las vegas Posts

Join Brad in Las Vegas for NBAA 2013 and Pubcon 2013

NBAA 2013 Las Vegas Logo  Pubcon 2013 Las Vegas Logo

It’s time to hit Las Vegas for two great conventions beginning on October 21st, 2013.  I lucked out this year when I found out that both conventions were being held at the Las Vegas Convention Center the same week.  I’ll be bouncing back and fourth between the two events throughout the week so it’s safe to say I’ll be putting some miles on my shoes.

Here’s some information about both conferences:

NBAA – The National Business Aviation Association is hosting its annual convention which consists of every major company involved in the aviation industry.  The convention center will be packed with airplanes and exhibitors and is always a great event.  The airport will host a static display of aircraft that’s impressive.  There are also plenty of informative seminars if you’re interested in learning more about general aviation topics and best practices.  I’ve been actively involved with the organization for years and am a big fan of all the great work they do.

Pubcon – The Pubcon convention is a premier search engine marketing / SEO conference.  I’ve attended the conference for 10+ years now and continue to find value in the content.  This conference is geared towards folks who are technically minded who make great things happen online.  It’s a great venue for sharing ideas and brushing shoulders with the best of the best in the online marketing arena.  Of all the tech conferences I attend each year, this particular one is on my must attend list.  I’ll be speaking at the conference at 10:30am on Thursday talking about what it takes to grow an successful online business.

After Hours – If you’re looking to catch up with me after hours, I’ll be at various events for both conferences.  On Monday evening, I’ll be at the Pubcon Kickoff Event at the convention center then over at the Hard Rock with Pubcon attendees.  On Tuesday evening, I’ll be attending the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) dinner, then the AvFuel, Phillips 66, and Rockwell Collins parties.  On Wednesday evening, I’ll be at the Pubcon Networking Party at the Monte Carlo.  Knowing it’s Vegas, I’m sure many more venues and events will be added to the list, but these I’ve listed are confirmed.

I’ll be landing in Vegas sometime late-afternoon on Monday.  I’m looking forward to seeing many business partners and friends at both of these fantastic conferences!  See you in Vegas!

Brad's Best Hotels in Las Vegas Guide

I’m getting ready to head out to Las Vegas for meetings and was thinking about all the great (and some not-so-great) hotels I’ve stayed at there in the past.   So, here’s Brad’s Best Hotels in Las Vegas Guide:

Best View: Undoubtedly, the Bellagio wins hands-down.  Spend the extra money for a fountain view and you won’t be disappointed.  I must have watched dozens of fountain shows during my last stay. The movement of the water to the music is almost mesmerizing.  Keep the TV channel turned to the music channel and you’ll almost instinctively run to the window each time a show starts.

Best Service: The Wynn takes the top prize, despite being a mega-hotel.  One disclosure on this choice: I was staying at the “Tower Suites” at the Wynn.  It’s basically a separate hotel within the Wynn hotel – separate entrance, check-in area, bellman, concierge, etc.  You pay a premium price for these services, but they are well worth it in my opinion.  Each morning when I walked out the private tower entrance, the doorman addressed me by name and would ask if I needed a ride to the convention center – this even happened with doormen I hadn’t even spoken to before.  This hotel has figured out that communication between staff members to identify and greet guests makes people feel good.

Best Biggest Room: If you want a room the size of a palace, the only place to go is Caesar’s Palace!  Big rooms and big whirlpool tubs in the bathroom are a signature item of this hotel.  My only complaint with Caesar’s is the propery itself is just too big for my tastes.  It’s a trek to go virtually anywhere within the hotel, especially if you’ve got on-site meetings to attend.

Best “At Home” Feeling Room: The Venetian wins this one with their all-suite rooms.  I loved the the couch area with the TV and other amenities in the “downstairs” living room area.  Granted, it’s only about three steps down from the bedroom level, but even this minor elevation difference makes it feel like a truly separate room.  BTW, if you’re looking for a great snack or quick meal, check out the food court at the Venetian.  The Sicilian pizza is fantastic (and inexpensive)!

Best Honorable Mention: My first visit to Vegas was to the Mirage.  That was back in the day when the Mirage was the hottest, most amazing hotel on the strip.  The huge fish tank behind the check-in desk and the tigers in the lobby were elaborate.  By today’s Vegas standards though, they pale in comparison to others on the strip.  This hotel is still worthy of an honorable mention though since it’s a solid, nice property even if it is a bit dated.

Not-So-Great Hotels: No best of hotel list would be complete without a few tidbits of places to avoid.  The Flamingo (pink carpet = way too tacky!)  It may have been legendary back in the day, but that day has certainly passed.  Nice staff that works there and a terrific location on the strip, but I still would forgo the 70’s look and feel for something a bit more modern.  The Hilton (Star Trek theme = no dice for me)!  I stayed there for a convention once because that was the “official” hotel.  Worn-out hotel, mediocre service, a bunch of old men at the tables, and worst of all, a Star Trek theme!  Some may love it, but unless you’re and 80 year old Trekkie, go elsewhere!  Lastly, to finish out the not-so-great list – Treasure Island.  How do I put this eloquently?  It’s a dump!  The Sexy Sirens pirate show is cool out front!  The nightclubs are cool.  The Mystere show is cool.  The service and the rooms however resemble a Days Inn or worse.  One disclaimer:  I was staying on one of the top “premium” level floors.  I can only imagine how much worse it would have been in a “regular” room on a lower floor.  Fortunately, my stay was only one night so I escaped with little more than a rough night’s sleep.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed my little unofficial Vegas hotel guide.  Stick with one of the properties I’ve listed above and you’ll enjoy your stay.  Heck, even if you stay at one of the not-so-great hotels, you’ll still have a great time!  After all, it’s Vegas, baby!