The tall, sleek, curving Vdara Hotel at CityCenter in Las Vegas is a thing of beauty. But the south-facing tower is turning out to be nuisance for visitors at the hotel’s swimming pool. The curved mirrored surface of the hotel acts as a gigantic parabolic reflector that concentrates solar heat into a specific target area. The heat is so intense that it can singe your hair and melt your plastic drink cups and shopping bags. Hotel pool employees call the phenomenon the "Vdara death ray."
Apparently, designers foresaw the issue, and thought they had solved it by installing a high-tech film on the south-facing glass panes, according to Gordon Absher, a spokesman for MGM Resorts International, which owns Vdara. The film scatters more than 70 percent of reflected rays. But that's not enough, Absher acknowledged, as some pool guests are still uncomfortable.
Recently, a Chicago lawyer who was staying as Vdara was caught in the glare and burnt his hair. A flimsy plastic bag holding his newspaper had also melted partially. Astonished and angry, he alerted hotel staff, then called the local newspaper to draw attention to the problem. MGM Resorts is now looking into further mitigation procedures, including more umbrellas, additional foliage or shade structures.
[via Review Journal]
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