The rule of thumb is, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. That is, unless you’ve been unfairly kicked out of a pool at a popular hotel — then you have free rein to share your experience on social media.
Chris Donohoe was removed from Encore Beach Club at the Wynn Las Vegas, allegedly because of his choice of swimwear. Donohoe, who is gay, believes that it was an act of discrimination.
Donohoe posted a video to his Facebook page that showed his confrontation with a general manager off camera.
“I was made to leave the pool for wearing a Mr. Turk bathing suit that they said was not ‘in integrity’ with the brand of the pool party. In other words, I was kicked out for being a gay man wearing a bathing suit that was just a little too gay for the Beach Club Encore Las Vegas to tolerate,” he wrote.
The swimsuit in question appears to be a swim brief, like a Speedo, which the person off camera says is against the pool’s dress code. However, on Encore’s website, the dress code states: “Dress to impress, no baggy clothing, jeans, or basketball shorts. Pool attire is required to enter the venue.” The only listed “proper swim attire” are swimming suits, which Donohoe was wearing.
Donohoe was approached by security while he was in the pool, and it quickly turned into a public scene. According to Donohoe, he was surrounded by five to seven security guards as he talked to the general manager of the beach club, who can be heard in the video, and the security manager.
“I did not know that I could be made to feel so ashamed and so humiliated. I haven’t felt that way in years,” Donohoe tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “They told me I needed to cover up or leave the pool.”
Security was allegedly acting on a complaint that was made about Donohoe’s swimwear. “Ten minutes before I was removed from the pool, two men who were guests were walking past me, pointing and laughing. I let it roll off my back, I’m used to that thing happening. … It didn’t seem worth it. … Within 10 minutes, I was removed from the pool. It later came out that the security guard told us, ‘I don’t give a shit what you wear, but we had a complaint.’”
Donohoe’s experience is not the only instance of alleged discrimination at Encore Beach Club. After he shared his video, another man, Juan Casado, shared his own experience, in which he was pushed from a dance platform into the pool by a security guard at the club. Donohoe writes that it was “because only women are allowed to dance on the podium.”
According to Donohoe, Casado told him, “I saw your post and I just want to say that I have been [discriminated against] there as well. Not for being gay (even though I am) but the double standard of being male or female.”
Donohoe, who is currently a guest at the Wynn Las Vegas, which owns and runs Encore Beach Club, has since spoken with the director of claims administration, who he says is looking into the situation.
Michael Weaver, chief marketing manager of Wynn Resorts, provided the following statement to Yahoo Lifestyle: “In order to maintain a five-star experience, Wynn Las Vegas requests that guests adhere to certain dress code policies throughout the resort. In the Encore Beach Club, we had a policy, clearly posted at the entrance, which prohibited Speedos. Upon receiving a guest complaint, we reviewed the policy and have changed it. The new policy will allow Speedos, but will prohibit risqué and indecent swimwear for both men and women. We will include the new policy on entry signage, as well as the club website, in order to help guests plan appropriately and enjoy a welcoming environment. We apologize to the guest who was affected by our previous policy.
“Regarding LGBTQ+ guests, our policy has been clear and consistent for years: Wynn welcomes and appreciates all of our LGBTQ+ guests. Decisions to enforce policies are solely based on guest behavior, or in this case, attire. We have always and will continue to apply attire policies equally to all of our guests, regardless of sexual orientation.”
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