According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, the actual concave design of the Vdara Hotel is to blame. The all-glass front of the hotel reflects sun onto sections of the swimming pool area below. In fact, the temperatures are so hot that at least one man’s hair has been burnt and shopping bags and drink cups have been literally melted. Many guests have complained of being burnt by the powerful rays.
One man, Bill Pintas, said that last month he felt extremely uncomfortable while lying by the pool. When he ran into the shade, he first smelled an odour and then realised it was coming from his head - his hair had been scorched. The plastic bag he was carrying had holes melted through it. Mr Pintas said, "It felt like I had a chemical burn. I couldn't imagine why my head was burning... Within 30 seconds, the back of my legs were burning. My first though was, 'Jesus, they destroyed the ozone layer' ". Another guest asked Mr Pintas, "it got you too?". One of the hotel employees said "we call it the death ray".
Until the problem is solved by the designers, the hotel will be installing thicker umbrellas to provide extra shade for guests. MGM Resorts International (which owns the hotel) are aware of the issue which was apparently discovered when the building was being designed, but it was thought to have been resolved through the installation of some kind of 'film' on the glass panes. The film does actually disperse about 70% of the rays... this is some good news, I guess - perhaps the guests would have instantaneously combusted (just like Orson Welles' 'heat rays' of 1938) if not for this 'safety feature'. :)
Here's just a bit of fun... listen to the second part of the original 1938 recording of 'War Of The Worlds' from the Mercury Theatre - it's no wonder that people were genuinely frightened: