Sammy Hagar takes over the Palms Pool with an oasis experience

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As soon as Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Sammy Hagar discovered Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, he began to morph from rockstar to lifestyle brand. There was his Cabo Wabo Cantina there (which expanded to include a Las Vegas Strip location still thriving at the Miracle Mile Shops) and his successful Cabo Wabo tequila, which he sold for $80 million.

Other venues and ventures have followed, but for Hagar—who continues to perform and tour steadily and will play MGM Grand Garden Arena in August—it’s always been about creating experiences where fans can live like the Red Rocker, “eat the food and drink the drinks we’ve created, maybe listen to me perform inside my building and not someone else’s venue,” he tells the Weekly. “It’s not an ego trip, it’s about giving fans the ultimate experience.”

He’s been doing that in Las Vegas for years, at concerts, his recent residency at the Strat and of course at the Cabo cantina, but now there’s a new version available just off the Strip. Hagar partnered with the Palms to create Sammy’s Island, primed for a grand opening on May 17.

“I went there after I played a year ago, and I fell in love with the place. I used to go there back when it first opened, and that was the rock and roll hotel in Vegas, for sure,” Hagar says of the Palms. “But I forgot how great it was. The previous owners put billions into that place … and I think it’s sort of undiscovered with its [new] owners and since it was closed for COVID. It’s one of the nicest places in Vegas.”

Sammy’s Island is the newest flourish, taking over the Palms Pool seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. with tropical oasis vibes, themed bars (certainly specializing in beverages like Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum and Red Rocker Lager beer), a full food menu, luxurious cabanas and daybeds and assorted entertainment (certainly including Hagar and his musical buddies, when he’s in town). It’s a dayclub of a different color, more of a refined and relaxing way to party.

“We’ve grown up from the 1970s, being rowdy, crazy and reckless, to being responsible partiers, but we still have a good time,” Hagar says. “You want a more upscale experience now, and there’s a lot to do there. The music in the day will be more groovy and cool, and it will get a little heavier at night. We want to have a concert series where I’m gonna call all my buddies to come play, and there’ll be all the tacos and tequila you want.

“The first thing people ask me is, ‘Are you gonna be there?’ Hell yes. I’m planning on spending a lot of time there making sure it works.”

When we caught up with him, Hagar was just about to get his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a ceremony emceed by his pal and business partner Guy Fieri late last month. “I’m more nervous about that damn thing than I am about opening the island,” Hagar said, and it makes sense; Sammy’s Island is the most familiar ground possible, and Las Vegas might be the best place possible to do it. “Las Vegas is such a playground for any entrepreneur or creative person, whether you’re a singer or a bartender. I just don’t see how they can cram any more into it, but I love getting more opportunities.”

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