BY KIKO MIYASATO
APRIL 28, 2017
Born and raised—it’s not just a phrase. Justin Catanese is proud to say that he’s a Las Vegas native. Even better? He works at one of the city’s most historic downtown properties—The Plaza, where he’s the general manager at the newly renovated pool.
“For someone who grew up in Vegas, to work where Vegas started, to be a part of that, is really amazing,” Catanese said.
What might be even more cool when it comes to his career is that Catanese has always worked around water … in the middle of a desert. His first job was as a lifeguard at The Mirage; by the time he left the property he had moved all the way up to lead cabana host. He’s also helped open new cabanas at The Venetian, The Palazzo and Vdara. And last year, he joined and helped launch The Pool at The Plaza.
The pool, which re-opened in July, is “a merging of two worlds—a Palm Springs relaxed vibe mixed with classic Vegas,” Catanese said. As general manager, he contributes to everything from picking out the furniture to choosing the swimwear for the cocktail servers and uniforms for the pool staff. He also oversees the food truck and bar area, and had the idea to implement the daiquiri bar this season. “This job can be equal parts stressful and equal parts awesome,” Catanese said with a grin. “But I’ve always loved the energy that goes with working at a pool. There’s always a smile on everyone’s face—you have to love that.”
Remember that retro red, white and blue frozen treat, the Bomb Pop? Those are the familiar flavors you’ll taste when you order the Firework from the daiquiri bar. It’s a cool layering of frozen blueberry lemonade, piña colada and strawberry daiquiri, perfect for sipping poolside as the temps climb. Guests can also indulge in new frozen and specialty cocktail and food menus; there are also beer buckets and wines by the glass.