Friday, October 8, 2010
Las Vegas hotel guests left with severe burns from 'death ray'
Las Vegas hotel guests left with severe burns from 'death ray' caused by building's design
29th September 2010
Guests at a new hotel in Las Vegas have complained of receiving severe burns from a 'death ray' of sunlight caused by the unique design of the building.
Due to the concave shape of the Vdara hotel, the strong Nevada sun reflects off its all-glass front and directly onto sections of the swimming pool area below.
The result has left some guests with burns from the powerful rays and even plastic bags have been recorded as melting in the heat.
Chicago attorney Bill Pintas felt the power of the dangerous ray first hand last week.
'It felt like I had a chemical burn. I couldn't imagine why my head was burning,' he said.
'Within 30 seconds, the back of my legs were burning. My first though was, 'Jesus, they destroyed the ozone layer!'
Gordon Absher, a spokesman for MGM Resorts, which owns the Vdara hotel, said they was aware of the issue and designers were working with resort staff to come up with a solution.
In fact it is claimed that the designers foresaw the issue with the reflecting sun but thought they had solved it by installing a high-tech film on the south-facing panes of glass.
However, Mr Absher, conceded it had not been enough and some of the guests had suffered as a result.
The Las Vegas Review Journal quotes one hotel employee as saying the building's design causes the sunshine to be diverted 'like a magnifying glass that shines down' over a space of about 10 by 15 feet as the poolside.
And as the Earth rotates, the spot moves across the pool area. The 'death ray' can increase temperatures by around 20 degrees.
While the designers work on fixing the problem, the hotel is looking at getting some larger, and crucially, thicker umbrellas to provide better shade for guests.