Bikini contest popular draw at Planet Hollywood Resort's pool

What makes the Pleasure Pool at Planet Hollywood Resort so popular?

A fun, high-energy atmosphere, certainly. Good music, of course. And, surely, a packed schedule of promotions and special events.

But don't forget that most quintessential of summertime aquatic activities: the bikini contest.

Pleasure Pool has one every Saturday at 3 p.m., and Alam Leyva, the resort's beverage director, says they've become a popular draw among sun-worshipping guests in this, Pleasure Pool's second season.

Ladies need only to show up before the 3 p.m. start. Each week's winner receives a $500 prize as well as the opportunity to compete for a $5,000 grand prize in the end-of-summer final competition.

And if that weren't enough, Pleasure Pool designs the contests with an eye toward maximum audience fun via a catwalklike acrylic bridge that extends over the pool.

"So it's really fun," Leyva says. "People can be in the pool watching the bikini contest and be a part of it."

Pleasure Pool actually consists of two pools, one to the north and one to the south, offering guests the chance to sprawl a bit and avoid the feeling that "you're just in this mass of (a) central pool," Leyva says. "We have two different atmospheres where people can enjoy themselves."

The pool offers guests both daybeds and cabanas -- more of each were added for this season -- with prices for the latter beginning at about $250, depending on the day.

Tunes are provided by guests and resident DJs, and this year also saw the addition of a "substantial sound system," Leyva says. Bottle service begins at $200.

From drinks to amenities to activities, the goal, Leyva says, is to offer guests "great value and great service."

"We try to create an experience that is going to be memorable, and in order to be memorable, you've got to feel you've gotten your money's worth."

While the pool's predominant demographic is tourists, "we love locals," Leyva says.

By the way, Leyva adds, "we do get celebrities"

Planet Hollywood has become beauty pageant central in Las Vegas -- last months's Miss USA pageant was held there and, yes, contestants did visit the pool -- and "there is a lot of filming that goes on at the pool," Leyva says. "You may rub elbows with some stars."

Pleasure Pool at Planet Hollywood Resort, 3667 Las Vegas Blvd. South, is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Admission is free for hotel guests and $10 otherwise.

For more information, call 785-9106.

Contact reporter John Przybys at jprzybys@ or 702-383-0280.