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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dive into the pool season

By Anthony Curtis

Pool season? Already? It is if you're in Las Vegas. Whereas most peg the start of the vibrant casino pool scene to Memorial Day weekend, it actually begins six to eight weeks earlier to capitalize on spring break. Among the major pool complexes opening this month are the MGM Grand, Palms, Mirage, a completely revamped multi-pool area at Caesars Palace, and the debut of the pool at Aria. Following in April will be the Hard Rock, Venetian, Mandalay Bay, Rio, M Resort and the hotly anticipated new pool and nightclub at Encore. Of course, how well the early start works out is highly dependent on the weather, which has been unseasonably cold over the past couple of weeks (but it's a safe bet that will change).

HOOP MADNESS: Who needs pools when the NCAA basketball tournament is playing on big screens indoors? March Madness has begun and every sports book in town will be rocking on game days. Look for food, drink and wagering specials all over town.

PRIME TIME: Prime Time at the Palm restaurant in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace is currently the city's best happy hour. Running weekdays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and again from 9:30 till closing, Kobe sliders, veal parm sliders, filet mignon sandwiches, calamari, and the Palms' vaunted crab cakes are among appetizers offered for just $3.50 per plate. Clams on the half shell are $1 apiece and giant shrimp are $2. This one is strong!

Q: What's the play for St. Paddy's Day?

The casino pubs include Jack's (Palace Station), Brendan's (Orleans), JC Wooloughan (Rampart), McFadden's (Rio), Quinn's (Green Valley Ranch) and Nine Fine Irishmen (NY-NY). Prominent non-casino pubs are Fado, McMullen's, Three Angry Wives and Hennessey's. And the theme is casino-wide at Fitzgeralds downtown and O'Shea's on the Strip.

This year's party schedule also extends well beyond the obvious. See a comprehensive list at www.LasVegasAdvisor.com.

Find out about Las Vegas shows, buffets and deals at www.LasVegasAdvisor.com.