down his bathing trunks and he rushed over to cover the situation.
He says 80 percent of the pool users are women in the 20-40 age range who are looking for a quiet, relaxing place to work on their tans away from all the kids who raise a ruckus at the Stratosphere’s family pool.
Most of the women are college aged, and some of them have used the pool area to hold bachelorette parties. He didn’t offer any reason why there have been men at the pool.
At any rate, Hamilton, a 29-year-old bachelor, cruises the pool area about once an hour during the summer season to, er, keep an eye on things. He also spends some time at the family pool looking for attractive women who are not with children. When he finds them, he hands them a promotional VIP card with information about the Beach Club. He says most of the women he singles out for attention wind up at the Beach Club.