The idea of a blinding light being magnified by a glass hotel in the middle of the desert shouldn't surprise anyone. And, in fact, MGM Mirage thought of this when designing the Vdara building. It hired a consultant who decided to place a thin film over the window which reduces the sun's effects by 70 percent.
"But even with that, when folks are out on the pool deck, on some days people will feel this reflection and the heat associated with it," said Absher, who noted this was the hotel's first summer of operation.
Fixing the problem isn't going to be easy. As the Earth spins, the sun moves across the horizon. But as the seasons change, the angle of the Earth to the sun changes too, meaning shadows – and in this case the hot spot – move in a different way. Putting in one row of thick umbrellas won't solve the problem because each day they would have to be a few feet back or a few feet forward from their prior day's position.
"This is quite literally an astronomical challenge," Absher said. "We are dealing with a moving target."
Right now, the hotel is looking at getting some larger, thicker umbrellas, maybe some large plants and a few other more high-tech options, Absher said. Since the summer heat is on its way out, the hotel has a few months to find a solution.
Until then, add some extra sunscreen and beware of the strong light.