Guests burned by 'death ray' from Las Vegas hotel
Published 29/09/2010 | 14:16
Guests at a hotel in Las Vegas claim to have been burned by rays of sun that have been magnified by the building's glass structure.
Holidaymakers at the Vdara hotel reported that their hair had been singed and that plastic bags had melted in the heat of the hotel.
The hotel's owners said that the tall, concave tower collected and intensified sunshine to create what staff call a "death ray" focused on the swimming pool area.
Bill Pintas, a lawyer from Chicago staying at the hotel, said that he suffered from the heat soon after noon one day.
"I'm sitting there in the chair and all of the sudden my hair and the top of my head are burning," Mr Pintas told ABC News. "I'm rubbing my head and it felt like a chemical burn. I couldn't imagine what it could be.
"I used to live in Miami and I've sat in the sun in Las Vegas 100 times," he said. "I know what a hot sun feels like and this was not it."
Mr Pintas also showed how the black lettering on his white plastic carrier bag had been burned through by the sun. Plastic bags are typically made of polyethylene, which melts at about 120 C.
Gordon Absher, a spokesman for MGM Mirage, the hotel's parent company, said they were aware of the problem.
"Because of the curved, concave shape of that hotel, they sometimes get isolated pockets of high temperatures," Mr Absher said.
He said a film applied to the hotel's exterior had stopped 70pc of rays being reflected, but conceded this had not been enough.
Designers are now working to address what he called "solar convergence", he said.